Economic Worries Spook Consumer Spending for Halloween?

In Industry News, What's New by Jeff PrineLeave a Comment

Halloween CostumesWashington—With major retailers slated to begin their holiday sales campaigns before Halloween this year, those plans could be encroaching on another American favorite holiday: Halloween.

According to National Retail Federation (NRF)’s Halloween Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, nearly 158 million consumers will participate in Halloween activities, slightly less than the survey high of 170 million people last year.

Along with fewer celebrants this year, Halloween shoppers plan to spend less than they did last year. The average celebrant is expected to spend $75.03 on décor, costumes, candy and fun, down from $79.82 last year. Overall, average spending on Halloween has increased 54.7% since 2005, with total spending estimated to reach $6.9 billion in 2013.

86% Plan to Spend Less This Year

Earlier Christmas promotions may be pushing Halloween promotions even earlier, too, the NRF’s research suggests. According to the survey, nearly one-third (32.8%) begin shopping before Sept. 30. An additional 67.2% of consumers will shop in October. Specifically, 43.6% will begin the first two weeks in October and 23.6% will wait until the final two weeks of the month.

The biggest portion of their Halloween spend is on costumes: 43.6% plan to dress up and will spend a total of $2.6 billion on traditional and awe-inspiring costumes. When it comes to inspiration for costume ideas, one-third (32.9%) will search for costume ideas online, another third (32.8%) will look for new ideas in a store, and one-fifth (20.8%) will seek advice from friends or family.

Despite such anticipation, one-fourth of consumers (25.2%) said the state of the economy will impact their Halloween spending plans—nearly nine in 10 (86.1%) will spend less overall, up slightly from 83.5% last year. Additionally, 32.7% will buy less candy and 18.1% will make a costume instead of buying one.

Social Media: Source for Inspiration?

Additionally, 14.1% will check Facebook for inspiration and 3.8% will review blogs.

Nearly one in 10 (9.3%) will scour Pinterest for costume ideas, up from 7.1% last year. Of those buying or making costumes, the average person will spend $27.85 similar to the $28.65 spent last year.

Besides themselves and their children, Halloween celebrants this year also plan to find a costume for their pets. About 14% look for a costume for their four-legged friends and will spend about $330 million in total.

“Still one of the most beloved and anticipated consumer holidays, Halloween will be far from a bust this year,” said NRF President/CEO Matthew Shay. “After a long summer, the arrival of fall will put millions of Americans in the spirit to partake in traditional and festive activities. Retailers recognize that when it comes to Halloween, consumers’ creativity abounds. We expect retailers to stock their shelves with unique costume ideas for adults, children and pets, a variety of candy options and never-seen-before home and yard decor.”

About the survey

NRF’s 2013 Halloween Consumer Spending Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Halloween spending. The survey was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 5,290 consumers was conducted September 3 to 10. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points.


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