Halloween spending to reach $7.4 billion in the U.S.

photo Beads hang on a display Monday at Beauty and the Beast Costumes in Red Bank.
photo Susan Stringer helps customers Monday at Beauty and the Beast Costumes in Red Bank.
photo Susan Stringer helps customers Monday at Beauty and the Beast Costumes in Red Bank.

BY THE NUMBERS> $7.4 billion: Total domestic spending for Halloween, America's eighth-largest shopping holidayCOSTUMES> $2.8 billion: Spent on costumes overall> 45 percent: Americans who will dress up> $1.4 billion: Spent on adult costumes> $1.1 billion: Spent on children costumes> $350 million: Spent on pet costumesCANDY AND DECORATIONS> $2.2 billion: Spent on candy> 71 percent: Americans who will hand out candy> $2 billion: Spent on decorations> 47 percent: Americans who will decorate their yard> 33 percent: Americans who will throw or attend a partySource: National Federation of Retailers

Halloween purchases will pour an estimated $7.4 billion into the U.S. economy this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

The holiday falls on a Friday this year, which leads retail experts to believe more people will engage in festivities, and maybe even over more days, taking Halloween parties into the weekend.

The National Retail Foundation predicts that more Halloween observers will buy costumes this year than at any time before in the NRF Halloween survey's 11-year history.

That trend extends to adult, child and pet costumes.

Susan Stringer, manager at Beauty and the Beast Costumes in Red Bank, said so far she hasn't seen greater numbers of costume shoppers coming in, but that's not to say it won't happen in these last few days before Halloween.

"Most people are pretty bad about waiting until the last minute," she said. "It gets a little [busier] every day."

Major retailers have geared up to carry popular costumes from mainstream movies and TV shows, like "Frozen" and "The Walking Dead," especially right now.

Beauty and the Beast specializes in more traditional Halloween costumes, carrying more kits in the scary variety.

"I actually have scary costumes for children, which are apparently hard to find anywhere else," said Stringer. "We old die-hards think Halloween is supposed to be scary."

The NRF reports that adult and child costume spending is going to be about even this year, at $1.4 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively.

Stringer said those numbers are "not really" a surprise, considering how much consumers spend on the holiday.

The NRF also reports that Halloween observers will spend about $2 billion on Halloween decorations this year.

Susan Burnett, one of the managers of the family-owned Wooden's Apple House in the Summer City community in eastern Bledsoe County, said last week that the farm store, cafe and orchard was packed, even midday.

The venue has long been known for its apple harvests, but the family added a cafe last year, and decorates the outside with fall-themed items and a healthy pumpkin patch.

"October is the really big time," said Burnett.

In Chattanooga, CBL and Associates Properties Inc., owners of Hamilton Place mall and Northgate Mall, are opening their venues at 6 p.m. on Halloween to trick or treaters.

"We are happy to host trick or treat events at our centers as an option for families on Halloween," said Catharine Wells, CBL spokeswoman.

She said mall tenants don't typically see a boost in sales during trick or treating "but we certainly enjoy seeing all the costumes and families enjoying themselves."

Contact staff writer Alex Green at agreen@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480.