Photo: Janet Morrell (Flickr)
A National Retail Federation survey indicates that consumer spending will be higher this Halloween season than last. For local retailers, sales have been mixed.
For the past nine years, the National Retail Federation has commissioned a survey of consumer activity during the Halloween season. According to the most recent survey, Americans will spend more on Halloween this year than last.
The average consumer celebrating Halloween is expected to spend $72 on decorations, costumes, and candy, as opposed to $66 last year. However, one third of respondents did say the economy will affect their spending.
Sales at Bloomington costume shop Costume Delights match this data. Shop owner Dyan Higgins says that sales are up after a few slow years.
“Well, the past couple years we saw a decrease in spending, but this year it seems people are back to enjoying themselves and having a good time at Halloween, so we’re seeing an increase in spending,” she says. “People are still frugal with their money, but that’s completely understandable.”
Higgins says that in recent years people have been buying accessories and pieces of costumes, but this year they have returned to buying complete outfits.
Not all stores in Bloomington are seeing a bump in sales. Campus Costume owner John McGuire says his shop has seen decreased sales this year. He attributes this drop largely to increased competition.
“Temporary shops opened up in Bloomington so we have to compete with them, along with internet providers,” he says. “Locally, sales are down a little bit, but people are still in good spirits, they’re still buying things.”
McGuire says the economy has forced him to lower prices and take smaller margins.
Regardless of spending, retailers appear believe consumers are enthusiastic about Halloween.