Spooky Spending: Demand for Halloween Items to Rise

Halloween thmbThrough a variety of tricks, treats and seasonal traditions, more than 171.0 million Americans are expected to get into the Halloween spirit this year. In 2016, Americans are anticipated to spend an average of $82.93 on the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). This constitutes a 22.8% increase in holiday spending compared with 2015 lows. As a result, increased spending will benefit store operators that were haunted by reduced spending during the 2015 season. However, retailers are expected to cash in big this year, as 46.7% of Halloween-celebrating consumers plan to make purchases at Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters, while 36.4% plan to shop at specialty Halloween stores such as seasonal Spirit pop-up locations. Overall, in 2016, the record number of holiday celebrants are projected to collectively spend $8.4 billion on costumes, candy, decorations and other spooky items.


From superheroes to political figures, more than 67.0% of Americans plan to dress up in costume for this year’s festivities, compared with 64.3% in 2015. The influx of demand for costumes will benefit the Costume and Team Uniform Manufacturing industry, which is expected to grow 2.2% to reach $1.1 billion this year. Accounting for 22.1%% of the Costume and Team Uniform Manufacturing industry, Rubie’s Costume Company reports sales growth underpinned by costumes from its license portfolio, which includes Star Wars, Superman, Batman, Avengers and Star Trek character costumes. Despite these favorable conditions, some retailers, especially specialty Halloween pop-up stores like Spirit and Halloween Express, are threatened by the growing popularity of do-it-yourself (DIY) costumes. The NRF reports that over the past four years, the number of consumers using Pinterest for costume ideas has increased 133.0%. Conversely, the rising popularity of DIY costumes is expected to boost revenue for both general retailers and for the Hobby and Toy Stores industry overall, which generates 34.3% of its sales from hobby, craft and art supplies. In total, overall spending on Halloween costumes is expected to reach $3.1 billion in 2016.


This year will present more treats than tricks for sugar-slinging retailers, with holiday candy sales expected to increase 19.0% from last year, reaching $2.5 billion. An estimated 94.3% of Halloween celebrants will purchase candy to hand out to neighborhood children, or to indulge in themselves. More candy is purchased for Halloween than any other holiday, and according to CashNetUSA, chocolate comprises more than 72.0% of Halloween candy purchases. This is far from haunting news for the Chocolate Production industry, which is expected to grow 1.8% in 2016 to reach $16.8 billion. About 22.2% of chocolate is sold directly to the Grocery Stores industry, which uses festive decorations and price promotions to draw in Halloween candy-seeking consumers.


Whether holiday celebrants opt to adorn their front steps with only a couple pumpkins or choose to create a full-blown mock haunted house, overall spending on Halloween decorations is expected to reach $2.4 billion in 2016. In the Retail Market for Seasonal Decorations, Halloween decorations are expected to make up 20.6% of the entire market, which is expected to expand 3.8% this year. Demand for Halloween decorations has been stronger compared with other categories because decorations are a relatively small and inexpensive way to bring out holiday spirit. Additionally, with the prevalence of social networking sites like Pinterest, which highlight and encourage DIY projects, consumers will be keener on sprucing up their spaces this year.

Greeting cards

Halloween greeting card sales are expected to increase 18.2% in 2016, reaching $390.0 million. However, despite this increase, Halloween greeting card sales have declined over the past five years, falling at an annualized rate of 0.5%. While premium-priced artisan and sound-enabled cards have aided sales, the Greeting Cards industry has slowly contracted over the past decade due to the rising popularity of e-cards and social media posts. Moreover, Halloween is less family oriented than other holidays and cards are not as traditionally expected as they are during other seasonal celebrations, such as Christmas.

Halloween Spending 2016