Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Halloween Biz

It is not, as has been rumored, the second biggest holiday spendathon - no, Valentine's Day,Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Easter are still the runners up to Christmas - but as anyone who's been in a store or driven past a house in the last month knows: Halloween is BIG BUSINESS.

Here are a few of the stats compiled by Melody Vargas over at, Melody's info, in turn, came from the National Retail Federation's 2007 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions.

For the first WOW number: consumers are predicted to spend $5.07B - up from a paltry $3.29B in 2005. I will admit, the numbers girl in me thinks that one of these numbers is wrong - I'm guessing this is an apples-oranges deal. Make that a Junior Mints-Butterfinger comparison.

Here are a few of the stats that Melody gleaned:

  • The average consumer celebrating Halloween will spend $64.82 on Halloween, compared to $59.06 last year.

I'm a sub-spender here. So far, I've bought a bag of candy and three Halloween cards.

  • 28.3 percent of those responding are planning to throw or attend a Halloween party.

I'm on track. My sister Trish lives in Salem, Massachusetts, Halloween capital of the world and I'm heading to her house.It's not a party-party. (I won't be in costume, unless you count middle aged woman with a broken arm as a costume.)  But we will be celebrating - especially when Trick or Treating officially ends at 8 p.m. and Trish can blow out the pumpkin and turn out the porch light. (They live near The Common and the  Witch Museum, and get hundreds of Trick or Treaters.)

  • $1.57 billion will be spent on candy, with 94.7 percent of consumers buying. The average consumer will spend $19.84, and 72.9 percent plan on handing out candy to trick-or-treaters and others.

Well, other than that $.99 I spent at CVS for a bag of candy corn, I won't be doing any spending on candy. Alas, while we live in an excellent neighborhood for trick or treating - lots of jack-o-lanterns, lots of spooky decorations, our building's off the beaten track and we don't get callers; the only kid in the building is 6 months old; plus, we won't be home, anyway. (I would probably give out M&M's.)

  • Consumers will spend $23.33 on average and 33.8 percent plan to dress in costume. Total spending on costumes, including those for children and pets, is expected to reach $1.82 billion.
  •  7.4 million households plan to dress up their pets in costume. The top pet costume choices for Halloween are devils, pumpkins, witches, princesses and angels. 
  • One-third of adults will wear a costume this year. Adult's favorite costume picks for Halloween this year are fairly traditional including witch, pirate, vampire, cat and princess. 

The adult dressing up kind of floors me. I guess it's all those parties. I've worked at a couple places where people dressed up. Other than a black sweater and theme-y scarf, I never did. Who needs to see yet another person wearing a Dilbert tie? At one company, some folks dressed up as defunct products, which was pretty funny.

The last time I went to a costume party, I went as a hip nun. The party was at my sister Kath's, and a lot of people thought  I was actually a nun - Sister Maureen. Apologies were made anytime I walked into a room where anything good was going on.

Kids' costumes? No question - kids gotta have costumes. Yet I can't help but think the homemade jobs aren't the best.

And dog costumes? Completely ridiculous, but who could resist?

I'm sure Cute Overload will be bursting at the seams today. (I 've been trying to upload a shot of 4 dogs in food service workerand/or fast food outfits, but have been unsuccessful so far. If you want to see something funny google "dog krispy kreme costume" and you will surely find it.)

Happy Halloween!



I also posted on Trick or Treat over on Opinionated, if you want to take a look.

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