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There’s No Spooking Spending as Seven in 10 Americans Plan to Celebrate Halloween This Year

For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis (202) 783-7971 or grannisk@nrf.com
www.nrf.com/Halloween

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There’s No Spooking Spending as Seven in 10 Americans Plan to Celebrate Halloween This Year
-Social Media and In-Store Displays Help Consumers Choose Costumes-

Washington, September 25, 2012 – A record 170 million people plan to celebrate Halloween this year, according to NRF’s 2012 Halloween consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight. Seven in 10 Americans (71.5%) will get into the haunting Halloween mood, up from 68.6 percent last year and the most in NRF’s 10-year survey history. 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,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “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.” 

When it comes to looking for Halloween costume ideas, consumers say their biggest source of inspiration is what they see in a retail store or costume shop. More than one-third (35.7 percent) will look for new ideas in a store and nearly one-quarter (23.7%) will turn to their friends and family. Social media will also play a role in choosing costumes: 15.2 percent will check out Facebook for inspiration and 7.1 percent will scour the visually-appealing Pinterest. Online searches will also be popular with celebrants: 33.3 percent 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.



“Almost as soon as people bring down their fall and winter apparel from the top shelves in their closets, Halloween becomes top of mind,” said BIGinsight Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Phil Rist. “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 percent last year, and 45.0 percent 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 percent will take children trick-or-treating. Additionally, 15.1 percent 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 of U.S. consumers (25.9%) say the state of the economy will impact 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 over one-third (36.1%) will buy less candy.

About the Survey

NRF’s 2012 Halloween consumer spending surveys were designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Halloween spending. The surveys were conducted for NRF by BIGinsight. The poll of 9,393 consumers was conducted from September 5-11, 2012. The consumer polls have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.

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IGinsight delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, BIGinsight represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues. www.BIGinsight.com.

As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation. www.nrf.com ###

* Extrapolation of U.S. population 18 years old and older