Re­tail­ers may get a treat for Hal­loween: a boost in sales

Amer­i­cans plan to spend an av­er­age of $66.28 on cos­tumes, dec­o­ra­tions and candy, up from $56.31 last year, group says.

Los Angeles Times - - Business - An­drea Chang

Hal­loween is ex­pected to be a lit­tle less scary for re­tail­ers this year, with con­sumers ex­pected to spend con­sid­er­ably more on the Oct. 31 hol­i­day than they did last year.

Amer­i­cans say they plan to spend an av­er­age of $66.28 on cos­tumes, candy and dec­o­ra­tions, up from last year’s $56.31 av­er­age and in line with the $66.54 av­er­age in 2008, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey re­leased by the Na­tional Re­tail Fed­er­a­tion on Thurs­day.

To­tal spend­ing for the hol­i­day, which falls on a Sun­day this year, is ex­pected to reach $5.8 bil­lion, with 148 mil­lion Amer­i­cans ex­pected to par­take in some sort of cel­e­bra­tion.

Cos­tumes will take up the largest por­tion of a per­son’s bud­get, with an av­er­age of $23.37 be­ing spent on dres­sup items, the sur­vey found. Amer­i­cans will also spend an av­er­age of $20.29 on candy, $18.66 on dec­o­ra­tions and $3.95 on greet­ing cards.

“In re­cent years, Hal­loween has pro­vided a wel­come break from re­al­ity, al­low­ing many Amer­i­cans a chance to es­cape from the stress the econ­omy has put on their fam­ily and in­comes,” said Matthew Shay, pres­i­dent of the re­tail fed­er­a­tion.

The high­est per­cent­age of peo­ple in the sur­vey’s his­tory will dress up for Hal­loween, with 4 out of 10 plan­ning to don a cos­tume, up from 33.4% in 2009. One-third of peo­ple will throw or at­tend a party, nearly three-quar­ters will hand out candy, 46.3% will carve a pump­kin and 31.7% will take their chil­dren trick-or-treat­ing.

Al­though to­tal spend­ing is ex­pected to in­crease, 3 out of 10 con­sumers said the state of the U.S. econ­omy would still af­fect their Hal­loween plans, with 86.8% of those re­spon­dents say­ing they would spend less.

The sur­vey polled 9,291 con­sumers from Aug. 31 through Sept. 8.

an­drea.chang@latimes.com

Gary Fried­man

FRIGHT­FUL: Four in 10 peo­ple plan to dress up this Hal­loween, the high­est per­cent­age in the Na­tional Re­tail Fed­er­a­tion sur­vey’s his­tory. Above, rev­el­ers at last year’s West Hollywood Hal­loween Cos­tume Car­naval.

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