Fewer Americans will mark Halloween, but they’ll spend a record high, making for a cheery holiday season

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Fewer than 60% of Americans are planning to celebrate Halloween this year, as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts plans for trick-or-treating and house parties, but those that will, are spending a record amount on candy, costumes and decorations, which may mean a strong holiday season for the nation’s retailers.

The National Retail Federation’s Annual 2020 Halloween Spending Survey released on Tuesday showed just 58% of those polled said they were planning to mark the occasion, but they still expect to spend a record $91.12 each, up from $86.27 last year, the most since the survey started in 2005.

Wednesday’s retail sales data confirmed a slowdown in consumer spending over the summer, in the wake of the near-20% bounce in May, when lockdown restrictions began to ease and shoppers hit the stores again. 

The Covid-19 crisis means far fewer people are planning to hold Halloween parties, go trick-or-treating or visit haunted houses. But their plans to spend more than ever on cards, decorations and candy bodes well for retail spending overall.

“There are only 72 days until Black Friday, so consumers’ plans to spend a record figure individually on Halloween this year sets a positive tone going into the most important season for retail sales,” Jessica Rabe, cofounder of DataTrek, said.

“Given that Halloween spend typically serves as a useful proxy for holiday shopping, that’s a positive signal,” she said.

The Black Friday sales, the day after Thanksgiving mark the start of the holiday-season shopping spree, and now serves as the most telling indicator for how much Americans might spend over those crucial week.

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The NRF’s survey, conducted by Prosper Insights, of 7,644 consumers took place over September 1-9, over a month after the government’s $600 weekly stimulus program ended and over 13 million Americans are still out of work.

Back in 2009, in the aftermath of the subprime lending crisis, individual spending on Halloween was expected to be just $55. This bounced to around $70 just two years later.

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This year, 30% are planning to do their Halloween shopping online, compared with 25% last year. 

“Although fewer are celebrating this year, the ones who are aren’t shying away from Halloween-related purchases, spending $11 more on average, primarily on decorations and candy,” Phil Rist, head of strategy at Prosper Insights, said.

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Source:: Business Insider


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