Most Consumers Plan To Celebrate Halloween This Year

Social media and in-store displays help consumers choose costumes

The economic outlook may be a little scarey, but that's not spooking consumers out out of their plans to celebrate Halloween.

In fact, the National Retail Federation's (NRF) 2012 Halloween consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight finds a record 170 million people plan to celebrate Halloween this year. 

Seven in 10 Americans (71.5%) will get into the haunting Halloween mood, compared with 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, versus $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.” 

What to buy 

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.” 

How we spend 

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 affect 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.

Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.
Consumer Affairs

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