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Consumer Trends
Halloween spending to reach record $9.1 billion
For immediate release
September 21, 2017

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“Retailers are helping customers celebrate in style with a huge selection of costumes, candy and decorations to cater to ghosts and goblins of all ages."
Matthew Shay
NRF President and CEO

WASHINGTON – With more people celebrating, Americans will splurge on costumes, candy and pumpkins for a record $9.1 billion in Halloween spending this year, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. The figure is up 8.3 percent from last year’s previous record of $8.4 billion.

“Americans are planning to spend more than ever as they gear up for Halloween,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers are helping customers celebrate in style with a huge selection of costumes, candy and decorations to cater to ghosts and goblins of all ages.”

Consumers are expected to spend an average $86.13, up from last year’s $82.93, with 179 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities, up from 171 million in 2016. Only 12.9 percent say their spending will be impacted by the economy, down from 14.1 percent last year and a peak of 32.1 percent in 2011.

According to the survey, consumers plan to spend $3.4 billion on costumes (purchased by 69 percent of Halloween shoppers), $2.7 billion on candy (95 percent), another $2.7 billion on decorations (72 percent) and $410 million on greeting cards (37 percent).

Among Halloween celebrants, 71 percent plan to hand out candy, 49 percent will decorate their home or yard, 48 percent will wear costumes, 46 percent will carve a pumpkin, 35 percent will throw or attend a party, 31 percent will take their children trick-or-treating, 23 percent will visit a haunted house and 16 percent will dress pets in costumes.

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Thirty-five percent of consumers will find their inspiration for the perfect costume online, while 30 percent will look in stores, 20 percent will ask friends and family, 18 percent will look to Facebook or Pinterest, 17 percent will be influenced by pop culture and 14 percent by print media.

When it comes to buying costumes and other Halloween supplies, 47 percent of shoppers will visit discount stores and 38 percent will go to a specialty Halloween store or costume store. In addition, 25 percent will visit supermarkets, 24 percent will buy at department stores and 22 percent will shop online.

“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. “Expect consumers to be on the lookout for early-bird promotions both online and in-store as they hunt for the best items to complete their costumes and embellish their homes.”

Top Costumes

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

Proving that Halloween isn’t just for kids, a record number of adults (48 percent) plan to dress in costume this year. More than 5.8 million adults plan to dress like a witch, 3.2 million as their favorite Batman character, 3 million as an animal (cat, dog, cow, etc.), and 2.8 million as a pirate.

Pets won’t be left behind when it comes to dressing up for Halloween. Ten percent of pet lovers will dress their animal in a pumpkin costume, while 7 percent will dress their cat or dog as a hot dog and 4 percent as a dog, lion or pirate.

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

About Prosper Insights & Analytics

Prosper Insights & Analytics is a global leader in consumer intent data serving the financial services, marketing technology, and retail industries. We provide global authoritative market information on US and China consumers via curated insights and analytics. By integrating a variety of data including economic, behavioral and attitudinal data, Prosper helps companies accurately predict consumers’ future behavior to help identify market behaviors, optimize marketing efforts, and improve the effectiveness of demand generation campaigns. www.ProsperInsights.com

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

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