Economy robs the Easter basket, not the spirit - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Economy robs the Easter basket, not the spirit

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- The recession is robbing the Easter basket. A survey from the national retail federation says consumers will spend about 21-dollars less this year on easter merchandise and food.

It turns our people are still spending, Just spending less. After all, everyone likes a chocolate bunny or an easter sunday outfit. Easter spirit beats out the struggling economy.

It's Good Friday and things are looking good at Hartig Drug in Dubuque. Mid morning people hunting for the perfect candy.

"Everyone being off on good friday they tend to come in," said Casey Reekie, owner of Knippel's Religious Goods.

Meanwhile over at Knippel's, Good friday means business.

"Religion is a tradition that people like to carry on," said Reekie.

Owners say Holy Week is their busiest time -- In fact 60 percent of their sales happens between mid March and May - Easter followed by first communion season.

"We're getting more customers, spending less. So we're working a lot harder for the same dollar," said Reekie.

And national trends show the same. Spending is expected to fall 14-percent from last year. Despite trends, some say there's never anything wrong with a little easter cheer.

"I think everyone, even with the economy the way it is, still needs to have that lift of that spring in their step," said Vicky Althoff, store manager at Hartig.

Whether you're celebrating spring or the resurrection of jesus.

"It's nice to see that people still have traditions and that the sacraments and rituals of easter is still important to a lot of people," said Reekie.

To give you a comparison, Knippels says Good Friday for them is as busy as "black friday" for most stores.

The survey also shows most shoppers intend to buy Easter items at discount stores. Also on the rise, the percentage of people planning to have Sunday's holiday meal at home rather than going out.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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