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A record 170 million people plan to celebrate Halloween this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2012 Halloween consumer spending survey, conducted by BIGinsight.
Seven in 10 Americans (71.5 percent) will get into the Halloween mood, up from 68.6 percent from last year, and the most in NRF’s 10-year survey history. The average person will spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $72.31 last year, with total spending expected to reach $8 billion.
“By the time Halloween rolls around each year it’s safe to say Americans have already spent two months preparing for one of the fastest-growing and most widely-loved holidays of the year,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO for the Washington, D.C.-based NRF. “Retailers know that when it comes to Halloween, new costume ideas for children, adults and pets, and the latest in home and yard décor top people’s shopping lists. We expect retailers to stock their shelves well ahead of time to capture the attention of eager holiday shoppers.”
Consumers said their main source for costume inspiration is retail stores and costume shops. More than one-third (35.7 percent) will look for new ideas in a store and nearly one-quarter (23.7 percent) will turn to their friends and family. Social media will also play a role in choosing costumes, as 15.2 percent will check out Facebook for inspiration, 7.1 percent will scour the visually-appealing Pinterest, and 33.3 will use web searches. Of those buying or making costumes, the average person will spend $28.65 on costumes this year, up slightly from $26.52 in 2011.
Families with children who plan to dress up for the holiday will spend a total of $1.1 billion on their children’s costumes, up slightly from $1 billion last year. Adults will spend $1.4 billion on their own costumes this year, up from $1.2 billion in 2011. Pet owners plan to shell out $370 million on pint-sized costumes, up from $310 million in 2011.
“Almost as soon as people bring down their fall and winter apparel from the top shelves in their closets, Halloween becomes top of mind,” said Phil Rist, executive VP, Strategic Initiatives, BIGinsight. “There’s certainly pent-up demand for having some fun this year and shoppers are planning to spend their hard-earned dollars on items that help them get into the Halloween spirit.”
Despite record spending figures for this year’s Halloween holiday, one-fourth of U.S. consumers (25.9 percent) said the state of the economy will impact their Halloween plans. To compensate, 18 percent will make a costume instead of buying one, and more than one-third (36.1 percent) will buy less candy.
NRF’s 2012 Halloween consumer spending survey polled 9,393 consumers from Sept. 5-11.