Updated October 15, 2013While Halloween is a major event on the U.S. retail holiday sales calendar, it is not the most major of the retail holidays in terms of spending. The U.S. Retail Industry pays attention to Halloween, however, for clues about how much of an influence holiday festivities can have on consumer spending. Theoretically if consumers get giddy with goblins and ghouls, then they will also be easily excitable when Black Friday rolls around less than a month later.
Halloween will not be a treat for U.S. retailers, according to the annual Halloween Spending Survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF). In every way that consumers increased their Halloween spending in 2012, they intend to decrease it in 2013, according to the 2013 Halloween spending survey. If consumer spending actually matches consumer intentions, retailers will be ringing $1 billion less in sales in the month of October. It is worth noting that this survey was completed long before the U.S. government shutdown spooked consumers, so Halloween sales numbers will likely be even scarier when retailers are counting up their 2013 Halloween loot.
What follows are some of the key results of the Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey for 2005 - 2013. Only questions that were included in the survey for all nine years are reported here.
Click for the Nine-Year Comparison of the NRF Halloween Intentions Spending Survey >>