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Halloween No.2 holiday in consumer spending


11-01-2012 11:11 BJT

CCTV correspondent Michelle Makori

It’s not just for kids anymore!!! Halloween has morphed into a celebration for holiday for adults, too, adding billions extra to the economy. If early projections come true, then Halloween 2012 will be the biggest ever. 

From costumes to candy to cobwebs, at least $8 billion will be spent by U.S. consumers bewitched by Halloween this year.

According to the National Retail Federation, a record 170 million Americans will be celebrating Halloween. Seven in 10 Americans will get into the haunting spirit - the most since the retail foundation’s started its survey 10 years ago.

Howard Davidowitz, Retail Analyst at Davidowitz & Associates, said, “The key to Halloween is its growth. If you look at Halloween over the last 10 years it’s the fastest growing holiday. And it’s a chance to have a lot of parties. It’s changed from children celebrating to the whole family celebrating. That’s the big change.”

Halloween spending hasn’t been spooked by our scary economy. According to the National Retail Federation the average person will splurge $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy.
The American Express Saving & Spending Tracker says the spending will be even higher - around 123, which is more than twice the average of $53 - just a year ago.

Halloween has emerged as the No. 2 holiday in consumer spending for decorations, after Christmas.  Pumpkins in October are now as prevalent as Christmas trees in December.

And like Christmas, Halloween also brings seasonal job opportunities. Employers not only seek temporary employees, American retailers even open temporary stores called “pop-ups.”
Howard Davidowitz said, “Halloween is perfect for a popup store. And you’ll see them in almost every mall in the middle of the mall and everywhere else. You can do a lot of business in a couple of months.”

Some retail analysts, including 24/7 Wall St., think the $8 billion spending projection is too low and should be closer to $10 billion, if you include revenue from amusement park “Haunted Houses,” movie sales, parties, restaurants and liquor sales.
But that was before “Hurricane Sandy”, dubbed the “Frankenstorm” by U.S. media.

Although Sandy no doubt has scared away some customers for many east coast merchants who rely on Halloween day sales for a big chunk of their business, the National retail federation says most people have already purchased what they were planning to buy for Halloween.
Another indicator of just how big Halloween has become in America - New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, promised to sign an Executive Order rescheduling it if conditions weren’t safe by Wednesday for kids to go trick-or-treating.

So Halloween still promises to be a big treat for businesses.

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