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Halloween Spending to Reach $8 Billion

'Pent-up demand' for fun to bring more consumers to the festivities, NRF says.

Halloween spending is expected to reach a new high this year, as more consumers than ever get into the spirit of the season.

The National Retail Federation reports that Halloween spending will reach $8 billion this year, as a record 71.5 percent of Americans join in the Halloween festivities—3 percent more than did last year.

“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, executive vice president of strategic initiatives at BIGinsight, which conducted the Halloween spending study on behalf of the NRF. “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.”

“There’s pent-up demand for having some fun this year, and shoppers are planning to get into the Halloween spirit”

On average, NRF notes, buyers will spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, compared to $72.31 in 2011—this despite one-fourth of U.S. consumers saying the economy will impact their Halloween spending plans. Of these, 83.5 percent said they will spend less, while 18 percent will make a costume instead of buying one, and 36.1 percent will buy less candy.

When it comes to choosing Halloween costumes, social media will have nearly as much influence as retail displays. A combined 31.6 percent of people are expected to get costume ideas from blogs, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook, while 35.7 percent will be inspired by what they saw in a store.

Of those celebrating Halloween this year, NRF reports that 51.4 percent plan to decorate their home or yard, 45 percent plan to dress in costume and 36.2 percent will host or attend a party. And lest our furry friends feel left out of the fun, 15 percent of consumers will dress their pet in costume.

(Click image to enlarge)

NRF 2012 Halloween Spending Forecast

About the author

Crista Souza
Crista Souza is founding editor of A journalism graduate of San Jose State University, she spent 13 years as a business and technology reporter in Silicon Valley. Crista has been writing about B2C and C2C ecommerce since 2008. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Hoosier Daddy

    Look! They can say “Halloween spending”, but they can’t say “Christmas spending.” Watch…it will be “holiday” spending. Liberals have made “Christmas”, the largest of American holidays, the Lord Voldemort of holidays: The Name That Cannot Be Uttered.

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