Halloween Expected To Spawn Monster Sales

Clowns, witches, pirates and dinosaurs better get ready. The National Retail Federation’s new Halloween spending forecast predicts strong spending in the weeks ahead, with spending passing 2019’s pre-pandemic levels.

The Washington D.C,-based trade association says spending will likely hit $10.6 billion this year, up from last year’s record $10.1 billion. It expects 69% of consumers to find some way to get their ghoul on, up from 65% last year. (Last year at this time, even though most parents gave outdoor trick-or-treating the thumbs up, COVID’s Delta variant threw a wrench into many other celebrations.)

On a per-person basis, the survey predicts average spending of $100, including candy, décor, cards and costumes. That’s down a bit from $103, but it's still the second-highest total since the NRF launched the survey.



The category that will trigger the most spending will be costumes, as usual, estimated to reach $2.9 billion. And spending on pets’ get-ups is predicated to reach $710 million.

More than 5.3 million people intend to dress as a witch this year. Spirit Halloween, the seasonal retailer, agrees that it really is the season of the witch and is foretelling an extra-intense interest in classic costumes from “Hocus Pocus.”

Spirit, opening a record 1,460 locations this year, is also expecting a run on TV-and-film-inspired looks, including inspirations such as "Ted Lasso," "Stranger Things" and "Yellowstone."

That extends to horror classics, including "Killer Klowns," and plenty honoring Freddy, Jason and Chucky.

The NRF also predicts plenty of vampires, ghosts and pirates. Curiously, 1.2 million will dress up as a cat.

Cats are also putting on costumes, along with dogs. The most popular: pumpkins, hot dogs, bats, bumblebees -- and, of course, witches.

Among kids, top costumes are likely to include Spiderman, Batman and other superheroes, along with various ghosts, princesses and witches.

The survey finds that 67% of adults plan to hand out candy, 51% decorate their home or yard and 33% carve a pumpkin. Meanwhile, 28% expect to go to a Halloween party.

NRF, which runs the survey with Prosper Insights & Analytics, included 8,200 people in its poll.

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