Fourth of July Spectacular

Independence DayTomorrow is the 4th of July, a holiday celebrating American independence, fireworks, and backyard BBQs. And like any good American holiday, consumers are ready to spend some money. The National Retail Federation (NRF) has been conducting its annual Independence Day survey with Prosper Insights & Analytics since 2003. The survey looks at the spending habits of consumers for holiday by different categories. According to the latest survey, 86 percent of Americans plan to celebrate Independence Day this year in some form or another. So just how are Americans planning on celebrating?

NRF breaks down the options into four main buckets of celebration. The largest bucket is cookout/BBQ/picnic, with 61 percent of respondents indicating they will celebrate in this fashion. Forty percent of respondents will watch fireworks or go to a community celebration, 14 percent will travel or go on vacation, and 11 percent will attend a parade. All of these categories, except for travel are down from 2018.

With the categories clearly defined, how much money are these 86 percent of people spending? The largest category for spending is on food items, with average per person spending reaching $73.33. While this is down slightly from the $75.35 spent last year, it still adds up to a whopping $6.78 billion in total. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, Americans will also spend more than $1 billion on fireworks.

With spending out of the way, I wanted to leave you with a few things you didn’t know about the Fourth of July.

  • Massachusetts was the first state to recognize holiday, with making it an official holiday in 1781.
  • The shortest Fourth of July parade takes place in Aptos, CA, covering just over a half mile.
  • There are around 15,000 fireworks displays every year, and this does not include the countless unsanctioned or approved displays by your average neighbor.
  • Three presidents have died on July 4th: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams (both in 1826), and James Monroe in 1831.

Lastly, with the holiday, there will be no news roundup this week. So, I’ll leave you with an interesting news story I came across.

Amazon, in a short period of time, has officially become its own biggest shipper. The company made a concerted effort to reduce its reliance on traditional shippers for home delivery and built out its own logistics network on private fleet. As a result, over the last two years, its use of FedEx and UPS has remained relatively flat; however, USPS has seen a drastic reduction in use. The USPS used to deliver roughly 61 percent of Amazon shipments. That number is now 33.3 percent Amazon, which only two years ago handled about 18 percent of deliveries now handles 47.6 percent. I’m guessing this is a trend that is not going to change any time soon.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the holiday, the weekend, and the song of the week, James Brown’s Living in America.

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