Halloween

Record Halloween spending expected this year, says National Retail Federation

By Kristine Sherred contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sales of Halloween decorations will mirror candy sales this year, according to an NRF survey. Pic: Getty Images/Rawpixel
Sales of Halloween decorations will mirror candy sales this year, according to an NRF survey. Pic: Getty Images/Rawpixel

Related tags: Halloween, Candy, Retailers, Online shopping, Seasonal, Consumer attitudes

More than 170m Americans will celebrate Halloween in 2019, according to the NRF, with about a third of $9.1bn in sales going to candy.

About 70% of those partaking in the biggest candy holiday of the year will offer the goods to trick-or-treaters, the NRF found in a survey of 7,400 consumers. A third will take their own kids trick-or-treating.

Those nuances aside, nearly every consumer (95%) will buy candy leading up to Halloween. The holiday generated $4.5bn in chocolate and candy sales for this season in 2018, according to the National Confectioners Association.

Two-thirds of respondents said they would spend $3.2bn on costumes, with about half dressing up themselves. Another 72% will buy decorations – about $2.7bn worth, mirroring candy sales.

“Retailers expect to have another strong Halloween season and have stocked up on candy, decorations and the season’s most popular costumes,”​ said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

He added that spending has been consistent in recent years, but more consumers seem to be “inspired by their friends, neighbors and even celebrities on social media.”

The latter has played a major role in drumming up interest in holidays like Halloween, with searches on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram (in that order) all higher than previous years, the NRF found. 

While 35% of survey respondents said they search online for costume and candy ideas, store browsing hovers at 28%.

Nonetheless, more than 40% of shoppers will choose discount stores for their Halloween goods, while 36% with opt for specialty Halloween or costume stores. A quarter will shop online, or at a grocery or department store.

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