Halloween is Big Business: $10 Billion of Trick, Treat, Costumes, Decorations… Season for ‘Pop-Up’ Stores…

Halloween is number one holiday when it comes to growth in consumer spending… According to National Retail Federation; Halloween will be celebrated in record sales numbers in 2014, with more than two-thirds of Americans buying Halloween costumes, decorations, candy, and much more… for total estimated spending for the holiday of $7.4 billion, including $350 million on costumes for pets.

Overall consumer spending on Halloween is expected to top $78 per person, representing 62% increase over ten years. According to another study; 162 million people plan to celebrate Halloween in some way this year,  with $2.8 billion spent on costumes of which $1.1 billion is earmarked for kids costumes, $230 million to dress up pets, and that leaves majority of consumers planned costume budgets for adults…

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Although Halloween costumes top the list as a category, the fastest-growing category is Halloween decorations; nearly half (50%) of consumers plan to decorate their homes or yards and plan to spend about $31 each… That translates into a 48% increase per consumer over the course of the past ten years…

According to Ken Alterman; with this year’s observance on Friday, even higher growth is anticipated and expect the ‘selfie’ to be bigger than ever this year as 60% of social media users who dress up report their social networks will impact their costume choices. Social media has continued to spark costume creativity – if a photo is likely to be posted to their social channels, 35% would be more inclined to create a one-of-a-kind costume.

Almost half plan to get inspiration from their news feed, while 34% want to wear something different every year to avoid posting similar photos… while 41% plan to participate in ‘web-rooming’, i.e.; research online before purchase of Halloween-related items in physical stores…

What is Halloween? The essential elements of Halloween, such as; costuming, trick-or-treating, lighting bonfires, telling ghost stories, and attending community parties can be traced back 2000 years ago to the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain, which means ‘summer’s end’… Halloween is a contraction of  ‘All Hallows’ Evening’, also known as ‘All Saints’ Eve’, and is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of– ‘All Hallows’ Day’.

It initiates the triduum of ‘Allhallowtide’, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including; saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers. Within ‘Allhallowtide’, the traditional focus of ‘All Hallows’ Eve’ revolves around theme of using– ‘humor and ridicule to confront the power of death’… According to many scholars, ‘All Hallows’ Eve’ is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain. Other scholars maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots…

However, Halloween is no stranger to controversy even in the twenty-first century, but the energy of Halloween has always been targeted by those who wish to control it, from the early Catholic church to the various political and religious groups of today. Yet, Halloween has managed to achieve national status without federal sanction (such as; July 4th and Christmas) because it’s a celebration of the potential of what humans want to be– and if only for one night, for what they would not otherwise be…

Historically Halloween endures because it allows its participants to both embrace and diffuse their fears… From the ancient Celts who worshiped the Lord of the Dead to help them visualize the afterlife to the little vampires and fairies trick-or-treating at your door, Halloween’s adaptability is the reason it remains– after nearly 2000 years– it’s the most bewitching night of the year.

In the article Halloween by Numbers; Cost of a Scare by Lisa LaMotta writes: It’s a $10 Billion industry without counting the booze, and growing rapidly… It’s scary, the money people spend on Halloween, Americans will shell out just over $5 billion on the harrowing holiday this year, up 58% since 2002 (11% annualized growth)… And it doesn’t even include all the alcohol consumed at the crazy costume parties…

According to Scott Krugman; Halloween is moving away from one night out of the year to full season, and the larger promotional window for Halloween is leading to increased sales opportunities for retailers… Nearly 60% of the 8,877 people surveyed by the National Retail Federation (NRF) plan to celebrate Halloween in some way, such as; dressing up, going to a party, handing out candy, carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, decorating… While the percentage of decorating for Halloween remains the same, the average amount spent per person climbed 14%, to $26.59, over last year. Estimated price tag for all those Halloween decorations is $1.4 billion. In terms of decoration purchases, the Halloween season is now second only to Christmas…

But, don’t forget all those real pumpkins: According to the NRF survey, more than 40% said they were going to carve pumpkins for Halloween, this year… According to Department of Agriculture; U.S. farmers harvested nearly 43,000 acres of pumpkins, the total weight is 10.2 million cwt (about 1 billion pounds)… Even dogs are getting in on the Halloween action: Halloween costumes for pets have been catching on over the last couple of years…

