WASHINGTON, D.C. — Total Halloween spending is expected to reach a record $10.6 billion, exceeding last year's record of $10.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
Participation in Halloween-related activities will resume to pre-pandemic levels, with 69 percent of consumers planning to celebrate the holiday this year, up from 65 percent in 2021 and comparable to 68 percent in 2019, according to NRF's annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.
"Halloween is an exciting time for many families, and that enthusiasm is reflected in the number of Americans who plan to celebrate the holiday this year," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday a fun and memorable one."
Overall, the NRF's survey found that consumers plan to spend $100 on average for Halloween candy, décor, cards and costumes. This amount is on par with last year’s record of $103 and is the second highest in the survey's history.
The top ways consumers plan to celebrate include handing out candy (67 percent), decorating their home or yard (51 percent), dressing up in costume (47 percent), carving a pumpkin (44 percent) and throwing or attending a Halloween party (28 percent).
Similar to last year, one in five plan to dress their pet up in a costume.
While total spending on costumes, decorations and candy is expected to reach record levels, there was a slight drop in spending on greeting cards. Unsurprisingly, costumes account for the biggest area of Halloween purchases, NRF stated.
Spending on kids' and adult costumes is expected to total $2.9 billion, the highest amount since 2017. Pet spending is expected to exceed last year's record high, reaching $710 million.
Early Consumer Shopping
Similar to recent years, Halloween enthusiasts will once again start their shopping early, with nearly half or 47 percent beginning in September or earlier. Forty percent plan to purchase their items at discount stores, 36 percent will go to specialty Halloween or costume stores and 31 percent will shop online, according to NRF.
The research also stressed that the leading source of Halloween costume inspiration comes from online searches (36 percent,) while one-quarter say they will look within retail stores and 19 percent will get ideas from friends and family.
"Social media is playing an increasingly important role in consumer behavior, and Halloween is no different," said Phil Rist, Prosper Insights & Analytics executive vice president of strategy. "Younger consumers, particularly those under the age of 25, will look to platforms like Instagram and TikTok for costume inspiration this year."
The survey asked 8,283 consumers about Halloween shopping plans. It was conducted from Sept. 1-6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.
Washington, D.C.-based NRF is the world's largest retail trade association. Retail is the nation's largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual gross domestic product and supporting one in four U.S. jobs.