Consumer Spending on Halloween to Top $8B

WASHINGTON, D.C. — American consumers are looking to splurge on their favorite candy and costumes this Halloween, as total spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

This Halloween, consumer spending is expected to reach an all-time high in the survey’s history, the retail association revealed. On average, U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $82.93 vs. $74.34 in 2015, with more than 171 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities this year.

“After a long summer, families are excited to welcome the fall season celebrating Halloween,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers are preparing for the day by offering a wide variety of options in costumes, decorations and candy, while being aggressive with their promotions to capture the most out of this shopping event.”

According to the survey, consumers plan to spend $3.1 billion on costumes (purchased by 67 percent of Halloween shoppers), $2.5 billion on candy (94.3 percent), $2.4 billion on decorations (70 percent) and $390 million on greeting cards (35.4 percent).

When it comes to preparation, 71 percent of consumers plan to hand out candy, decorate their home or yard (49 percent), dress in costume (47 percent), carve a pumpkin (46 percent), throw or attend a party (34 percent), take their children trick-or-treating (30 percent), visit a haunted house (21 percent) or dress their pet(s) in costume (16 percent).

Consumers will use online resources (35 percent) and make in-store visits (29 percent) to search for the perfect costume inspiration. Social media will also play an influencer in consumers' quest, particularly Pinterest and Facebook (both tied at 17 percent). Some other places for inspiration include friends/family (19 percent), pop culture (16 percent) and print media (14 percent).

“Consumers are eager to celebrate Halloween, especially given that eight in 10 Americans will shop by mid-October. That is the highest we have seen in the survey history,” Prosper Insights Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow stated. “Americans will enjoy taking advantage of early-bird promotions both online and in-store as they kick off the fall season.”

When it comes to where consumers will shop for the season, 47 percent of shoppers will visit discount stores to buy their Halloween-related items this year and 36 percent will visit a specialty Halloween/costume store, up from 33 percent last year. In addition, 26 percent of customers will visit grocery stores/supermarkets, 23 percent will visit department stores and 22 percent will shop online.

The Halloween shopping plans survey was conducted Sept. 6 through Sept. 13. More than 6,000 consumers were surveyed.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NRF a retail trade association representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. 

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