NRF: Halloween spending to dip as many opt out of celebrations

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NRF: Halloween spending to dip as many opt out of celebrations

By Marianne Wilson - 09/18/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a crimp in Americans’ Halloween plans.

More than three-quarters of Americans say the virus is impacting their celebration plans, with overall participation down to 58%, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Consumer spending is expected to reach $8.05 billion, down from $8.78 billion in 2019, due to the drop in participation. 

Plans for parties, trick-or-treating, handing out candy and visiting haunted houses have all dropped, due largely to the fact that some activities do not easily adhere to social distancing. Still, more than 148 million U.S. adults plan to participate in Halloween-related activities. Among those celebrants, safe at-home activities ranked highest: 53% plan to decorate their homes, 46% plan to carve a pumpkin and 18% will dress up their pet.

With extra time on consumers’ hands, Halloween shopping is starting earlier, with four in 10 planning to begin their shopping in September or earlier. The top shopping destinations remain the same as in past years: discount stores, specialty Halloween stores, grocery stores and online retailers. Thirty-percent plan to make their Halloween purchases online, compared with 25% last year.

“Some of the most interesting data concerns younger generations, consumers ages 18-24,” Prosper Insights executive VP of strategy Phil Rist said. “Although fewer are celebrating this year, the ones who are aren’t shying away from Halloween-related purchases, spending $11 more on average, primarily on decorations and candy.”

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