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NRF reports drop in Halloween participants this year

The National Retail Federation anticipates that nearly 158 million consumers will participate in Halloween activities this year — slightly fewer than the historic high of 170 million people last year. 

New figures from the National Retail Federation indicate the average consumer will spend $75.03 on Halloween this year, down 6% from $79.82 last year.

However, average overall spending on Halloween has increased 54.7% since 2005, with total spending estimated to reach $6.9 billion in 2013. Other NRF figures include:

About 44% of people plan to dress up and will spend a total of $2.6 billion on costumes, including $1.04 billion for children’s costumes and $1.22 billion for adult costumes;

One-fourth of U.S. consumers (25.2%) say the state of the economy will impact their Halloween spending plans and nearly nine-in-10 (86.1%) will spend less overall, up slightly from 83.5% last year. In addition, 32.7% will buy less candy and 18.1% will make a costume instead of buying one;

About 14% of consumers plan to buy a pet costume and will spend a total of $330 million;

The average person buying or making a costume will spend $27.85, similar to the $28.65 spent last year;

Consumers will spend $2.08 billion on candy, $1.96 billion on decorations and $360 million on greeting cards;

Nearly one-third (32.8%) of consumers will begin shopping before September 30. An additional 67.2% of consumers will shop in October. Specifically, 43.6% will begin the first two weeks in October and 23.6% will wait until the final two weeks of the month;

One-third (32.9%) of consumers will search for costume ideas online, another third (32.8%) will look for new ideas in a store, and one-fifth (20.8%) will seek advice from friends or family. In addition, 14.1% will check Facebook for inspiration, 9.3% will look at Pinterest and 3.8% will review blogs.

“Still one of the most beloved and anticipated consumer holidays, Halloween will be far from a bust this year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “After a long summer, the arrival of fall will put millions of Americans in the spirit to partake in traditional and festive activities. Retailers recognize that when it comes to Halloween, consumers’ creativity abounds. We expect retailers to stock their shelves with unique costume ideas for adults, children and pets, a variety of candy options and never-seen-before home and yard decor.”