Total spending for Halloween will stay about the same as last year, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. It will reach $9 billion, the second highest in the survey's 14-year history, just missing last year's record $9.1 billion in sales.
Most of it, $3.2 billion, will be spent on costumes (bought by 68% of Halloween shoppers), followed by $2.7 billion on decorations (74%), $2.6 billion on candy (95%) and $400 million on greeting cards (35%).
More than a third (35%) of those looking for costumes will search online for inspiration, 29% in stores, 19% will ask friends and family, 19% will look to Pinterest and 16% will look to Facebook, according to the report. For costumes, party supplies and other goodies, 45% will head to discount stores, 35% to a specialty Halloween store or costume store, 25% to department stores, 24% to grocery stores and 24% to the internet.
Thanks to a robust economy, retailers have little to fear on Halloween this year.
More than 175 million Americans are planning to participate in Halloween, each spending an average of $86.79, up from last year's $86.13, according to Prosper's research.
Around 48% of Americans plan to wear a costume, with additional spending taking place on a range of activities. Prosper found that 70% of Halloween celebrants plan to hand out candy while 30% will take their children trick-or-treating. But others go all out, with half planning to decorate their home or yard, 45% carving a pumpkin, 32% throwing or attending a party and 21% braving a haunted house.
Costuming continues to be heavily influenced by popular culture, both recent and traditional. More than 3.8 million children plan to dress as their favorite princess character, 2.5 million as their favorite superhero, 2.2 million as Batman characters, 1.9 million as their favorite Star Wars characters, and 1.9 million as a witch. And it's not just kids. Nearly half of adults (48%) plan to dress up, too. More than 7.2 million grownups will be a witch, 2.5 million a vampire, 2.1 million a zombie, 1.9 million a pirate and 1.3 million as their favorite Avengers character.
But Americans, who are spending more and more on their pets each year, are also turning their attention to their pets at Halloween. Nearly 18% will dress up their pets, up from last year's 16%.
"Out of the 31.3 million Americans planning to dress their pets in costumes, millennials (25-34) are most likely to dress up their pets, the highest we have seen in the history of our surveys," Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said in a statement.