How consumers are celebrating Easter amid a pandemic

Plans may look different, but there's no stopping the Easter Bunny

As spring rolls around, many consumers are typically hard at work decorating Easter baskets, planning celebrations and stocking up on treats. But 2020 is not a typical year. Kitchen tables have morphed into workspaces. Classrooms are now virtual. And everything from vacations to playdates are being postponed or moved online. Even amid the very real upheaval and uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus, families and individuals across the country are still cherishing opportunities to create new memories and put their own twist on traditional events. And Easter is no exception.

NRF’s annual Easter consumer survey is typically fielded in early March, so this year’s traditional set of data would not reflect the more recent implications from the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the NRF Research team went back to consumers within the last week to find out how they’re celebrating. Here’s what we found.

COVID-19 isn't stopping the Easter Bunny.

Whether for religious reasons or because of tradition, 77 percent of Americans still plan on finding ways to celebrate Easter this year, according to a survey conducted by NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics in early April. That’s remarkably similar to how consumers have approached the holiday in the past. Over the last 14 years, approximately 80 percent of consumers on average commemorate Easter. Of course, celebrating looks a little different this year.

Families are adapting traditional celebration plans.

Many consumers are putting their own twist on the usual Easter celebration. Holiday meals might now only involve immediate family; instead of gathering in person, at least one-third of consumers say they will get together with family and friends virtually through video chats or old-fashioned phone calls. Parents still want their kids to have the thrill of hunting for eggs and opening gifts — but now from the safety of their own homes and backyards. Traditional events like Easter egg hunts or exchanging gifts are most popular with those under the age of 35, who are more likely to have young kids at home.

Businesses are observing the holiday in unique ways.

Retailers are looking to do their part as well. Stores like Trader Joe’s, Lowe’s, Sprouts Farmers Markets and BJ’s Wholesale Club are closing their doors on Easter Sunday to give essential employees a break and time at home to celebrate with their families. Some small businesses are stepping up to give communities a hand in planning socially distant egg hunts, and offering contact-less order pickups and fun ideas for DIY decor and stay-at-home celebrations.

Visit NRF’s COVID-19 resources page for more information on how consumers and retailers are being impacted by the coronavirus, and check out trends from past Easter holidays.

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