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Halloween spending to reach near-record highs

Halloween spending to reach near-record highs

Author: Lisa Rowan 

Source: Retail Dive 

  • Shoppers plan to spend an average $86.27 on Halloween costumes and decor this year, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey. This year's total anticipated spending of $8.8 billion is expected to be the third-highest in the history of the survey, the organization said in a release emailed to Retail Dive. The survey was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for NRF.

  • Thirty-five percent of consumers surveyed said they go online to search for Halloween inspiration, while 28% reported browsing in stores. NRF reports that inspiration from social media sources has increased since 2015. Pinterest led the way for social channels, followed by YouTube and Instagram. 

  • When it's time to shop for Halloween treats, costumes and decor, 42% of consumers go to discount stores, while 36% go to Halloween specialty stores and 25% shop online. In addition, 25% go to grocery stores for Halloween items and 23% visit department stores.

​Dive Insight:

It's been two years since NRF's Halloween survey indicated a record $9.1 billion in sales for Halloween, but people are still spending for autumn's opening act to the holiday season. The individual average spend is only down 52 cents compared to last year. NRF notes that most Halloween merchandise from China was in the country before Sept. 1, when an additional 15% tariff kicked in. Only 14% of those surveyed said they would change their Halloween spending plans due to their concerns about the economy.

Pet costumes are still popular, with 29 million people planning to dress their pet up for Halloween. The percentage of pet owners who plan to dress up their pet is down slightly from last year's 18%, with 17% of pet parents getting in on the fun. With the pet market estimated at $90.1 billion last year, according to a study from Packaged Facts, it's no surprise that many consumers invite their pets to join the Halloween celebration. 

Almost 70% of respondents said they plan to hand out candy, 49% will decorate for the holiday, and 47% will dress in costume. But Halloween is still for the kids, with princesses and superheroes leading the way for this year's costumes. Even Frozen characters still have little ones' attention, with 2.2% of children planning to dress as Elsa or Anna. "Grownups who celebrate may be looking for new ideas, but for children, princesses and superheroes are perennial favorites," Prosper Insights Executive Vice President for Strategy Phil Rist said in a statement.

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