Halloween To Rake In $7 Billion At Retail

Halloween is expected to get U.S. store tills ringing more than ever this year, even if the economy is a horror show.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates almost $7 billion will be spent on Halloween in 2011, up from $5.8 billion last year. That’s also a huge leap from 2005’s $3.3 billion, before the current economic crisis took hold.

In its press release, the NRF even provides a breakdown of how money will be spent, with candy and decorations bringing in the biggest chunk:

Candy: $2 billion
Decorations: $1.88 billion
Adult costumes: $1.21 billion
Children’s costumes: $1 billion
Greeting cards: $470 million
Pet costumes: $310 million

The average American household will reportedly spend $72 on the holiday (up from $66 last year). Doug Johnson, Madison-based national and state retail analyst, thinks Halloween’s popularity is easily explained:

“Halloween has become more popular because of the relative low costs and the escape from daily worries and a chance to be a kid again.”

Halloween still lies fourth in annual spending on ‘retail events’ in the U.S. Inevitably, Christmas comes top, with people spending a cool $400 billion on making their Christmas magical (that’s $4,100 per household!). Halloween also trails back-to-school and Thanksgiving, but Johnson acknowledges Halloween is “sneaking in.” He also states that Halloween expenditure is normally a reliable indicator of what people will spend at Christmas:

“This is not only good for state and local and national retailers for sales now, it’s a harbinger for what we are hoping are even stronger sales for the holidays.”

Christmas last year saw the average person spend $700, while Mother’s Day came in second, with individual spending just short of $130.