Treat, no Trick: NRF Forecasts Halloween Spending will Hit Record $12.2 Billion

Kids trick or treating

Total spending on Halloween is expected to reach a record $12.2 billion this year, up from 2022’s record $10.6 billion, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of people will participate in Halloween-related activities this year, up from 69% last year.

In a return to pre-pandemic behaviors, more consumers plan to throw or attend a party (32%) or to take their children trick-or-treating (28%) this year, although the top celebratory activities for consumers will be handing out candy (68%), decorating their home or yard (53%) and dressing in costume (50%).

“More Americans than ever will be reaching into their wallets and spending a record amount of money to celebrate Halloween this year,” said Matthew Shay, President and CEO of NRF in a statement. “Consumers will be shopping early for festive décor and other related items, and retailers are prepared with the inventory to help customers and their families take part in this popular and fun tradition.”

Discount stores remain the top destination for buying Halloween items, at 40%, followed closely by specialty Halloween/costume stores, at 39%. Nearly one-third (32%) plan to shop online.

The survey of 8,084 consumers, conducted Sept. 1-6, revealed that per-person spending also will rise this year, reaching $108.24, breaking the previous record of $102.74 set in 2021. The spending increases are being fueled by the cost of costumes, which are more popular than ever: 69% of those celebrating Halloween plan to buy costumes, up from 67% in 2022.

Spending on decorations alone is expected to reach $3.9 billion; among those celebrating the holiday, 77% plan to purchase decorations. Spending on candy will hit $3.6 billion.

As has become the trend, spending is expected to start well ahead of the holiday itself; just one whiff of pumpkin spice and consumers are ready to open their wallets. Among those celebrating, 45% plan to start shopping before October. This is on par with 2022 but is significantly higher than the 33% who shopped early a decade ago.