According to an annual survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics, total Halloween spending is expected to grow by $1.5 billion to $8.4 billion in 2016, up from $6.9 billion in 2015, a record high in the survey’s 11-year history. US consumers are estimated to spend an average of $82.90 during the Halloween season, with 171 million Americans planning to take part in this year’s holiday.
The largest spending category is expected to be costumes ($3.1 billion), followed by candy ($2.5 billion), decorations ($2.4 billion) and greeting cards ($390 million). In 2015, Halloween ranked eighth in highest holiday spending totals.
Consumers to Shop Earlier for Halloween this Year
According to the survey, 80% of Americans are expected to begin shopping for Halloween by mid-October, an increase of 5% from 2015. And with higher participation expected this year, consumers could start shopping for Halloween even earlier.
Retailers started promoting Halloween earlier this year compared to 2015. For the week ending on October 9th, the following retailers featured Halloween themes in their weekly promotions, which were absent in the previous year.
- CVS featured savings on candy, including Twizzlers and Hershey’s brand items this year, compared to the same week in 2015, when featured savings highlighted beauty products such as Aveeno, Maybelline and Neutrogena.
- Kmart promoted Halloween costumes, decorations, candy and soft drinks. On one day, free Halloween stickers and pencils were given to kids 12 and under. The savings during the same week in 2015 promoted fleecewear, footwear, bath towels, vitamins, toys and snacks.
- Target offered coupons for Halloween costumes, candy and décor in 2016, while during the same week in 2015, it promoted the iPhone 6s, iPads, iTunes gift cards and Beats by Dre headphones.
Social Media Serves as a Source for Costume Ideas
A lot of people are now using social media as a tool to find the perfect costume; since 2012, the number of people using social media for Halloween inspiration has increased 133%. Aside from online and in-store searching, Pinterest and Facebook are the third and fourth most popular source of costume inspiration.
Beauty brands such as NYX Cosmetics, Huda Beauty and Anastasia Beverly Hills are using the Halloween season to showcase their products’ abilities, especially on Instagram.
Discount Stores are the Top Halloween Shopping Destination
Discount stores are expected to be the top Halloween shopping destination. This is consistent with the trend over the past few years; 47% of respondents said they will visit a discount store, in-line with last year’s survey, and down from 50% in 2014. An improving US economy might be a factor in the decreasing percentage of shoppers going to discount stores. Online is the fastest-growing channel for Halloween shopping; more than 26% of respondents plan to shop online this year, up from 18% in 2015.
To learn more details on the Halloween shopping season, read our full report here.
Other reports you might find interesting: UK Christmas 2016 Retail Outlook: A Bumper Brexit Holiday Expected, September 2016 US Retail Sales And Traffic, Weekly Promo Update Oct 9.
If you like what you are reading, subscribe to our daily news and analysis of retail, technology and fashion here.