Record Number to Celebrate Halloween This Year

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Ghouls and gob­lins galore, Hal­loween cel­e­bra­tions will be BOOm­ing this year as more peo­ple than ever are expect­ed to par­take in tra­di­tion­al fes­tiv­i­ties. Accord­ing to NRF’s 2011 Hal­loween Con­sumer Inten­tions and Actions Sur­vey con­duct­ed by BIGre­search, sev­en in 10 Amer­i­cans (68.6%) plan to cel­e­brate Hal­loween, up from 63.8% last year and the most in NRF’s 10-year sur­vey his­to­ry. Those cel­e­brat­ing are expect­ed to spend slight­ly more too; the aver­age per­son will shell out $72.31 on dec­o­ra­tions, cos­tumes and can­dy, up from $66.28 in 2010. Total Hal­loween spend­ing is expect­ed to reach $6.86 bil­lion.

Eager to shake off the sum­mer heat and for­get about the econ­o­my for a few days, Amer­i­cans are look­ing for­ward to hav­ing some fun this Hal­loween,” said NRF Pres­i­dent and CEO Matthew Shay. “Many retail­ers have already stocked their shelves with Hal­loween mer­chan­dise and, giv­en the pop­u­lar­i­ty of the hol­i­day this year, con­sumers should not hes­i­tate when they find some­thing that would make their cel­e­bra­tion com­plete.”

The sur­vey found this year’s cel­e­bra­tions will be far from tem­pered as more peo­ple plan to dress in cos­tume (43.9% vs. 40.1% in 2010), throw or attend a par­ty (34.3% vs. 33.3% last year) and vis­it a haunt­ed house (22.9% vs. 20.8% in 2010.) Addi­tion­al­ly, half (49.5%) will dec­o­rate their home/yard and 14.7 per­cent will dress their pets in cos­tume. Oth­er tra­di­tion­al cel­e­bra­to­ry activ­i­ties include hand­ing out can­dy (73.5%), carv­ing a pump­kin (47.8%) and tak­ing chil­dren trick-or-treating (32.9%).

With cel­e­bra­tions increas­ing, spend­ing is expect­ed to slight­ly increase across the board as well. The aver­age con­sumer is expect­ed to spend $26.52 on cos­tumes. This year, Amer­i­cans will spend $1 bil­lion on children’s cos­tumes, up from $840 mil­lion last year, and $1.21 bil­lion on adult cos­tumes, up from $990 mil­lion last year. Addi­tion­al­ly, pet own­ers will shell out $310 mil­lion on pint size dev­ils, pump­kins and witch cos­tumes.

When it comes to dec­o­ra­tions, more peo­ple this year than in the survey’s his­to­ry will buy life-size skele­tons, extra large inflat­able pump­kins and fake cob webs, spend­ing an aver­age of $19.79. Spend­ing on Hal­loween décor is sec­ond only to spend­ing on Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions. Fes­tive cel­e­brants will also buy can­dy ($21.05) and greet­ing cards ($4.96.)

Thanks to cre­ative cos­tumes and décor for con­sumers of all ages, Hal­loween has become one of the most antic­i­pat­ed hol­i­days of the year for many peo­ple,” said Pam Good­fel­low, Con­sumer Insights Direc­tor, BIGre­search. “As a non-gift hol­i­day, even peo­ple on the strictest bud­get can enjoy them­selves this Hal­loween.”

Con­sumers aren’t com­plete­ly blow­ing cau­tion to the wind this year, how­ev­er. Accord­ing to the sur­vey, near­ly one-third (32.1%) say the state of the U.S. econ­o­my will impact their Hal­loween plans. To com­pen­sate, most say they will try to spend less over­all (87.1%). Oth­ers will make a cos­tume instead of pur­chas­ing one (18.9%), use last year’s cos­tume (16.6%) and buy less can­dy (40.2%.)

[Source:  "2011 Hal­loween Con­sumer Inten­tions and Actions Sur­vey."  BIGresearch/National Retail Fed­er­a­tion (NRF).  28 Sept. 2011.  Web.  28 Sept. 2011.]