Halloween is Big Business

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Halloween is Big Business

How much can purchases of candy, costumes and decorations add up to? Well, it seems a lot more than I had ever imagined. It also seems that with the status of the economy, people are planning on blowing off a little steam and will be spending more this year than previously.

Downturn or no, the National Retail Federation  reported that more consumers plan to celebrate the haunted holiday -- and, on average, plan to spend more for it than last year. Overall, Halloween sales are expected to rise 14% to $5.77 billion, while holiday sales are predicted to grow by only 2.2%. In a macabre kind of twist given the gloomy economy, it seems shoppers are happy to spend on Halloween even as the industry predicts a dire Christmas season.

About 65% of consumers plan to celebrate Halloween, compared to 59% last year, according to NRF's annual Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch. The average consumer will spend $66.54, up from $64.82 last year. Those aged 18-24 will spend the most on Halloween, at $86.59 per person.

"After months of bleak economic news, consumers are looking for a reason to let loose," said Phil Rist, VP-strategy for BIGresearch. "And with Halloween on a Friday this year, consumers may plan to celebrate all weekend long."

Halloween Spending Estimates 2008
Category            Spending per person            Spending total
Costumes            $24.17                                $2.1 billion
Candy                 $20.39                                $1.77 billion
Decorations        $18.25                                $1.58 billion
Greeting Cards    $ 3.73                                $320 million
Source: National Retail Federation

Source: Adage

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