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Halloween in U.S. bounces back to ’08 levels


October 8, 2010
By National Retail Federation

Oct. 8, 2010 – There will be no shortage of ghosts or goblins this Halloween as 148
million Americans partake in some sort of holiday celebration, spending
considerably more than they did last year.

Oct. 8, 2010 – There will be no shortage of ghosts or goblins this Halloween as 148
million Americans partake in some sort of holiday celebration, spending
considerably more than they did last year. According to NRF’s 2010
Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by
BIGresearch, Americans will spend $66.28 on costumes, candy and
decorations, up from last year’s
$56.31 and comparable to the $66.54 average spend in 2008. Total
spending for the holiday is expected to reach $5.8 billion.

“In
recent years, Halloween has provided a welcome break from reality,
allowing many Americans a chance to escape from the stress the economy
has put on their family and incomes,” said NRF President and CEO
Matthew Shay. “This year, people are expected to embrace Halloween with
even more enthusiasm, and will have an entire weekend to celebrate
since the holiday falls on a Sunday.” 

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When
it comes to how much money partygoers and trick-or-treaters will spend,
costumes ($23.37) will take up the largest portion of a person’s
budget. Americans will also spend an average of $20.29 on candy, $18.66
on decoration, and $3.95 on greeting cards. 

This year’s data
brings great news for retailers selling costumes: this year, the
highest percentage of people in the survey’s history will dress up with
four out of 10 people (40.1%) planning to don a costume, up from 33.4%
in 2009. (An astounding 11.5 percent will dress up their pets as well.)
Additionally, 33.3 percent of people will throw/attend a party, nearly
three-quarters (72.2%) will hand out candy, 46.3 percent will carve a
pumpkin, 20.8 percent will visit a haunted house and 31.7 percent will
take their children trick-or-treating. Second only to the winter
holidays in terms of plans to decorate, half (50.1%) of consumers
celebrating will decorate their home or yard. 

As is often the
case, young adults will be most likely to participate in Halloween
activities with 69.4 percent of 18-24 year olds saying they will dress
in costume, the highest of any other age group. Young adults are also
more likely than any other age group to throw or attend a party (55.4%)
and visit a haunted house (38.6%).

While spending is expected
to increase, three out of 10 (30.1%) consumers say the state of the
U.S. economy will still impact their Halloween plans, with most of
those respondents citing they would spend less overall (86.8%). Others
say they will be buying less candy (45.1%), using last year’s
decorations and not buying new ones (30.7%), using last year’s costume
(18.5%) or making a costume (19.5%). Some plan to cut back on
traditional activities such as visiting a haunted house (22.3%). 

“Though
Halloween spending will be much more robust than a year ago, consumers
will still err on the side of caution,” said Phil Rist, Executive Vice
President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “Americans are excited
about Halloween but are still being frugal and pinching their pennies
where they can.” 

NRF’s 2010 Halloween Consumer Intentions and
Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, was designed to gauge
consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Halloween season.
The poll of 9,291 consumers was conducted from August 31 – September 8,
2010. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0
percent.


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