The Boo Boom: Halloween To Set New Records

With Halloween falling on a Friday, two different surveys are predicting a major bounce in this year’s boo-a-thon. The National Retail Federation forecasts spending this year will total $7.4 billion, with a record 67.4% of revelers planning to dress in costume. And a report from the International Council of Shopping Centers is even more upbeat, estimating that spending will come in at $11.3 billion.

The NRF survey, conducted by Prosper Insights and based on responses from 6,300 adults, says the average celebrant will spend about $77.52 this Halloween, up from $75.03 last year. 

Spending on costumes is expected to be $2.8 billion, with kids accounting for $1.1 billion, and pets $350 million.

And increasingly, consumers are turning to online sources for costume inspiration, with 34.2% saying they will surf the Web for ideas. Specifically, 11.4% plan to peruse Pinterest, up from 9% last year. Among young adults 18 to 24, that percentage rises to 21.2%, and among the 25-to-34 crowd, 21%.



The International Council of Shopping Centers’ survey, based on 1,000 adults, turned up even higher participation and spending numbers, estimating that 74% of U.S. households intend to buy Halloween items this year, with the average household spending $125. And 80% plan to spend the same or more when compared with last year’s hauntings.

“Halloween has continued to grow in importance over the past several years and consumer demand has driven retailers to place greater emphasis on the holiday,” says the ICSC in its release. “The fact that consumers are willing to spend more on discretionary purchases is a positive sign for the upcoming holiday shopping season.”

But they are looking for bargains, with 34% of spending expected to take place at discounters, 18% at supermarkets, 13% at clothing and costume ships; 11% at drug stores and 9% at wholesale clubs. While 90% say they prefer to make their purchases in person, 41% will do online research beforehand. And an estimated 7% of Halloween spending is expected to go through online channels.

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