• Halloween spending to reach $9 billion

    By Staff Reports -

    Once again, Americans look forward to splurge on their favorite candy, costumes and decorations during the Halloween season. 

    According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, total spending for Halloween is expected to reach $9 billion, the second highest in the survey’s 14-year history. The figure is relatively the same as last year’s previous record of $9.1 billion.

    Celebrants are planning to spend an average of $86.79, up from last year’s $86.13, with more than 175 million Americans who plan to partake in Halloween festivities this year. 

    “The economy is good and consumer confidence is high, so families are ready to spend on Halloween this year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers are stocking up to supply children,pets and adults with their favorite decorations, candy and costumes for the season.”

    According to the survey, consumers plan to spend $3.2 billion on costumes purchased by 68 percent of Halloween shoppers, $2.7 billion on decorations at 74 percent, $2.6 billion on candy at 95 percent and $400 million on greeting cards at 35 percent.

    Among Halloween celebrants, 70 percent plan to hand out candy, 50 percent will decorate their home or yard, 48 percent will wear costumes, 45 percent will carve a pumpkin, 32 percent will throw or attend a party, 30 percent will take their children trick-or-treating, 21 percent will visit a haunted house and 18 percent will dress pets in costumes.

    Pet costumes continue to gain popularity, with nearly 20 percent of celebrants planning to dress their pets in costumes this year up from last year’s 16 percent.

    “One of the biggest trends this year is the growth of spending on pet costumes,” said Prosper Insights executive vice president of strategy Phil Rist. “Out of the 31.3 million Americans planning to dress their pets in costumes, millennials – 25-34 year olds – are most likely to dress up their pets, the highest we have seen in the history of our surveys.”

    When looking for inspiration for the perfect costume, 35 percent of consumers will look online, 29 percent will look in stores, 19 percent will ask friends and family, 19 percent will look to Pinterest and 16 percent will look to Facebook; 16 percent will be influenced by pop culture and 15 percent by YouTube.

    For buying costumes and other Halloween supplies, 45 percent of shoppers will visit discount stores and 35 percent will go to a specialty Halloween store or costume store. In addition, 25 percent will visit department stores, 24 percent will buy online and 24 percent in grocery/supermarket stores.

    Top costumes

    More than 3.8 million children plan to dress as their favorite princess character, 2.5 million as their favorite superhero, 2.2 million as Batman characters, 1.9 million as their favorite Star Wars characters, and another 1.9 million will dress as a witch.

    Top costumes for children include:

    • Princess at 7.6 percent.

    • Superhero at 4.9 percent.

    • Batman at 4.3 percent.

    • Star Wars character at 3.7 percent.

    • Witch at 3.6 percent.

    • Spider-Man at 3.5 percent.

    • Avengers character, excluding Spider-Man, at 3.2 percent.

    • Ghost at 2.9 percent.

    • Pirate at 2 percent.

    • Frozen character at 1.7 percent

    Halloween continues to be popular for adults, as well, with half of celebrants or 48 percent who plan to dress in costume this year. More than 7.2 million adults plan to dress as a witch, 2.5 million as a vampire, 2.1 million as a zombie, 1.9 million as a pirate, 1.3 million as their favorite Avengers characters such as Iron Man or Black Panther.

    Top costumes for adults include:

    • Witch at 10.7 percent.

    • Vampire at 3.7 percent.

    • Zombie at 3.1 percent.

    • Pirate at 2.9 percent.

    • Avengers character, excluding Spider-Man at 2 percent.

    • Batman at 2 percent.

    • Star Wars character at 1.9 percent.

    • Ghost at 1.8 percent.

    • Super hero at 1.8 percent.

    • Clown at 1.6 percent.

    • Wonder Woman at 1.5 percent.

    Pet lovers will also dress up their cat or dog for Halloween. Eleven percent of pet lovers will dress their animal in a pumpkin costume, while 7 percent will dress their cat or dog as a hot dog, 5 percent as a bumblebee and 3 percent as the devil.

    Top costumes for pets include: 

    • Pumpkin at 11.2 percent.

    • Hot dog at 7.4 percent.

    • Bumblebee at 4.9 percent.

    • Devil at 3.2 percent.

    • Cat at 3.1 percent.

    • Dog at 3.1 percent.

    • Lion at 2.9 percent.

    Star Wars character at 2.8 percent.

    • Super hero at 2.7 percent.

    • Ghost at 2.5 percent.

    The survey asked 6,961 consumers about Halloween shopping plans. It was conducted Sept. 4-12 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

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