A record 170 million people plan to celebrate Halloween this year with spending up to an expected new all time high of $8 billion dollars according to the National Retail Federation's 2012 Halloween consumer spending survey.
Seven in ten Americans (71.5%) are into the haunting Halloween mood, up again from last year and the most in the 10-year survey history.
Tulane Business Professor Mark Rosa says retailers are really benefiting. "The last quarter of the year is very important to retailers, as many of them make as much as 40% of their annual revenue just in the last quarter."
Are you seeing more Halloween decorations around your neighborhood? That's part of the trend of the growing popularity of Halloween. "Yard art I guess you'd call it, the inflatable devices that people put in their yard. They seem to be more and more elaborate," and Rosa says, "I don't know where people store all the stuff that they put in their yard."
We're spending nearly $80 each on spooky delights, including candy, costumes and decorations.
Locally, Rosa says VooDoo Fest was a real boost to the city's economy.
"By the time Halloween rolls around each year it's safe to say Americans have already spent two months preparing for one of the fastest-growing and most widely-loved holidays of the year,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "Retailers know that when it comes to Halloween, new costume ideas for children, adults and pets, and the latest in home and yard decor top people's shopping lists."
When it comes to looking for Halloween costume ideas, the NRF says consumers say their biggest source of inspiration is what they see in a retail store or costume shop. More than one-third will look for new ideas in a store and nearly one-quarter will turn to their friends and family. Social media will also play a role in choosing costumes: 15 percent will check out Facebook for inspiration and 7 percent will scour the visually-appealing Pinterest. Online searches will also be popular with celebrants: 33 percent say they will get their inspiration online. Of those buying or making costumes, the average person will spend $28.65 on costumes this year, up slightly from $26.52 in 2011.