Halloween Spending to Reach Nearly $7 Billion Nationally


Courtesy: Dreamcakes Bakery

Halloween has become one of the most popular consumer holidays of the year.  According to new research conducted for the National Retail Federation.  Nearly two-thirds of adults, 157 million people, will celebrate the holiday in some way.

We’ve seen increases every year in our Halloween sales. People are just getting more and more into the holiday,” said Jan Jacks Potter, owner of Dreamcakes Bakery in Homewood, a member of the Alabama Retail Association. Potter says her bakery business picks up as soon as October rolls around. “Over the past few years, Halloween has really become one of our top-selling holidays. We’ve already been making super-hero themed cakes, pumpkin cupcakes, all kinds of things!”


Courtesy: Dreamcakes Bakery

Potter says this year, because the holiday falls on a Saturday, their kitchen will be especially busy. “Leading up to the holiday, we’ll have a lot of people getting cakes and cupcakes for school or kids’ parties. And on Friday and Saturday, a huge portion of the orders we have will be adult themes parties,” Potter added.

The top Halloween celebration plans for adults include handing out candy, decorating the home or yard, dressing in costume, pumpkin carving, attending a party or taking a child trick-or-treating. In fact, the holiday has become more of an adult event than ever before, helping boost spending on costumes, candy, decorations  and party materials more than 55 percent since 2005.


Courtesy: NRF.com

Courtesy: NRF.com

The most popular costume for adults – a witch – has now topped NRF’s Adult Costume List for 11 years in a row. Also maintaining an 11-year reign, princess costumes are again No. 1 on the children’s costume list, closely followed by Disney “Frozen” characters. However, Minions and “Star Wars” characters each made an appearance on all three top costume lists – adults, children and pets.

About one in 10 Halloween celebrants (12.9%) plan to dress their furry friends in costumes this year, and of the 80 percent of those surveyed who have already selected the costume, most (10.6%) will choose a little round pumpkin for Kitty or Rover.

NRF 2015 Top Costumes Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics

NRF 2015 Top Costumes Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics


Americans will spend, on average, $6.9 billion on Halloween in 2015, with each shopper spending just under $75. Those numbers are slightly below last year’s numbers of $7.4 billion in overall spending and $77.52 per shopper. Analysts cited that more than 80 percent of adults said the economy would impact their spending this year, prompting them to buy less candy, make their own costumes or decorations, or simply wear the same costume as last year.

“It’s easier than ever for consumers to find creative Halloween costumes given the popularity of Pinterest and Instagram and the immediate access to pop culture trends,” said Prosper Insights Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “It’s always a nice surprise to see what tops the lists each year and to see just how creative people will get when it comes to what their own and even their pets’ costumes.”

Courtesy: NRF.com

Courtesy: NRF.com


Most shoppers surveyed said they’d planned to complete their Halloween purchasing in September or during the first two weeks of October, with the other 25 percent planning to do their shopping the last two weeks of the month.

According to Consumer Affairs, the majority of consumers (31.4%) will find inspiration for their costumes online or will head to costume shops and retail stores (26.8%) before they make a final decision. Pinterest continues to grow in popularity among those looking for costume inspiration (13.3%), as this year’s percentage is nearly double the amount who used the site for inspiration just three years ago (7.1%).



The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Our 4,000 independent merchant and national company members sell food, clothing, furniture and other general merchandise at more than 6,000 locations throughout Alabama. Alabama Retail promotes what is best for the retailing industry in Alabama and has been doing so since 1943. From legislation to education, through communication and member services, Alabama Retail members benefit from the value of membership in their association. Retail works!

Melissa Johnson Warnke | 334.551.0631 | 256.338.0621 (c)