If you don't dress up for Halloween this year, it will be you that stands out.
According to a National Retail Federation survey, more Americans will dress up this Halloween than ever before -- upwards of two-thirds plan to buy a costume this year. That's a rise from 65% last year, and the most in the survey's 11-year history. The survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics also found that the average person plans to spend $77.52 on the holiday, up from $75.03 last year.
Better costumes and greater variety are influencing the high demand, according to NRF. And it helps that Halloween falls on a Friday this year, pushing more people to celebrate in bigger ways.
"There's no question that the variety of adult, child and even pet costumes now available has driven the demand and popularity of Halloween among consumers of all ages," said Matthew Shay, president and CEO at NRF, in a statement. "And, with the holiday falling on a Friday this year, we fully expect there will be a record number of consumers taking to the streets, visiting haunted houses and throwing unforgettable celebrations."
In total, consumers plan to spend $7.4 billion on Halloween this year and almost 40% of that will go toward costumes, according to the survey. This year's top costumes include characters from Disney's "Frozen" and the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," as well as princess, animal and Spider-man costumes.
Nearly 75 million adults will also dress up, and most will stick to the classics – witches, animals, pirates, Batman characters and zombies.
Humans aren't the only ones getting in on the Halloween fun - 14% of celebrants plan to dress up their pets this year, slightly more than last year. At Walmart, pet costumes are the fastest-growing costume category, said the retailer. Walmart said it has already seen a year-over-year rise in online sales for pet costumes.
As usual, most consumers will look online or in stores for costume ideas this year. But Pinterest is also a growing source of inspiration for shoppers – 11% of consumers will search for costume ideas on Pinterest, up from 9% last year, the NRF survey found.
Discounters like Walmart and Kmart are the top shopping destinations for the holiday, with half of celebrants planning to buy Halloween items through the retailers. Costume shops like Party City will also attract more than one-third of shoppers. So retailers are trying to catch shoppers' eyes with fun and festive spots promoting costumes, candy and savings.
This year, a shrinking number of Americans are also feeling pressured by the economy. Nineteen percent of consumers say the economy will affect their Halloween plans - down from 25% last year, and the least since 2009 when NRF began asking survey participants.