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Retailers may get a treat this Halloween: higher sales

Americans plan to spend an average of $66.28 on costumes, candy and decorations, up from $56.31 last year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.

September 24, 2010|By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times

Halloween is expected to be a little less scary for retailers this year, with consumers expected to spend considerably more on the Oct. 31 holiday than they did last year.

Americans say they plan to spend an average of $66.28 on costumes, candy and decorations, up from last year's $56.31 average and in line with the $66.54 average in 2008, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation on Thursday.

Total spending for the holiday, which falls on a Sunday this year, is expected to reach $5.8 billion, with 148 million Americans expected to partake in some sort of celebration.

Costumes will take up the largest portion of a person's budget, with an average of $23.37 being spent on dress-up items, the survey found. Americans will also spend an average of $20.29 on candy, $18.66 on decorations and $3.95 on greeting cards.

"In recent years, Halloween has provided a welcome break from reality, allowing many Americans a chance to escape from the stress the economy has put on their family and incomes," said Matthew Shay, president of the retail federation.

The highest percentage of people in the survey's history will dress up for Halloween, with 4 out of 10 people planning to don a costume, up from 33.4% in 2009. One-third of people will throw or attend a party, nearly three-quarters will hand out candy, 46.3% will carve a pumpkin and 31.7% will take their children trick-or-treating.

Although total spending is expected to increase, 3 out of 10 consumers said the state of the U.S. economy would still affect their Halloween plans, with 86.8% of those respondents saying they would spend less.

The survey polled 9,291 consumers from Aug. 31 through Sept. 8.

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