Halloween Spending Forecast to Plunge Over 15%

Posted on September 30, 2009

Halloween won't be much of a treat for retailers this year. This year's National Retail Federation's 2009 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found that consumers are expected to spend an average of $56.31 on Halloween, down from $66.54 last year. This is a drop of over 15%. The depressing survey also found less people plan to celebrate Halloween this year and those that do celebrate will carve less pumpkins and attend fewer parties.

The gloomy economy is to blame for the cutbacks. The study found people plan to buy less candy and reuse last year's Halloween costumes and decorations. Nearly one in three (29.6%) consumers said the state of the U.S. economy will impact their Halloween spending plans. Of those who will be affected, the largest majority (88.0%) plan to spend less overall. Others say they will be buying less candy (46.5%), using last year's decorations without buying new ones (35.4%), making costumes instead of purchasing them (16.8%), reusing last year's costumes (15.8%), and not participating in as many Halloween activities such as haunted houses or fall festivals (26.4%).

The grim economy even has fewer people planning to celebrate Halloween this year (62.1% vs. 64.5% last year). Those that do participate are curtailing their plans. Less people are also dressing up this year - one-third (33.4%) will dress in costume, compared to 35.3% last year. The number of people carving a pumpkin will also drop (42.4% compared to 44.6% last year). How sad! Additionally, fewer people will throw or attend a party (30.2% vs. 31.1% in 2008), visit a haunted house (17.0% vs. 18.1% in 2008) and hand out candy (71.2% vs. 73.7% last year).

This is one depressing Halloween report. We hope people (especially those with kids) can find a way to celebrate the fun day even if they have to re-use items from the year before.