Fireworks, BBQs in high demand this Independence Day

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It’s the day we celebrate our history; the day we honor those who fought for America’s independence so very long ago. It’s also the day millions of Americans fire up the grill, pack the car with beach gear and head downtown to the nearest fireworks display. Independence Day is right around the corner and consumers are already conjuring up festive summer holiday celebration ideas.

According to NRF’s 2012 Independence Day survey conducted by BIGinsight, more than 160 million people, or 67.6 percent of Americans who intend to participate in holiday festivities, will celebrate the 4th of July by hosting or attending a cookout/barbecue and/or picnic – the most in the survey’s history.

And if you’ve visited a discount or specialty store recently you’ll know it’s hard to miss the great specials on everything from grills and beach gear to patio furniture and personal care items like sunscreen and bug spray. If you want to get a headstart on your celebrations, retailers are ready.

As for the fireworks, what would Independence Day be without the fireworks?! Nearly half of those celebrating this year, or 115 million people, will attend a fireworks or community celebration, and another 35 million will attend a parade.

With Independence Day also being a Federal holiday, millions of people will celebrate their special day off work by taking extra time off to head to the beach, go and see family or simply stay indoors by the air conditioner at home. Approximately 30 million people will brave the traffic this year to escape town for the 4th of July – maybe using the decrease in gas prices as the perfect reason to hit the road and enjoy the sunshine somewhere. When asked specifically if the price of gas will impact their spending for the 4th of July holiday, 62.9 percent, or nearly 134 million people, said no, an increase from 53.5 percent who said the cost of gas wouldn’t sway their spending last year.

Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director at BIGinsight, says the steady decreases in gas prices and encouraging spending plans from previous holidays like Father’s Day will help put consumers in a good mood this Independence Day. “Whether the time consumers get off work for this holiday is used to travel to their favorite summer watering hole or used to catch up on yard work, it’s clear that Americans are in better spirits this 4th of July. Grocery stores, department, discount and drug stores will benefit from the added holiday traffic as consumers stock up on food, sunscreen, beach gear and apparel for their celebrations.”

There will be plenty of patriotic sentiment going around this year as well. More than 48 million people, 23.0 percent, said they intend to buy additional patriotic merchandise within the next 30 days, up from the 20.1 percent who said so last year.

How will you celebrate the holiday this year?

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