Halloween to Scare Up Sales This Year

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Halloween to Scare Up Sales This Year


After falling short of expectations in 2009, Halloween promises to bring more treats than tricks this year, according to industry research firm IBISWorld. With improving economic factors and the holiday falling on a weekend, overall Halloween spending is forecasted to grow 3.9 percent in 2010, totaling $6.2 billion.

“Halloween is on a Sunday this year, so children will have more opportunity to trick-or-treat and adults will be more likely to host or attend a party,” explained Nikoleta Panteva, analyst with IBISWorld. “This coupled with the high-volume spent on low-value items, like candy, will ultimately boost holiday sales.

On Halloween weekend, 95 percent of children are estimated to trick-or-treat and 75 percent of households will hand out candy. For this reason, candy sales are expected to be up 7.4 percent from last year, reaching $1.9 billion.

Canned pumpkin sales are expected to increase this year by nearly 25 percent, as the item is back on the shelves – after the Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2009 – at a slightly higher price. Fresh pumpkin sales are expected to grow about 13 percent in 2010.

Expected to rise 4.2 percent from last year to $2.3 billion, costumes are becoming more accessible to the consumer through pop-up stores and new outlets. Last year, seasonal pop-up stores totaled roughly 1,300 establishments, but this year the count is up 15 percent to about 1,500 shops.

Additionally, there are more outlets offering costumes. Ebay is expected to sell about 500,000 costumes and e-tailers in general are expected to account for 20 percent of costume sales in 2010. However, the majority of consumers are likely to get their costumes from traditional retailers.

While accessibility may be greater, costume sales will be hindered by two factors: Increased prices and the growing number of handmade costumes. The average costume price is nearly $54, about 3.5 percent higher than last year ($52), and 28 percent of consumers are expected to make their own costumes this year.

While discount stores carry a wide variety of seasonal decorations, sales are only expected to grow 0.6 percent. People who typically purchase high-value decorations are likely to switch to cheaper products from dollar stores, so sales will be hindered by lower price points not volume sold.

“Halloween’s timing could not have been better,” Panteva said. “Consumers are showing some signs of a willingness to spend and celebrate; the weekend holiday will scratch that itch without asking for a second mortgage. This marks the beginning of a strong holiday season for retailers.”

IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every U.S industry.