Halloween Is Hot: We'll Dress Up At Record Levels


Looks like America is longing for the Great Pumpkin this year: A new study from the National Retail Federation predicts that Halloween spending will jump to $5.8 billion, with the typical adult plunking down $66.28 -- up $10 from last year.

This year, it's not just about the little ghouls. Four of 10 adults -- the most in the survey's history -- plan to dress in costume, up from 33% last year. And 11.5% of those in the survey will get their pets into the spirit of the holiday. (Petsmart already has a photo contest going, and its Howl-O-Ween Shop is featuring a Martha Stewart Mummy Dog costume, tandem looks, so you and your dog can dress alike, and canine lobster suits.)

In all, the survey predicts that 148 million -- or 64% of us -- will celebrate somehow, with 72% planning to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters, 50% decorating their home or yard, and 46% carving a pumpkin. They'll spend the most on costumes ($23.37), followed by candy ($20.29), decorations ($18.66) and greeting cards ($3.95).



Marketers, naturally, are lining up for their share of that spending. Hostess, for example, is running a "Hand Out Hostess On Halloween" promotion, offering a $1 million jackpot, as well as other prizes -- including the chance to be drawn in to the cover of a DC Comics comic book cover.

Its Justice League-themed snack cakes feature DC Comics' Super Heroes Green Lantern, The Flash, Superman, and Batman.

The NRF, which conducted the survey with BIGResearch and included 9,300 adults, attributes some of the increase to timing. Since the holiday falls on a Sunday, families have all weekend to celebrate.

Young adults, as usual, are most eager to say boo, with 69.4% of 18-to-24-year-olds planning to dress up, 55.4% either throwing or attending a party, and 38.6% planning to visit a haunted house.

Retailer Party City predicts that modern-day vampires, 1980s throwback costumes (think Madonna and Cyndi Lauper), as well as looks inspired by Lady Gaga and "Jersey Shore" cast members, will be among the most popular.

Some trick-or-treaters are still spooked by the economy, though. The NRF says almost a third plan to cut back because of the economy, spending less overall.

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