Halloween Spending to Reach Record $9.1 Billion, Says Retail Group

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Americans plan to spend $9.1 billion on Halloween-related items and activities this year, an increase of 8.3% from last year’s record of $8.4 billion, according to survey findings published this week from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

After slipping to $6.9 billion in 2015, spending on Halloween has become one of the fastest-growing special events on the retail calendar. Spending on Halloween spiked more than 21% in 2016.

“Halloween continues to be a highly anticipated holiday for Americans, who will spend a record amount this year with increases across all purchasing categories,” Prosper Insights Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said in a statement.

Consumers are expected to spend an average $86.13, up from $82.93 in 2016, said Washington, D.C.-based NRF. About 179 million Americans plan to participate in Halloween festivities, up from 171 million a year ago.

Just 12.9% of those surveyed said their spending will be affected by the economy, down from 14.1% last year and a peak of 32.1% in 2011.

According to the survey, consumers intend to spend $3.4 billion on costumes (purchased by 69% of Halloween shoppers), $2.7 billion on candy (95%), $2.7 billion on decorations (72%) and $410 million on greeting cards (37%). Spending on greeting cards for all occasion has been flat in recent years because consumers have turned to digital alternatives.

In terms of buying costumes and other Halloween supplies, 47% of shoppers will visit discount stores and 38% will go to a specialty Halloween store or costume store.

More than 3.7 million children plan to dress as their favorite action character or superhero, 2.9 million as a Batman character and another 2.9 million as their favorite princess, while 2.2 million will dress as a cat, dog, monkey or other animal.

A record number of adults (48%) planning to dress in costume this year. When they do, more than 5.8 million of them plan to dress like a witch, 3.2 million as their favorite Batman character, 3 million as an animal and 2.8 million as a pirate.

Pets are getting into the Halloween act. Ten percent of pet lovers will dress their animal in a pumpkin costume, while 7% will dress their cat or dog as a hot dog and 4% as a dog, lion or pirate.

The survey asked 7,013 consumers about Halloween shopping plans and was conducted September 5 to 13, and it has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.