Retailers Expect Record Year for Halloween Sales

September 20, 2023 by Dan McCue
Retailers Expect Record Year for Halloween Sales
(Photo by Jill Wellington via Pixabay)

WASHINGTON — Total Halloween spending could reach a record $12.2 billion this year, significantly outpacing last year’s record $10.6 billion in sales, according to a survey conducted for the National Retail Federation.

The annual market appraisal, which was performed on the federation’s behalf by Prosper Insights & Analytics, also found that a record number of people — 73% — plan to participate in some kind of Halloween-related activities this year, up from 69% a year ago.

“More Americans than ever will be reaching into their wallets and spending a record amount of money to celebrate Halloween this year,” said Matthew Shay, the federation’s president and CEO, in a written statement accompanying the survey results. 

“Consumers will be shopping early for festive décor and other related items and retailers are prepared with the inventory to help customers and their families take part in this popular and fun tradition,” he said.

Like previous years, the top ways consumers are planning to celebrate are handing out candy (68%), decorating their home or yard (53%) or dressing in costume (50%). 

However, in a return to pre-pandemic norms, more consumers also plan to throw or attend a party (32%) or take their children trick-or-treating (28%).

Per-person spending is also up as consumers plan to spend a record $108.24 each, up from the previous record of $102.74 in 2021. 

The greatest increase in spending came from costumes.

Sixty-nine percent of those celebrating Halloween plan to buy costumes, up from 67% last year and the highest in the survey’s history. Total spending on costumes is expected to reach a record $4.1 billion, up from $3.6 billion in 2022. 

Total spending on decorations, which grew in popularity during the pandemic, is expected to reach $3.9 billion. Of those celebrating Halloween, more than three-quarters (77%) plan to purchase decorations, which is on par with last year, but up from 72% in 2019.

Candy spending is expected to reach $3.6 billion, up from $3.1 billion last year. Spending on Halloween greeting cards is projected to be $500 million, down slightly from $600 million in 2022 but above pre-pandemic levels. 

Similar to other major holidays and spending events like back-to-school and the winter holidays, consumers are looking to get an early start on their Halloween shopping. Nearly half (45%) of those celebrating the holiday plan to start shopping before October. This is on par with last year, but up from 33% a decade ago. 

Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy at Prosper Insights & Analytics, said younger consumers have been leading the charge on early Halloween shopping, with more than half of those surveyed between the ages of 25-44 planning to shop during September, with many starting even earlier.

“Social media continues to grow as a source of costume inspiration for younger consumers, as more people under 25 are turning to TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram for ideas,” Rist said.

The leading sources of inspiration continue to be online searches (37%), within a retail store or costume shop (28%), and friends and family (20%).

Discount stores (40%) remain the leading destination to buy Halloween items, followed by specialty Halloween/costume stores (39%) and online (32%). 

While specialty Halloween and costume shops have always been a top destination for Halloween items, more consumers plan to shop at these stores this year than in the past. 

Spending on adult costumes is expected to increase 18% over last year to $2 billion and spending on children’s costumes is expected to increase by 20% over 2022 to $1.4 billion. In line with last year, spending on pet costumes is projected to reach $700 million.

So what’s popular on the costume front?

Based on the survey’s findings, the retailers expect Spiderman to be the top costume among kids this year, followed by princess, ghost, some other superhero or a witch.

As for adults, the survey found that most respondents planned to dress like a witch, a clear winner in the costume category, followed by vampire, Barbie — the one costume inspired by popular entertainment this year — Batman and a cat.

When it comes to pets, the most popular costumes, in order, were: A pumpkin (11%), a hot dog (7%), a bat (4%), a bumblebee (3%) and a spider (3%).

The 2023 Halloween survey asked 8,084 consumers about their shopping plans. It was conducted Sept. 1-6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

A+
a-
  • Halloween
  • National Retail Federation
  • retail sales
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Economy

    June 14, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Nation’s Top Business Leaders Host Trump, Rate Economy ‘Stable’

    WASHINGTON — The Business Roundtable, the exclusive group of businesses that is also one of the most powerful lobbying organizations... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Business Roundtable, the exclusive group of businesses that is also one of the most powerful lobbying organizations in the nation, played host to former President Donald Trump on Thursday, and also released its quarterly assessment of the U.S. economy. At least 80 of... Read More

    May 21, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    With Memorial Day Approaching, White House Moves to Keep Gas Prices Low

    WASHINGTON — With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching and the summer driving season just around the corner, the Biden administration... Read More

    WASHINGTON — With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching and the summer driving season just around the corner, the Biden administration announced it will sell 1 million barrels of gasoline from federal reserves to lower prices at the pump for all Americans. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said... Read More

    April 12, 2024
    by Kate Michael
    IMF Director Sets the Stage for IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings 

    WASHINGTON — As the world's finance ministers and central bank governors prepare to convene in Washington, D.C., for the IMF-World... Read More

    WASHINGTON — As the world's finance ministers and central bank governors prepare to convene in Washington, D.C., for the IMF-World Bank spring meetings next week, Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, spoke about how this event comes at a delicate moment for the... Read More

    April 8, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Biden Administration Invests $6.6B to Bolster US Chip Manufacturing

    WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is awarding up to $6.6 billion in grants to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is awarding up to $6.6 billion in grants to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the largest maker of the most advanced microchips in the world, to help support construction of the company’s first major hub in the United States. The announcement... Read More

    Inflation Slowed Further in December as Economic 'Soft Landing' Moves Into Sharper Focus

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge cooled further last month even as the economy kept growing briskly, a... Read More

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge cooled further last month even as the economy kept growing briskly, a trend sure to be welcomed at the White House as President Joe Biden seeks re-election in a race that could pivot on his economic stewardship. Friday’s... Read More

    Americans' Economic Outlook Brightens as Inflation Slows and Wages Outpace Prices

    WASHINGTON (AP) — After an extended period of gloom, Americans are starting to feel better about inflation and the economy —... Read More

    WASHINGTON (AP) — After an extended period of gloom, Americans are starting to feel better about inflation and the economy — a trend that could sustain consumer spending, fuel economic growth and potentially affect President Joe Biden's political fortunes. A measure of consumer sentiment by the University of Michigan has... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top