Halloween Sales to Grow a Slow 3.0 Percent in 2013

halloween sales 2012

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LOS ANGELES  ̶  Oct. 14, 2013  ̶  Faced with an uncertain economic and political environment, and the first government shutdown in nearly two decades, Americans are expected to tighten their holiday budgets this year, beginning with Halloween. Total spending on the holiday is anticipated to grow only 3.0 percent to $7.63 billion in 2013, compared to a strong 17.8 percent increase in 2012. IBISWorld expects consumers to cut back on discretionary purchases, including costumes and candy, as they gear up for a more frugal year-end holiday season ahead.

Spending Category* 2010($b) 2011($b) 2012($b) 2013($b) ChangeFrom 2012  to 2013
Costumes $1.94 $2.10 $2.72 $2.76 1.5%
Candy $1.88 $1.95 $2.19 $2.25 2.7%
Decorations $1.56 $1.85 $2.09 $2.23 6.7%
Cards $0.32 $0.39 $0.41 $0.39 -4.9%
TOTAL $5.70 $6.29 $7.41 $7.63 3.0%

*All figures in constant 2013 dollars

In 2013, IBISWorld expects consumers to spend $2.76 billion on costumes, a modest 1.5 percent increase from 2012. By contrast, spending on costumes skyrocketed 29.5 percent in 2012, on the back of strong consumer sentiment. A little more than half (50.4 percent) of this category’s revenue will come from adult costumes, while 47.7 percent will be generated through the sale of children’s costumes and another 1.9 percent will come from pet costumes. IBISWorld expects that most of the growth in this category will be driven by sales of children’s costumes; Americans are likely to significantly cut back spending on their pets this Halloween.

The number of adults celebrating Halloween is projected to shrink compared to last year as consumers remain cautious over discretionary spending in light of the government shutdown. Moreover, those choosing to engage in the festivities are likely to spend a smaller amount of money on an outfit than they did last year, in an effort to curb discretionary costs. As such, only a meager uptick in spending is expected this year.

Candy is the second-largest expenditure category on Halloween; this year, it is expected to total $2.25 billion, an increase of 2.7 percent over 2012. The meager increase is a stark contrast from last year’s 12.3 percent jump in candy sales. Candy is a small purchase for most households, so spending on this category is not expected to be as constrained as costumes. However, ongoing health concerns may also contribute to weaker demand this year as shoppers turn to more health-conscious treats like apples and sugar-free snacks.

Although spending on decorations is also slowing, IBISWorld anticipates decorations to experience the strongest revenue growth this year, jumping 6.7 percent to $2.23 billion. Demand for this category remains strong compared to the others because decorations can be a small and inexpensive way to get into the holiday spirit. Moreover, with the prevalence of social networking sites like Pinterest that highlight and encourage do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, consumers will be keener on sprucing up their spaces this year.

Greeting Cards
Greeting cards are a highly discretionary purchase, especially on occasions that are not traditionally focused on the family, like Halloween. Shoppers are likely to opt for more decorative and festive expenditures in lieu of greeting cards, causing the category to decline about 5.0 percent to $385.1 million in 2013. Despite the rise in popularity of artisan paper goods, consumers that choose to send cards will likely engage in DIY projects or e-mail and social media greetings instead.

About IBISWorld Inc.

Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit www.ibisworld.com or call 1-800-330-3772.

Ashley McKay
Media Coordinator


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