Halloween is anticipated to continue to drive consumers to spend, with nearly three-quarters (74%) of U.S. households planning to spend money on Halloween-related items, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Halloween Consumer Spending Survey. The total for Halloween-related spending is expected to be approximately $11.3 billion in 2014.
“The fact that consumers are willing to spend more on discretionary purchases is a positive sign for the upcoming holiday shopping season.”
Excluding households that don’t plan to spend anything on Halloween, the average household plans to spend $125 this year on candy, costumes, decorations or other Halloween-related items. Eight out of ten households plan to spend the same or more on Halloween compared to last year, with one out of five households planning to increase spending.
“Halloween has continued to grow in importance over the past several years and consumer demand has driven retailers to place greater emphasis on the holiday,” said Jesse Tron, spokesperson for ICSC. “The fact that consumers are willing to spend more on discretionary purchases is a positive sign for the upcoming holiday shopping season.”
Similar to ICSC’s back-to-school shopping survey, the Halloween survey indicates that sales and promotions will be the biggest factor in the decision to shop at a particular location for Halloween-related items. When asked what influences them the most when choosing a store for Halloween, 64% of consumers said sales or the lowest price, 31% said the ability to physically see, touch or try on the merchandise and 29% said convenience/one-stop shopping/good parking.
The focus on price, along with an interest in one-stop shopping, could account for discount stores claiming the top spot this Halloween: 34% of spending will take place at discount stores; behind discounters, supermarkets are expected to grab 18% of purchases; followed by clothing and costume stores (13%); drug store chains (11%); and wholesale clubs (9%).
Overall, according to the survey, more than 90% of households will select brick-and-mortar retail stores as the preferred venue for Halloween shopping, and online is expected to see a 7% share of purchases.
Researching and planning ahead online before buying in-store continues to be an integral part of the shopping experience this fall, with 41% of households planning to participate in ‘webrooming’ – researching online before purchasing Halloween-related items in physical stores.
In addition to being a significant shopping destination for Halloween-related items, shopping centers and malls continue to evolve into community hubs. Out of the parents planning to take their children trick-or-treating this year, 17% will participate in a Halloween event sponsored by a mall or shopping center in 2014, in addition to more traditional neighborhood trick-or-treating and school events. The top costume for boys this year will be a superhero and the top costume for girls in 2014 will be a princess.