Halloween spending to reach record $10.6B: NRF

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The nation's largest retail trade group projected that Halloween spending will reach a new record this year as participation in the holiday spikes despite the tumultuous economy. 

Total spending, which includes costumes, decorations and parties, is expected to notch a record $10.6 billion, outpacing last year's record figure of $10.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. 

The trade group projected that participation in Halloween activities will reach pre-pandemic levels, with 69% of consumers planning to celebrate, the NRF reported. Last year, Halloween participation was 65% but in 2019, it was around 68%.  

Target CEO Brian Cornell even told analysts on a recent earnings call that it expects "guests will fully embrace trick or treating and scheduling parties to celebrate with family, friends and neighbors." 

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Each consumer participating in the holiday is expected to dole out an average of $100 on candy, décor, cards and costumes, which is the "the second highest in the survey’s history," the NRF reported. 

Costumes will account for much of that spending. 

A child holds a Snickers bar and a Hershey bar. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Overall, spending on kids’ and adult costumes is expected to reach its highest amount in the past five years, totaling $2.9 billion. Spending on pet costumes is expected to reach $710 million, exceeding last year's record, according to the NRF. 

"As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday a fun and memorable one," NRF CEO Matthew Shay said. 

Nearly half of all shoppers who plan to participate in Halloween activities started shopping in September or even earlier and retailers are taking notice.  

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Michaels' Chief Operating Officer Joe Venezia told FOX Business earlier this month that it already saw strong demand for its Halloween supplies in August. 

Halloween candy and decorations are displayed at a store in Freeport, Maine, on Sept. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty / AP Newsroom)

"We regularly see our holiday assortment sell-through, and the response to our Halloween merchandise that began setting in stores in August, is an early indicator of the demand this year," Venezia said. 

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Party City's parent, Party City Holdings Inc., announced in a recent earnings call that it was "cautiously optimistic" for the Halloween season even with the uncertain economic environment with high inflation.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TGTTARGET CORP.164.76+0.67+0.41%
PRTYPARTY CITY HOLDCO INC.1.96-0.10-4.85%

"We will have an improved year-over-year experience for the consumer and are planning to operate 130 to 150 Halloween City stores this year, which is up from last year's 90 stores," Party City Holdings Inc. CEO Brad Weston told analysts. 

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