4 reasons Halloween will be a BOOn for retailers this year
When it comes to Halloween, retailers have very little to be afraid of.
That’s because spending for this holiday has only risen over the past several years. And this year, the National Retail Federation predicts that Americans will on average spend $77.52 each, up from $75.03 each last year, pushing total Halloween spending to $7.4 billion. Halloween superstores are also reporting increasing demand and sales growth.
Here are some reasons why this Halloween may be one of the most successful yet for retailers.
Halloween’s on a Friday
The fact that most people won’t have to get up for work or school on Saturday makes this Halloween especially festive — people are more likely to spend a bit more on their costumes and on party supplies. In fact, many people may stretch the fun across the weekend, scheduling parties for Saturday and Saturday night as well.
“In other years, when it (Halloween) falls on a weekday, I feel like a lot of people are less apt to go out and actually do something,” Megan Garland, manager of Spirit Halloween in Ocala, FL, told the Ocala Star Banner. “The average person who works a 9-to-5 has that Saturday of recovery (this year).”
Halloween decorations and costumes are more fun - and more expensive - than ever
Improvements in both simple and complex technologies have made some Halloween costumes and decorations especially effective at projecting blood-curdling screams, dripping blood, glowing in the dark, and other spooky effects. That makes many of those extra fun products especially enticing — and more expensive — this year.
Costumes are not just for kids
Halloween has been traditionally oriented to kids, of course. And Americans these days, no doubt with the rise of the two-income household, are increasingly buying costumes rather than make them. That’s why many retailers like Old Navy and others have offered costumes among their regular apparel once October comes around.
But more and more adults are getting gussied up as well, spending nearly 40% more than they did just four years ago. The NRF expects American adults to plunk down $1.4 billion on costumes this year. Compare that to kids spending on Halloween, which rose 26% and is expected to be $1.1 billion this year.
Pets may be less scary in costume than out, and that cute factor could be why Americans are increasingly outfitting their cats and dogs and other pets (even fish, sort of) for Halloween. In fact, the NRF expects Americans will spend some $350 million on costumes for their pets.
Día de los Muertos and Halloween
It's largely forgotten that Halloween is a holiday that was once celebrated by Druids in Ireland. The Druids believed that it was a time when the dead had the opportunity to roam, just ahead of the New Year, which came the next day. Christianity appropriated the holiday; some Christians celebrate Nov. 1 as All Saints Day, and the tradition of All Souls Day, and its ideas of roaming ghosts and visiting spirits the night before, endured.
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a strikingly similar (though not the same) Mexican holiday occurring at much the same time of the year, the three days between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2. It’s a time when departed relatives and friends are celebrated, and many of the same imagery, of skulls and skeletons and ghosts, are common.
The similarities and proximity of the days, the strong-and-getting-stronger influence of Mexican culture on the wider culture, and the opportunity to stretch the holiday over a longer period of time are all helping to merge the two holidays in the U.S. Many Americans tie them together, no matter their heritage, and many retailers offer costumes and decorations for both holidays.
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