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WASHINGTON -- As consumers begin to dust off their brooms and witch's hats, retailers everywhere are stocking up on spooky merchandise in anticipation of the most haunting day of the year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). The NRF 2005 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found that consumers are expected to spend $3.29 billion on Halloween this year, up 5.4 percent from $3.12 billion in 2004. Much of the increase in spending is expected to come from young adults.
According to the survey, more than half of consumers (52.5 percent) plan to celebrate Halloween this year, with the average person spending $48.48 on merchandise, up from $43.57 last year. Candy remains a holiday staple, with the average person planning to spend $18.07 on sweets and most consumers (94.6 percent) planning to purchase in that category. Halloween maintains its spot as one of the biggest decorating holidays of the year, second only to Christmas, with 59.8 percent of consumers planning to purchase decorations and almost half (47 percent) expected to decorate their home or yard.
"For many retailers, Halloween represents the big kickoff to the fourth quarter," said NRF president and c.e.o. Tracy Mullin. "Consumers are pulling out all of the stops when it comes to decorating their homes and yards and wearing elaborate costumes, making Halloween an important holiday for retailers."
Halloween remains a favorite holiday among young adults, proving that some consumers are never too old to play dress-up. A huge spending surge is expected to come from young adults ages 18 to 24, who will increase their spending by 30 percent this year over last ($50.75 average this year vs. $38.90 last year). Additionally, spending by 25- to 34-year-olds is expected to rise 13.9 percent ($62.45 vs. $54.80).
Halloween remains the sixth-largest spending holiday after winter holidays ($435.3 billion estimated), Valentine's Day ($13.19 billion), Easter ($9.6 billion), Mother's Day ($11.43 billion), and Father's Day ($8.23 billion). Because it's not a gift-giving holiday or an apparel holiday, it ranks lower than other annual holidays in terms of spending.
The NRF 2005 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Halloween. The survey, which polled 8,106 consumers, was conducted for NRF by BIGresearch from Sept. 7 to Sept. 14. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.