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Phone: 202.783.7971 Fax: 202.737.2849


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For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathy Grannis or Scott Krugman (202) 783-7971
Email:  or

As Halloween Shifts to Seasonal Celebration,
Retailers Not Spooked by Surge in Spending

-Spending Nears $5 Billion Due to Increase in Celebrations--

Washington, DC, September 20, 2006 - From costumes to candy, people of all ages will be getting into the Halloween spirit as the year’s spookiest holiday approaches.  According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, consumers are expected to spend $4.96 billion this Halloween, up significantly from just $3.29 billion a year ago. 

The spending increase is largely due to a surge in celebrating. According to the survey, nearly two-thirds (63.8%) of consumers will celebrate Halloween this year, a noticeable rise over the 52.5 percent that celebrated in 2005. Halloween activities will range from handing out candy (73.4%) to dressing in costume (34.0%) and visiting a haunted house (17.2%). In addition to a rise in celebrations, per-person spending is also increasing: the average consumer plans to spend $59.06 on Halloween, compared to $48.48 last year.

“Consumers see Halloween as a seasonal celebration to bridge the gap between the end of summer and the winter holidays,” said Tracy Mullin, President and CEO of NRF.  “Halloween offers a little something for everyone and, this year, people of all ages will be joining in the fun.”

Maintaining its spot as the second-biggest decorating holiday of the year after Christmas, decorations continue to be a strong category as 67.0 percent of consumers plan to purchase Halloween décor and almost half (48.6%) plan to decorate their home or yard.  Additionally, most people (95.7%) will be scooping up plenty of candy, with the average consumer spending $18.72 in that category.  Costumes are also expected to increase in popularity this year with consumers spending $21.57 to dress up as their favorite alter-ego. 

The popularity of Halloween among young adults continues to surge for the second year in a row.  This year, 85.3 percent of 18-24 year olds plan to celebrate the holiday, up from 66.8 percent last year. But they aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the ghoulish fun—76.5 percent of consumers aged 25-34 and 71.3 percent of 35-44 year-olds will be joining in the fun.

“Halloween has especially exploded among young adults who are celebrating with large parties and elaborate costumes, driving spending and bringing good news for retailers,” said Phil Rist, Vice President of Strategy for BIGresearch.  “With the holiday falling on a Tuesday this year, young adults may begin participating in Halloween activities the weekend before and spend several days celebrating.”

Though growing, Halloween remains the sixth-largest spending holiday after: Winter Holidays ($457.4 billion estimated), Valentine's Day ($13.70 billion), Easter ($12.63 billion), Mother's Day ($13.80 billion), and Father's Day ($9.01 billion). Because it is not a gift-giving holiday or an apparel holiday, it ranks lower than other annual holidays in terms of spending.

About the Survey

The NRF 2006 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Halloween. The survey, which polled 8,001 consumers, was conducted for NRF by BIGresearch from September 6 –13, 2006. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.

BIGresearch is a consumer market intelligence firm that provides unique consumer insights that are gathered online utilizing very large sample sizes. BIGresearch’s syndicated Consumer Intentions and Actions survey monitors the pulse of more than 7,000 consumers each month to empower its clients with unique insights for identifying opportunities in a fragmented and changing marketplace.

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.4 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 23 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2005 sales of $4.4 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations.


NRF will release a list of the top children’s and top adults’ Halloween costumes next Tuesday, September 26.







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