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Halloween spending up

October 22, 2012
By Sam Shawver ( , The Marietta Times

Halloween is now second only to Christmas when it comes to spending. American consumers expect to pay an average of $79.62 this year for candy, costumes and decorations, according to a recent survey from the National Retail Federation.

The survey noted 170 million people will celebrate Halloween this year, and approximately $8 billion will be spent through Oct. 31.

Among the celebrants will be Joe and Rachelle Flaherty, both 29, of Waterford, who were out shopping for costumes with their two children Sunday afternoon.

Article Photos

SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Marietta Kmart worker Samantha Patterson—in pirate garb—arranges Halloween costumes on the store racks Sunday afternoon.

"All four of us dress up for Halloween-and we go to some parties," Rachelle said. "But we're re-doing our home, so we won't be decorating a lot this year-just some smaller decorations."

She hadn't decided on a costume for herself, but Joe already knew what his character would be.

"I'm going as Hulk Hogan, so I'll probably have at least $40 in my costume this year," he said.

Fact Box

Halloween spending up since 2005

Costumes-2005: $1.15 billion-2012 (projected): $2.87 billion.

Candy-2005: $1.16 billion-2012: $2.33 billion.

Decorations-2005: $84 million-2012: $2.36 billion.

Greeting Cards-2005: $14 million-2012: $59 million.

Source: National Retail Federation consumer survey.

That's about $12 more than the average costume expenditure of $28.65 from the NRF survey.

Joe estimated the family would also lay out around $25 on candy for trick-or-treaters which is close to the survey's average of $24.25 consumers say they'll spend on sweets.

Decorations will be the most expensive of Halloween expenditures, according to the retail federation survey which estimates consumers will spend $32.35 to decorate their homes and yards.

Dale Taylor, 49, of Brownsville in Grandview Township, was also doing his Halloween shopping Sunday afternoon.

"We're buying candy, decorations, and a costume for our grandson," he said. "We try to buy stuff that's on sale, but will probably spend around $100 altogether on Halloween."

Lori Posey, manager at the Marietta Kmart, said Halloween items have been selling fairly well this year.

"Three weeks prior to Halloween we started having our orange and black sales, and this weekend the Halloween items are 50 percent off the regular price," she said. "And we've been selling a lot of kids and adult costumes, as well as plenty of candy."

According to The Associated Press, retailers predict 71.5 percent of American households will celebrate Halloween this year, up from 68.6 percent in 2011.

But the National Retail Federation adds that roughly 25 percent of those who plan to celebrate Halloween say they will spend less this year because of the economy.

In past years Kay Bonnette, 61, of Marietta, has participated in the Halloween revelry, but this year will be different.

"We used to dress up for parties-we would probably spend around $120 for costumes and candy, but with the current economy we're not buying any Halloween items this year," she said.

Linda Maxon, 55, of Reno was also cutting back on Halloween spending this year.

"We're just buying a few pumpkins that the grandkids will carve, paint and light," she said. "When we lived in the Norwood area years ago we made our own costumes, but I spent a lot on candy then."

Ryan Ebra, 23, of Marietta gets costumes for her two kids each year.

"We usually buy them a costume, and spend about $20 apiece," she said.

Ellenboro, W.Va., resident Tami Somerville, 40, has to costume three children.

"We spend around $20 to $25 per kid," she said. "Today we're just looking for costumes for a Halloween party."

Somerville said she's not planning to decorate much as her home is not located in a very populated neighborhood, and she'll be spending trick-or-treat night at her sister's.

"So most of our spending will be on costumes and candy this year," she said.



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