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Easter Brings in Big Bucks

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It's not what most might think of at Easter, but the spring holiday rakes in big retail dollars. In fact, it's the third biggest shopping holiday behind Christmas and Valentine's Day. But this year, sales may dip because it's coming a little early.

$10.5 billion. That's how much consumers spent last year during the Easter holiday. The average shopper will spend about $50 on clothes. But the National Retail Federation predicts clothing sales will be slightly down this year due to Easter's early arrival.

"I think they are waiting a little bit for better weather. It's always exciting when you come into the mall and see the spring colors and it's the change of the season, but it does appear that they're waiting," said Joan Ghani, Marketing Director with Post Oak Mall. She says despite the un-springlike temperatures, sales at the mall should hold steady.

The spending doesn't just stop at buying new clothes. Many consumers spend tons of money buying gifts and candy to fill up an Easter basket.

"Just for Easter baskets, I spend $200 to $300 on average," said June Huff, an Easter shopper.

Leslie Contreras has worked at Keta's Hallmark for nearly 20 years. She says sales this year have been pretty steady and the items to make Easter baskets are hot sellers.

"We have a lot of moms come in to get stuff for baskets and they can spend up to $30 or $40 on three or four kids. Mostly cards and a lot of people go for really traditional little lambs or bunnies to put in their baskets or they're looking for the home decor," said Contreras.

Chocolate bunnies and cakes are also popular items for families celebrating Easter. The National Retail Federation says consumers spend a third of their Easter budget on food and candy.

So be prepared to spend a little money if your family is expecting a visit from the Easter Bunny.

KBTX Online Easter Feature