The average American adult will spend $79.82 on Halloween-related items such as decorations, costumes, and candy this year, up 10% from $72.31 last year, according to data released in September by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and BIGinsight. Total Halloween spending is expected to reach $8 billion, a healthy 16.6% increase from $6.86 billion last year.
This year’s per-person spend of $79.82 represents the highest figure since the NRF began the survey in 2005, when the average consumer planned to spend $48.48 on Halloween.
Record Number Will Celebrate
Some 71.5% of adults plan to celebrate Halloween this year, up from 69% in 2011, and the highest percentage on the survey’s record. This increase in celebrants includes more people planning to dress in costume (45%, up from 44% in 2011 and 40% in 2010), throw or attend a party (36.2% vs. one third last year) and visit a haunted house (24.9%, up from 23% in 2011).
In addition, slightly more than half of consumers will decorate their homes/yards and 15.1% will dress their pets in costume. Other traditional celebratory activities include handing out candy (75.7%, up more than 2% points), carving a pumpkin (50.3%, up from 48%) and taking children trick-or-treating (even with 2011 at one-third of respondents).
Costume, Decoration Spending to Rise
With the number of celebrants on the rise, spending is expected to increase across the board as well. The average consumer is expected to spend $28.65 on costumes, up 8% from $26.52 in 2011. This year, Americans will spend $1.1 billion on children’s costumes, 10% more than last year. Spending on adult costumes will increase more rapidly, by roughly 16%, to reach $1.4 billion.
When it comes to decorations, more than 7 in 10 will buy items such as life-size skeletons and inflatable pumpkins, spending an average of $23.56, up 19.1% from $19.79 in 2011. NRF research indicates spending on Halloween decorations is second only to spending on Christmas decorations. Celebrants will also buy candy ($23.27) and greeting cards ($4.34).
Economy Not as Frightening This Year
Despite record spending figures for this year’s Halloween holiday, one-quarter of respondents (25.9%) say the state of the economy will impact their Halloween plans. But, that is a marked decline from last year’s 32.1%. To compensate, those affected by the economy report that they will spend less overall (83.5%), buy less candy (36.1%), and make a costume rather than buy one (18.0%).
Retailers Lead Source Of Costume Ideas
Presuming that consumers are not simply using retailers as showrooms for costume ideas, those retailers have reason to celebrate Halloween: They are the leading source of costume ideas, reported as inspiration by 35.7% of respondents, ahead of online search, at 33.3%. Friends and family rank third as a source of inspiration, by 23.7% of respondents, followed by print media (19.3%), Facebook (15.2%) and pop culture (14.8%). Current events, Twitter and Pinterest are also sources, but 6.7% stick to the same costume each year.
About the Data: The survey was conducted for NRF by BIGinsight. The poll of 9,393 consumers was conducted from September 5-11, 2012.