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NRF: Halloween spending to rise in 2012


Washington, D.C. -- Survey results released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation found that 71.5% of Americans will celebrate Halloween this year, up from 68.6% last year and the most in NRF’s 10-year survey history.

The consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight also found the average person will spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $72.31 last year, with total Halloween spending expected to reach $8.0 billion.

“By the time Halloween rolls around each year, it’s safe to say Americans have already spent two months preparing for one of the fastest-growing and most widely loved holidays of the year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

When it comes to looking for Halloween costume ideas, consumers say their biggest source of inspiration is what they see in a retail store or costume shop. More than one-third (35.7%) will look for new ideas in a store and nearly one-quarter (23.7%) will turn to their friends and family. Social media will also play a role in choosing costumes: 15.2% will check out Facebook for inspiration and 7.1% will scour Pinterest, found the survey.

Online searches will also be popular with celebrants: 33.3% say they will get their inspiration online. Of those buying or making costumes, the average person will spend $28.65 on costumes this year, up slightly from $26.52 in 2011.

Overall, consumers will spend billions on Halloween costumes this year. Families with children who plan to dress up for the holiday will spend a total of $1.1 billion on their children’s costumes, up slightly from $1.0 billion last year. Not to be outdone by their children, adults will spend $1.4 billion on vampire, witch and zombie costumes, up from $1.2 billion in 2011. More pets will hit the town this Halloween as well: pet owners plan to shell out $370 million on pint-sized costumes, up from $310 million in 2011.

Of the people celebrating Halloween this year, more than half (51.4%) will decorate their home or yard, up from 49.5% last year, and 45.0% plan to dress in costume, also up from last year (43.9%.) More than one-third (36.2%) will throw or attend a party and 33.2% will take children trick-or-treating. Additionally, 15.1% will dress their pets in costume.

Despite record spending figures for this year’s Halloween holiday, 25.9% of respondents say the state of the economy will impact their Halloween plans. To compensate, 18.0% will make a costume instead of buying one and over one-third (36.1%) will buy less candy.

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