Halloween Shifts to Seasonal Celebration, Resulting in Spending Surge

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Consumers are expected to spend $4.96 billion in various retail channels this Halloween, up significantly from just $3.29 billion a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation's (NRF) Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch and released yesterday.

The spending increase is largely due to a surge in celebrating. The survey found that nearly two-thirds (63.8 percent) of consumers will celebrate Halloween this year, a noticeable rise over the 52.5 percent that celebrated in 2005. In addition to a rise in celebrations, per-person spending is also increasing: The average consumer plans to spend $59.06 on Halloween, compared to $48.48 last year.
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"Consumers see Halloween as a seasonal celebration to bridge the gap between the end of summer and the winter holidays," said Tracy Mullin, president and c.e.o. of NRF, in a statement. "Halloween offers a little something for everyone, and this year people of all ages will be joining in the fun."

Maintaining its spot as the second-biggest decorating holiday of the year after Christmas, decorations continue to be a strong category as 67.0 percent of consumers plan to purchase Halloween decor and almost half (48.6 percent) plan to decorate their home or yard. Additionally, most people (95.7 percent) will be scooping up plenty of candy, with the average consumer spending $18.72 in that category. Costumes are also expected to increase in popularity this year with consumers spending $21.57 to dress up as their favorite alter-ego.

The popularity of Halloween among young adults continues to surge for the second year in a row. This year, 85.3 percent of 18-24 year olds plan to celebrate the holiday, up from 66.8 percent last year. But they aren't the only ones taking advantage of the ghoulish fun -- 76.5 percent of consumers aged 25-34 and 71.3 percent of 35-44 year-olds will be joining in the fun.

Though growing, Halloween remains the sixth-largest spending holiday after: Winter Holidays ($457.4 billion estimated), Valentine's Day ($13.70 billion), Easter ($12.63 billion), Mother's Day ($13.80 billion), and Father's Day ($9.01 billion).

The NRF 2006 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, which polled 8,001 consumers, was conducted for NRF by BIGresearch from Sept. 6 -13, 2006. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.
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