You will see very generous offerings in terms of pet costumes, and with owners and their pets dressing in some sort of theme… There will be plenty of human howling, too: Almost 30% of people surveyed by the NRF said; they were going to throw or attend Halloween party this year. When it comes to parties; Halloween draws the third-highest crowds, behind New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl Sunday…

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In the article Halloween Sales May Hit $125 Per Family by Kim Souza writes: According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC); 74% of U.S. households plan to spend money on Halloween-related items, including; candy, costumes, decorations, other related holiday items… for an average of $125 per household on Halloween candy, costumes, decorations and other related holiday items… The total benefit for retailers is expected to be $11.3 billion. Some 80% of households will spend the same as last year and 20% said they plan to increase spending, ICSC notes…

Halloween has continued to grow in importance over past several years, and consumer demand has driven retailers to place greater emphasis on the holiday. Also, since consumers seem to be willing to spend more on discretionary purchases is a positive sign for upcoming holiday shopping season…

However, while consumers are willing to spend for the holiday, they are still looking for sales and good prices which is why discount retailers are expected to get 34% of the overall sales. Supermarkets should garner about 18% of sales, with drug store chains and wholesale clubs picking up 11% and 9%, respectively. National Retail Federation expects total spending at $7.4 billion, about one-third of which is spent on candy, and about 75% of U.S. households plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters this year… The National Retail Federation estimates that spending on children’s costumes will total $1.1 billion, while 75 million adults will spend $1.4 billion on costumes for themselves and another $350 million on costumes for their pets…

In the article Business of Halloween Pop-Up Shops by Lydia Dishman writes: Halloween is just around the corner, but the shops peddling costumes, makeup, fake tombstones, all manner of cobwebs, skulls and life-size plastic ghouls have been doing brisk business all month. Specialty stores sprout seemingly overnight in temporary locations like empty mall stores… then slam shut like a coffin right after the holiday, for example; national chains such as; Spirit Halloween, Halloween City… brings in big sales– even in New York City where rents for retail spaces can top $79,000 per month. According to Christina Norsig; rising consumer sentiment, disposable incomes have allowed total spending on Halloween to increase every year since 2009, which was a massive 18.5% decline from 2008…

According to Olivia Tang; this year Americans are projected to spend $8 billion, and a whopping $2.9 billion will be spent on costumes, which  representing a 12.2% increase over last year… That’s good news for Halloween ‘Pop-Up’ stores, both small and large According to Alison Paul; in comparison to what it costs to establish a new building, putting in a Pop-Up is a much smaller investment for a retailer…

a Pop-Up is defined as a temporary leasing of a space from– one day to one year. Halloween shops that run for one month sometimes extend for a few weeks for after-Halloween sales: This ‘retail model’ works best for seasonal merchandise and specialty type holidays… According to Alison Paul; as consumer spending continues to rise, it’s become harder to find empty big-box stores… To further maximize sales, these seasonal retailers have turned to the Web, which is the number two destination for shopping during the holidays…

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Overall, consumer spending on ‘all things Halloween’ has increased a whopping 54.7% since 2005 making it a significant source of retail revenue, especially since it comes in a month (October) that would otherwise be slow… In fact, spending on Halloween decorations ranks second only to spending on Christmas decorations, a fact not lost on merchants who devote entire sections of stores to this holiday…

According to Jim Probasco; many major retailers, rather than just spending October ramping up for the more visible Christmas holiday season, now spend significant advertising dollars on– goblins, witches, zombies… before turning to Santa and his reindeer: Halloween has become a true retail bonanza… The Halloween market is growing in two ways that make it very attractive for business opportunities. First, Halloween is becoming an increasingly universal celebration… Second, Halloween is becoming a very large market–  consumers are spending increasing amounts of money on celebration…

Statistically, business opportunities related to Halloween has ‘legs’… Growing segments within the Halloween market makes for many very ‘sweet’ business opportunities… Although children’s ‘trick or treat’ is still Halloween mainstay, it’s the adults who are spending more money on the celebration, and embracing Halloween as a chance to let their inner child get out and party.

Large parties with participants wearing elaborate costumes are becoming increasingly popular, which is great news for people looking for niche business opportunities… So don’t just look at Halloween as time to buy candy or a chance to party but more important, view Halloween as a business opportunity that a savvy entrepreneur won’t want to overlook…