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Halloween Spending to Remain Steady at $9 Billion

Favorite costumes this year are princesses and witches.

Spending on Halloween is expected to reach $9 billion this year, about the same as last year’s $9.1 billion, according to a report from the National Retail Federation.

Celebrants intend to spend an average of $86.79, up from last year’s $86.13, with more than 175 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities, according to the annual study that has been conducted over the past 14 years by Prosper Insights & Analytics for NRF.

“The economy is good and consumer confidence is high, so families are ready to spend on Halloween this year,” says Matthew Shay, NRF’s president. “Retailers are stocking up to supply children, pets and adults with their favorite decorations, candy and costumes for the season.”

Consumers plan to spend $3.2 billion on costumes (purchased by 68% of Halloween shoppers), $2.7 billion on decorations (74%), $2.6 billion on candy (95%) and $400 million on greeting cards (35%). About 70% of celebrants plan to hand out candy, 50% will decorate their home or yard, 48% will wear costumes, 45% will carve a pumpkin, 32% will throw or attend a party, 30% will take their children trick-or-treating, 21% will visit a haunted house, and 18% will dress pets in costumes.

Pet costumes continue to gain popularity, with nearly 20% of celebrants planning to dress their pets in costumes this year, up from last year’s 16%, the federation reports. Among pet lovers, 11% will dress their animal in a pumpkin costume, while 7% will dress their cat or dog as a hot dog, 5% as a bumble bee and 3% as the devil.

“One of the biggest trends this year is the growth of spending on pet costumes,” points out Phil Rist, executive VP of strategy for Prosper Insights. “Out of the 31.3 million Americans planning to dress their pets in costumes, Millennials (25-34) are most likely to dress up their pets, the highest we have seen in the history of our surveys.”

Where do the ideas come from? When looking for inspiration for the perfect costume, 35% of consumers will look online, 29% will look in stores, 19% will ask friends and family, 19% will look to Pinterest and 16% will look to Facebook; 16% will be influenced by pop culture and 15% by YouTube.

For buying costumes and other Halloween supplies, 45% of shoppers will visit discount stores and 35% will go to a specialty Halloween store or costume store. In addition, 25% will visit department stores, 24% will buy online and 24% in grocery/supermarket stores.

When it comes to the top children’s costumes, more than 3.8 million children plan to dress as their favorite princess character, 2.5 million as their favorite superhero, 2.2 million as Batman characters, 1.9 million as their favorite Star Wars characters and another 1.9 million will dress as a witch.

Halloween continues to be popular for adults as well, with half of celebrants (48%) planning to dress in costume this year. More than 7.2 million adults plan to dress like a witch, 2.5 million as a vampire, 2.1 million as a zombie, 1.9 million as a pirate, and 1.3 million as their favorite Avengers character such as Iron Man or Black Panther.

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