Halloween Not Scaring Shoppers

It appears there’s no spooking Halloween shoppers this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Halloween consumer spending survey, which shows that a record 170 million people plan to celebrate the holiday.

The NRF survey, conducted by BigInsight, shows that seven in 10 Americans, or 71.5 percent, plan to celebrate Halloween next month, up from 68.6 percent in 2011 and the highest number in NRF’s 10-year survey history.

And consumers are expecting to spend more too, with the average person planning to spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $72.31 last year, with total Halloween spending expected to reach $8 billion.

“By the time Halloween rolls around each year it’s safe to say Americans have already spent two months preparing for one of the fastest-growing and most widely-loved holidays of the year,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF.

Most shoppers will get Halloween costume ideas from retail stores, with a smaller percentage reporting that they will look for inspiration from friends and family or online via social channels such as Facebook and Pinterest.

“Almost as soon as people bring down their fall and winter apparel from the top shelves in their closets, Halloween becomes top of mind,” says Phil Rist, executive vice president, strategic initiatives, BigInsight. “There’s certainly pent-up demand for having some fun this year, and shoppers are planning to spend their hard-earned dollars on items that help them get into the Halloween spirit.”

Families with children will spend a total of $1.1 billion on kid’s costumes, but adults will out-do them, spending $1.4 billion on Halloween get-ups. Both numbers are up slightly from last year, but the biggest growth category is pet costumes where consumers report that they will spend a total of $370 million on costumes for their animals, up $60 million from 2011.