Halloween Happenings At 10-Year High


The National Retail Federation says 161 million people -- the highest in the 10-year history of its survey -- plan to get their ghoul on this Halloween, and are expected to spend $6.86 billion.  

The survey, conducted by NRF and BIGresearch, reports that seven in 10 Americans -- or 69.6% -- will celebrate, up from 63.8% in last year's survey. Spending is also expected to rise, with the average person ponying up $72.31 on decorations, costumes and candy -- up from $66.28 last year. Those in the Northeast are most likely to observe the day, and those in the South the least.

It looks like consumers are really eager to have some fun, with 43.9% planning to dress up in costume (up from 40.1% in 2010), and 34.3% either throwing or attending a party (compared with 33.3% last year). Some 73.5% will hand out goodies to local goblins, 49.5% will decorate their homes, 47.8% will carve a pumpkin, and 32.9% will take children trick-or-treating.



Americans are expected to 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. And of course, the 15% who plan to dress up Fido and Fluffy will spend $310 million on pet costumes.

Plans for ghastly décor include a big bump in life-size skeletons, extra large inflatable pumpkins and fake cobwebs, amounting to $19.79 of total spending. And they plan to spend $21.05 on candy.

The survey also found that despite bigger plans than last year, consumers are still cautious, with 32.1% saying the U.S. economy is scaring them out of spending. Of those, 87.1% say they will try to spend less overall. And 40.2% say they will hand out less candy.

Retailers are already catering to the value-conscious, with Walmart touting "Spook more. Spend less." items on its home page, Sears and Kmart offering up to 25% off its "Totally Ghoul" products, and Petsmart cutting 20% from pooch and kitty costumes.

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