Halloween spending continues to set records

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

Halloween spending continues to set records

By Mike Troy - 09/23/2017

More than $9 billion will be spent during the 2017 Halloween season thanks to record spending levels across all categories.

New consumer research from the National Retail Federation (NRF) projects that Halloween spending will reach a record $9.1 billion this year, an 8.3% increase from last year’s record spending level of $8.4 billion. The record spending levels are noteworthy because Halloween this year falls on a Tuesday compared to Halloween 2016 that fell on a Monday. Historically, sales of Halloween related goods were strongest when the holiday fell on a Friday or Saturday because as weekend dates allowed for greater participation.

NRF’s consumer survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, shows that whatever spending headwind the timing of the holiday may have caused is offset by broad-based strength in all things Halloween related.

“Halloween continues to be a highly anticipated holiday for Americans, who will spend a record amount this year with increases across all purchasing categories,” said Pam Goodfellow, Principal Analyst with Prosper Insights. “Expect consumers to be on the lookout for early-bird promotions both online and in-store as they hunt for the best items to complete their costumes and embellish their homes.”

Consumers are expected to spend an average $86 up from last year’s $83 with 179 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities, up from 171 million in 2016, according to Prosper’s survey of 7,013 consumers conducted September 5-13.

The total $9.1 billion spending breakdown and penetration rate by major merchandise categories looks like this:

  • $3.4 billion on costumes (purchased by 69% of Halloween shoppers).
  • $2.7 billion on candy (95 percent).
  • $2.7 billion on decorations (72 percent).
  • $410 million on greeting cards (37 percent).

Among Halloween celebrants, 71% plan to hand out candy, 49% will decorate their home or yard, 48% will wear costumes, 46% will carve a pumpkin, 35% will throw or attend a party, 31% will take their children trick-or-treating, 23% will visit a haunted house and 16% will dress pets in costumes.

When it comes to where to buy costumes and other Halloween supplies, 47% of shoppers will visit discount stores, 38% will go to a specialty Halloween store, 25% will visit supermarkets, 24% will buy at department stores and 22% will shop online.