Halloween is Serious Business

Some people think Halloween is just a fun time for children to dress up and eat candy. Perhaps that was true at one point in time. But today Halloween is the second most expensive holiday of the year, rivaling only Christmas. Who would’ve thunk it. Halloween is a $8 billion industry in North America and is growing every year. That’s some serious business.

What’s driving all the spending? Simple modern consumerism lead by media, pop culture, and advertisers. People want to dress up as their favorite characters from this year’s hottest movies (Avengers, Hunger games, Spiderman, Batman, etc) You’ll also see zombies influenced by the Walking Dead, and of course, the Gangnam Style guy. It is not surprising why some Halloween specialty stores set up business only in October, sell their products, and then shut down in November. They only pay one month for rent to get a piece of the $2.9 billion pie that consumers spend on costumes each year.

It’s not just costumes for people either. 11% of Canadians are expected to spend up to $59 dressing up their dog. An average family will spend $300 on Halloween this year. That includes an average of $60 per costume, and the rest on decorations and greeting cards. Canadians are also expected to spend about $320 million worth of candy. Another survey anticipates 60% of all consumers will spend over $100 this year on decorations.

With treats, costumes, decorations, and parties, it’s no wonder that Halloween can rival Christmas in terms of consumer spending. This means we have to be careful about how we plan for it. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all within a couple months of each other (in the US anyway) Want to spend more money on Christmas? Consider spending less on Halloween this year :0)

Happy Halloween!

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10/31/2012 8:11 am

We spent hardly any money on Halloween this year. We wore old costumes (we couldn’t find anything that we liked at the store) and will be going to a Halloween party tonight, so we won’t be buying candy 🙂

10/31/2012 8:15 am
Reply to  Michelle

Reusing costumes from previous years is a great way to save money.

Veronica @ Pelican on Money
Veronica @ Pelican on Money
10/31/2012 9:04 am

I’ve always wondered how those shops go up for just one month and shut down the next. I mean… there must be a lot of money in that to put in the effort to get the product and display it for just one month.

11/01/2012 3:50 am

I guess it’s a very seasonal thing. If they get just 10 customers a day, they could potentially have tens of thousands of dollars worth of sales in that month.

10/31/2012 10:13 am

Halloween can be a money vacuum if you let it ! And dressing up pets is ridiculous, $59?! Craziness.

11/01/2012 3:52 am
Reply to  Gillian

It’s can be costly in terms of money and time as well. I know people who have spent a lot of time creating matching costumes for themselves and their pets.

Mo' Money Mo' Houses (@momoneymohouses)

Wow, I had no idea! But I still don’t understand Halloween greeting cards. Who sends those things and why?

11/01/2012 3:55 am

Good point. I have no idea. Send e-cards around the office would be the most I would do.

10/31/2012 4:04 pm

What amazed me in the US is you barely have time to breathe in the shops, as soon as Halloween is gone, comes Thanksgiving, Chrismas, Valentine Day, and so on. I guess as long as there are people spending money there are businesses selling stuff!

11/01/2012 3:58 am
Reply to  Pauline

Where would the economy be today without rampant consumer spending, lol. That’s probably what’s keeping the stock market from faltering. Companies are still making good earnings from everyone’s shopping.

Financial Independence
10/31/2012 11:32 pm

I think it is great fun. Yesterday we went on trick-or-treating till 10:00 p.m. and then had a costume party…what else would you do with the money?

11/01/2012 4:00 am

That’s true. Better to keep the cash circulating than leave it stagnating under the mattress :0)

11/01/2012 5:45 am

Who knew people were so spendyvat Halloween! I would definitely trade Halloween spending for Christmas.

11/01/2012 10:02 pm
Reply to  Brian

Me too, Christmas is a much better holiday and worthy of more of my hard earned money :0)

11/04/2012 8:46 pm

I love Halloween but I think that I only spent maybe $10 this year 🙂

11/04/2012 10:56 pm
Reply to  Vanessa

Haha, $10 is not too shabby. I guess if you wear the same costume as last year you can save quite a lot.