Washington–A record 170 million people plan to celebrate Halloween this year, according to National Retail Federation (NRF)’s 2012 Halloween consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight. That’s the most people who have said they plan to celebrate Halloween in the NRF’s 10-year survey history—or about seven in 10 Americans (71.5%) who plan to get into the haunting Halloween mood.
Consumers are expecting to spend more too; the average person will spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $72.31 last year, with total Halloween spending expected to reach $8.0 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,” says Matthew Shaw, NRF’s president/ceo. “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.”
Keeping Halloween costumes and ideas visible at retail makes for an important impetus to inspire consumers for Halloween. According to the NRF survey, more than a third (35.7%) say they look for new ideas or inspiration in a retail store or costume shop while one quarter (23.7%) turn to family and friends for ideas.
Social media is playing a larger role in choosing costumes: 15.2% will check out Facebook for inspiration and 7.1% will scour the visually-appealing Pinterest. Online searches will also be popular with celebrants: 33.3% say they will get their inspiration online. Of those buying or making costumes, the average person will spend $28.65 on costumes this year, up slightly from $26.52 in 2011.
But State of Economy on Shoppers’ Minds, Too
“Almost as soon as people bring down their fall and winter apparel from the top shelves in their closets, Halloween becomes top of mind,” says Phil Rist, BIGinsight executive vice president, Strategic Initiatives. “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.”
Of the people celebrating Halloween this year, more than half (51.4%) will decorate their home or yard, up from 49.5% last year, and 45.0% plan to dress in costume, also up from last year (43.9%.) More than one-third (36.2%) will throw or attend a party and 33.2% will take children trick-or-treating. Additionally, 15.1% will ensure their furry friends are part of the fun too, by dressing their pet in costume.
Despite record spending figures for this year’s Halloween holiday, one fourth (25.9%) of U.S. consumers say the state of the economy will effect their Halloween plans. To compensate, most say they will spend less overall (83.5%), while others will make a costume instead of buying one (18.0%), and more one third (36.1%) will buy less candy.
About the Survey
NRF’s 2012 Halloween consumer spending surveys, which were designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Halloween spending, were conducted for NRF by BIGinsight. The poll of 9,393 consumers was conducted from September 5 to 11. The consumer polls have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0%.
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