Halloween’s here – no need to fear

It would appear some scary good sales are in store this Halloween thanks to the timing of the holiday, favorable weather trends and the willingness of an ever larger percentage of Americans to dress up and decorate their homes. As usual, Target has outdone itself with an attractive and sizable presentation of seasonal merchandise and candy in an effort to capture its share of the approximately $5.8 billion the National Retail Federation estimates will be spent this year. An estimated 148 million people will participate in some type of holiday activity this year, including handing out candy, which is expected to cause average spending per person to increase 17% to $66.28 compared with $56.31 last year, based on an NRF survey of consumer spending intentions conducted by BIG Research. That is sharp rebound from last year and restores average spending per person to the level of $66.54 experienced in 2008.

“This year, people are expected to embrace Halloween with even more enthusiasm and will have an entire weekend to celebrate since the holiday falls on a Sunday,” said NRF president and CEO Matt Shay.


Sales of high-margin costumes are expected to benefit the most with that category accounting for $23.37 of the total average expenditure of $66.28. Candy is a close second at $20.29 followed by decorations at $18.66. Handing out candy is the activity in which the overwhelming majority, 72%, of adults 18 an over engage, but 50% of those surveyed also plan to decorate their yard and 40% plan to dress up.


Sales last year suffered as the economy was bad and it was the third coldest and wettest October in the past 115 years, according to Weather Trends International. This October, the long range forecasting firm expects it to be the warmest month in three years and the driest in the past 10 years.

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