Iowa State retail specialist forecasts a record high Fourth of July ahead for Iowa retailers

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Ron Prescott, the retail and small business specialist with Iowa State's Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development and Department of Economics, used to serve on the board of directors of the Wheatsfield Cooperative in Ames. Photo by Bob Elbert, ISU News Service

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa retailers should see an increase in Fourth of July holiday sales according to Ron Prescott, retail and small business specialist with Iowa State University's Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development and Department of Economics.

Based upon the most recent data released by the National Retail Federation (NRF), Prescott reports that a record number of Americans will be celebrating the Fourth this year.

"I think local Iowa retailers will see an increase in sales this holiday, with greater attendance at local Fourth of July celebrations," Prescott said. 

The survey, he says, indicates that 67.7 percent of all Americans will be planning/attending a cookout, barbecue or picnic this holiday. Nine and a half million more Americans will be enjoying hot dogs, soda pop and other Fourth of July favorites compared to last year's respondents.  (Over 33 percent of all hot dogs consumed this Fourth of July originated in Iowa.)

"With a projected 6 percent increase in holiday spending this year, Iowa may be in position for July 2012 net sales revenue to nudge the record high Iowa sales revenue in May 2012 of $794.5 million," said Prescott.

Consumable items are not the only area where increased sales will be seen in Iowa. An estimated 20 million more Americans will be purchasing patriotic merchandise this holiday than in 2009.

"As a veteran, it was great to see that 64.7 percent of Americans own an American flag, which is also a survey high for this Fourth of July," he said.

Prescott says three major Fourth of July activities -- cookout/barbeque/picnic, fireworks/community celebration and attending a parade -- are all projected to see increases over past years according to the NRF report (see below).

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