Nearly 158 million consumers will participate in Halloween activities this year, slightly less than the survey high of 170 million people in 2012. Those celebrating will also trim their budgets, with the average celebrant expected to spend $75.03 on décor, costumes, candy and fun, down from $79.82 last year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Overall, average spending on Halloween has increased 54.7% since 2005, with total spending estimated to reach $6.9 billion in 2013.
“Still one of the most beloved and anticipated consumer holidays, Halloween will be far from a bust this year,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “After a long summer, the arrival of fall will put millions of Americans in the spirit to partake in traditional and festive activities. Retailers recognize that when it comes to Halloween, consumers’ creativity abounds. We expect retailers to stock their shelves with unique costume ideas for adults, children and pets, a variety of candy options and never-seen-before home and yard decor.”
One of the most cherished parts of the consumer holiday – dressing in costume – will once again be popular with celebrants. According to the survey, 43.6% of people plan to dress up and will spend a total of $2.6 billion on traditional and awe-inspiring costumes. Specifically, consumers will shell out $1.04 billion on children’s costumes, and $1.22 billion on adult costumes.
When it comes to pets, 13.8% of those celebrating will take the extra time to find the perfect costume for their favorite four-legged friend, and will spend approximately $330 million.
Additionally, celebrants will spend $2.08 billion on candy and $360 million on greeting cards. Second only to Christmas in terms of spending on decorations, Americans will spend $1.96 billion on life-size skeletons, fake cob webs, mantle pieces and other festive decorations.
For the first time, NRF asked when people will begin shopping for Halloween. According to the survey, nearly one-third (32.8%) begin shopping before September 30. An additional 67.2% of consumers will shop in October. Specifically, 43.6% will begin the first two weeks in October and 23.6% will wait until the final two weeks of the month.
When it comes to inspiration for costume ideas, one-third (32.9%) will search for costume ideas online, another third (32.8%) will look for new ideas in a store, and one-fifth (20.8%) will seek advice from friends or family. Additionally, 14.1% will check Facebook for inspiration and 3.8% will review blogs.
Nearly one in 10 (9.3%) will scour the visually-appealing Pinterest for costume ideas, up from 7.1% last year. Of those buying or making costumes, the average person will spend $27.85 similar to the $28.65 spent last year.
There are a variety of ways Americans will celebrate this year, with handing out candy being the most popular (72.0%). Others will carve a pumpkin (44.2%), visit a haunted house (20.3%), take their child trick-or-treating (31.7%) and decorate their home and/or yard (47.5%). Three in 10 (30.9%) will make the most of the holiday by attending or hosting a party.
Despite the anticipation of the popular fall event, one-fourth of U.S. consumers (25.2%) say the state of the economy will impact their Halloween spending plans — nearly nine in 10 (86.1%) will spend less overall, up slightly from 83.5% last year. Additionally, 32.7% will buy less candy and 18.1% will make a costume instead of buying one.[Source: "Halloween Spending Survey." National Retail Federation (NRF)/Prosper Insights & Analytics. 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.]