Americans to Spend $2.87 Billion on Halloween Costumes This Year

This Halloween, trick-​or-​treaters, party-​goers and pampered pets will be dressing up in traditional spooky style with pumpkin, princess, witch and vampire costumes taking the top spots in NRF’s 2012 Top Costumes survey conducted by BIGinsight. 

Nearly six million adults plan to dress as a witch this year, and 3.2 million will dress as vampires. For kids, princess costumes take the number one spot (9.7%), with Batman (5.4%) and Spider-​Man (4.6%) taking number two and three. When it comes to those planning a costume for their four-​legged friends, 12.7% of people are sticking with the most traditional of all costumes – a pet-​friendly pumpkin.

Americans are expected to spend $2.87 billion on Halloween costumes this year according to a recent NRF survey, spending over $1.1 billion on children’s costumes, $1.4 billion on adult costumes, and $370 million on pet costumes. The average person will spend $79.82 on Halloween candy, costumes and décor, bringing total spending to $8 billion — the most in the survey’s ten-​year history.

Choosing a costume is one of the most entertaining parts of Halloween,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “With many families on the hunt for adult, child and pet costumes this year, retailers are making sure they’ve got their shelves fully stocked with a wide variety of costumes, including the traditional and even the not-​so-​traditional garbs inspired by Hollywood and even pop-culture.”

Not surprisingly, many consumers are looking to recent and forthcoming events for their 2012 costume ideas. Over one million adults and kids will dress as some type of athlete this year, a nod perhaps to the London Olympics. And with the election looming in early November, over 767,000 Halloween party-​goers will don some type of political costume.

With nearly one in ten celebrants taking their costume cues from current events, we’ll see plenty of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney look-​alikes out-​and-​about for Halloween,” said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director, Pam Goodfellow. “However, we expect these ‘rivals’ will be able to find some common ground over the punch bowl or a bag of candy.”

As in previous years, man’s best friend won’t be left-​out of the Halloween celebrations.  The most popular pet costume will be a pumpkin (12.7%), with devils (6.9%) and hot dogs (5.7%) following closely behind.

[Source:  "2012 Top Costumes survey."  BIGinsight/​National Retail Federation (NRF).  27 Sept. 2012.  Web.  1 Oct. 2012.]