Easter spending is down slightly from last year, but it's still expected to boost the retail industry by nearly $16 billion this year.

A consumer survey from the National Retail Federation found Americans will spend an average of about $137 on items such as groceries, candy and apparel for the spring holiday. That's about $7 less than what they planned to shell out last year.

"The winter doldrums left consumers with a lot of pent-up demand, and though many Americans may take a cautious approach to spending on Easter items this year, retailers are anticipating that warmer weather will easily put consumers in the mood to buy bright clothes, holiday decorations and more," said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO.

The biggest portion of consumers' Easter budget will go toward the Sunday feast, which injects about $5 billion into the grocery industry. Spending on spring apparel is expected to reach about $2.6 billion.

More Toast

Toast of Charleston, a peninsular breakfast spot on Meeting Street that's popular among tourists, has expanded to Flowertown. Toast of Summerville at 717 Trolley Road will have a preopening brunch at 9 a.m. Sunday and a grand opening at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Designs on King

The monthly Design Walk on Upper King Street will be 5-8 p.m. Thursday. The event highlights retailers and galleries on the peninsula's commercial strip that's mostly populated by bars and restaurants. Art Mecca of Charleston, Seeking Indigo, Michael Mitchell and SieMatic will participate this week, and most will offer refreshments, live music or samples of their offerings.


Biggby Coffee, a national coffee shop chain based in Lansing, Mich., has a third Lowcountry shop in the works. Franchise owner Kaleido Sky LLC has leased a space at 514 St. James Ave. in Goose Creek. Other local Biggby Coffee shops are in Summerville and North Charleston. They're owned by a different franchisee.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail