Consumers are embracing Halloween in a big way this year.
While the holiday has always been an opportunity to let loose and have a bit of fun, there's also big bucks to be made. In total, spending is expected to reach $6.9 billion this year, up from $5.8 billion a year ago and more than double what consumers said they would spend in 2005.
Seven in 10 Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year -- up from 64% last year, and the most in the National Retail Federation survey's 10-year history. The survey, conducted by BigResearch, also found that the average person plans to spend $72.31 on the holiday, up from $66.28 last year.
NRF President-CEO Matthew Shay pointed out that many retailers have already stocked shelves with Halloween merchandise. Catalogs touting children's costumes began arriving on doorsteps in August, and candy with Halloween packaging rolled out weeks ago.
"Thanks to creative costumes and decor for consumers of all ages, Halloween has become one of the most-anticipated holidays of the year for many people," said Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director at BigResearch. "As a non-gift holiday, even people on the strictest budget can enjoy themselves this Halloween."
This year, more people plan to dress in costume, throw or attend a party and hand out candy. Spending on costumes alone is expected to exceed $2.5 billion, while spending on candy will reach $2 billion, and consumers will shell out $1.88 billion for decorations. It's good news for retailers that have suffered as some consumers remain cautious.
In fact, more than one-third of consumers still say the state of the U.S. economy will impact their Halloween spending plans. Some consumers say they will make or reuse costumes, use last year's decorations and buy less candy, in order to save money.