The Independence Day holiday is the unofficial start of summer, and most retailers take advantage of the national holiday by offering sales designed to entice consumers to spend some money.
More than 214 million U.S. consumers will celebrate this Fourth of July by throwing or attending a cookout, barbecue or picnic in 2016, according to a National Retail Federation survey. Households are estimated to spend about $6.8 billion, or $71.34 per household, on the festivities alone. That number is a 1.4% increase from the previous year. Retail sales of fireworks are expected to reach $710 million this holiday season, according to IBISWorld.
Household spending accounts for about 70% of the U.S. economy.
"Americans are ready to kick-start summer by enjoying Independence Day with family and friends," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Whether it's low gas prices or just good weather, more people plan to celebrate this year, and that means more shoppers are online and in stores as they prepare for the festivities."
Retail and food service sales have been climbing in recent months, up 0.5% in May and 1.3% in April. Last year, July sales rose 0.6% as increased employment helped spur gains in retail and auto sales.
Retailers looking forward to the annual bump in patriotism and consumerism could see an even more robust return than usual with this year's holiday creating a three-day weekend.
Last year, auto sales experienced a 1.4% jump in July after dropping 1.5% the prior month. The industry saw the annualized sales rate climb to 17.5 million in the month from 17 million the prior month.
This year, Lowe's (LOW) is hoping to pull customers away from rival Home Depot (HD) by detailing its list of Fourth of July promotions right under Home Depot's promotions on Lowe's website.
Retailer Macy's (M) is famous for its July 4 fireworks display in New York City, as well as its holiday sales. This year the company is offering up to 75% off of clearance clothing items as it looks to get rid of winter inventory. The company is even offering an extra 20% off for purchases of more than $50.
Finally, retailer Kohl's (KSS) is also offering clearance sales for its wide-ranging inventory from furniture to apparel to electronics.
It remains to be seen whether this year's July 4 sales will be able coax Americans out of more of their money than last year. But between the BBQs, fireworks and retail sales, consumers this weekend will certainly show why the U.S. is the world's largest consumer economy.