Retailers should have nothing to fear this Halloween when shoppers hit stores in search of candy, costumes and decorations, a number of consumer surveys report.
The National Retail Federation say merchants should see a boost in sales with the average consumers planning to spend $64.82 on the holiday, up from $59.06 in 2006. Overall spending will surpass $5 billion on candy costumes, decorations and greeting cards, the firm said.
Another survey by the Ohio-based market research firm Corporate Research International said 92 percent of respondents plan to spend at least the same amount of money they did last year.
Brad Holdgreve, vice president of sales, said the annual poll shows that 47 percent of respondents plan to spend between $10 to $50, up from 42 percent last year. The percentage of those planning to spend even more also grew.
Spirit Halloween Superstores, a growing chain of seasonal stores that are only open during the run up to Halloween, demonstrate the growing popularity of the holiday, said Morgan Covarrubias, a district sales manager.
Covarrubias said the number of stores grew from 440 in 2006 to 545 this year.
The chain, which is owned by specialty retailer Spencer’s Gifts, expanded in the Valley from nine locations in 2006 to 13 this year.
Covarrubias said next year the company plans to open between 18 and 20 stores.
“Halloween is now the No. 2 holiday behind Christmas, of course,” he said.
He said growing sales are driven by demand for more elaborate costumes and better marketing by retailers.
Angie Hicks, who operates an online ratings service called AngiesList.com, conducts an annual nationwide poll on consumers’ intentions.
She said the holiday is no longer just for children. More and more adults are getting in on the fun, she said, adding 28 percent of adults plan to dress up this year.
BIGresearch, a firm that conducts consumer polling for the National Retail Federation, said nearly 59 percent of adults plan to celebrate the holiday this year.
Jay Butler, an associate professor of business at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus, said Halloween is one of a several holidays that are growing in importance to people, including St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo.
“Were looking for reasons to celebrate almost,” he said.
Still, Halloween isn’t a good indicator for spending during the holiday season and will never be nearly as important to retailers as the holiday shopping season.
To put that into perspective, while the NRF predicts spending to surpass $5 billion this year, spending around the holiday season exceeds hundreds of billions of dollars.
“It is become more important, but I don’t think it’s a biggie,” Butler said.
He said the biggest boost will go to specially retailers like Party City or Spirit Halloween Superstores.