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Halloween maintains profitability, popularity

Caleb Nelson, 5, of Willmar, plays with a pan of green slime Wednesday during the Jack-O-Lantern Jamboree at First Baptist Church in Willmar. Children enjoyed carnival games, food, candy bar collections and face painting during the event. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

Halloween remains a popular holiday for young and old. A survey conducted last month for the National Retail Federation shows nearly 158 million consumers plan to participate in Halloween activities, slightly less than the survey high of 170 million people last year.

The survey of 5,290 consumers conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics from Sept. 3-10 found that average spending is down slightly from last year. The average person expected to spend $75.03 on décor, costumes, candy and fun, down from $79.82 last year. The National Retail Federation says that, overall, average spending on Halloween has increased 54.7 percent since 2005, with total spending estimated to reach $6.9 billion in 2013 based on an extrapolation of U.S. adults 18 and older.

Dressing in costume, of course, is a big part of the celebration. According to the survey, 43.6 percent of people plan to dress up and will spend a total of $2.6 billion on costumes.

Specifically, consumers will shell out $1.04 billion on children’s costumes, and $1.22 billion on adult costumes.  And don’t forget Fido:  13.8 percent of those celebrating will take time to find a costume for their four-legged friend, and they will spend approximately $330 million.

The survey also found that celebrants will spend $2.08 billion on candy and $360 million on greeting cards. Second only to Christmas in terms of spending on decorations, Americans will spend $1.96 billion on Halloween decorations.

Susan Lunneborg
Susan Lunneborg is news editor of the West Central Tribune. She joined the staff in Willmar in 1999 and has been a newspaper journalist for more than 20 years. She can be reached directly at the email linked here, but for the most timely response, please send news releases to the Tribune's general news email:
(320) 235-1150