‘Tis the Season to Be Spooky

While marketers already fear a lousy Christmas-shopping season as consumers hunker down, a BIGresearch survey for the National Retail Federation suggests Halloween spending will be up a bit from last year’s as tense consumers let off steam. Total Halloween spending is expected to be $5.77 billion.

Fielded last month, the survey found the average consumer planning to spend $66.54 on Halloween this year, vs. $64.82 last year. Two-thirds of the spending will go for costumes ($24.17) and candy ($20.39), with most of the rest going for decorations. (To be really scary, maybe people will dress up as subprime mortgages.) Respondents in the 18-24 age bracket plan to spend an average of $86.59 for the occasion, giving another indication of the extent to which Halloween has morphed from a little-kid holiday into a 20something festival.

Among people expecting to engage in some sort of Halloween activity, 74 percent plan to hand out candy, 50 percent to do some decorating, 45 percent to carve a pumpkin and 31 percent to throw or attend a party. The 35 percent who plan to dress up in costume slightly outnumber the 34 percent who plan to take kids trick-or-treating.