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by Brook Stockberger

Las Cruces — Are any chocolate bunnies or marshmallow peeps in your immediate future?

While it doesn’t have the weeks of buildup of Christmas and it doesn’t drive single-day sales as well as Valentine’s Day, Easter can still be big business.

According to National Retail Federation’s 2010 Easter Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, Easter celebrants will spend about $13.03 billion on the holiday.

That comes out to $118.60 per person.

“With signs of spring popping up everywhere, shoppers are eager to get their hands on bright, colorful Easter merchandise,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. “Warmer weather and special holiday promotions are the perfect mix to get people out of their homes and into stores as spring approaches.”

Some Las Cruces business owners say that Easter is not the economic driver that other days of the year are, but they are happy to see any bump in customer traffic.

“In a limited way, we do see more people,” said Nancy Hogan with the Coach House Gifts store in the Mesilla Valley Mall. “But we do see more people coming in.”

She said Easter cards have been a hot seller and the yearly plush toy brings in customers.

Linda Jackson, owner of The Chocolate Lady on the Mesilla plaza, said that sales of chocolate candy has a limited increase for the holiday.

Read complete article.

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