Americans Expected to Spend More than $8 Billion This Halloween

October 28, 2016

JeffKramerFor most people, the Halloween season is about creepy costumes and candy rather than shopping. But even though the retail sales of All Hallow’s Eve can’t compare to the December holidays, Americans still manage to spend a scary sum of money at the end of October. The National Retail Federation estimates that this year consumers will spend as much as $8.4 billion preparing for Halloween, amounting to an average of $82.93 per shopper.

Costumes account for $3.1 billion of this spooky spending with another $2.5 billion going to candy and $390 million for greeting cards. What’s more, most Halloween shopping is done in brick-and-mortar locations where consumers can judge potential garments or treats with their own eyes. People tend to use the Internet for inspiration: 34 percent of those surveyed said they gathered costume ideas from Facebook and Pinterest. As for the most popular outfits, witches and pirates rank as the top two with political costumes taking the third spot.

When it comes to shopping seasons, however, Christmastime casts a mighty, merry shadow over the others. Americans spent a whopping $626 billion at the end of 2015, a number that will likely increase this year. Halloween only ranks eighth in terms of total spending, running in front of Fourth of July but lagging behind Father’s Day. Surprisingly, the second most popular shopping season doesn’t revolve around a holiday: in 2016 Americans spent $75.8 billion on back to school supplies.



  1. Why do consumers prefer to do their Halloween shopping in brick and mortar stores rather than online?
  2. Will the amount of money that Americans spend on Halloween continue to increase?

Source: Charisse Jones, “Americans to Spend $82.93 Per Shopper on Halloween,” USA Today, September 22, 2016; Mary Bowerman, “Boo! Halloween By the Numbers,” USA Today, October 26, 2016. Photo by: Jeff Kramer.