Halloween Metrics revisited

Halloween PumpkinA year after blogging that Halloween metrics can be scary, there is some good news from the National Retail Federation. The NRF reports that American consumers will spend an average of $66.28 on Halloween in 2010, up from last year’s $56.31 and about the same as 2007 and 2008. Even though Halloween didn’t become a commercial holiday until the early 1900’s, it is now the sixth most profitable holiday for US retailers behind Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Father’s Day with nearly $6B in sales.

While this year’s report doesn’t have some of the confusing statistics from last year, it does include this odd quote from Phil Rist, SVP of Strategic Initiatives at BIGresearch, the firm that conducts the survey: “Americans are excited about Halloween but are still being frugal and pinching their pennies where they can.” Spending nearly $70 for costumes and candies doesn’t seem like consumers are being frugal and it’s hard to claim that people are pinching pennies when the spending has returned to the levels from before the recession. Personally, I was more intrigued by the list of top costumes:

Top Adult Costumes Top Children’s Costumes
1. Witch 1. Princess
2. Vampire 2. Spider-Man
3. Pirate 3. Witch
4. Nurse 4. Pirate
5. Wench/Tart/Vixen 5. Disney Princess
6. Cat 6. Action/Super Hero
7. Zombie 7. Ghost
8. Fairy 8. Pumpkin/Vampire (Tie)
9. Athlete/Batman (Tie) 9. Batman
10. Dracula 10. Star Wars Character

I’m not surprised witches, pirates, and vampires showed up on both lists. But Batman? I didn’t see a single one all night.

Based solely on the non-scientific results of the kids who came to my house, the list-makers missed Justin Beiber and Hannah Montana. And judging on the adults who came with them, I would have expected Jersey Shore Cast Members to have cracked the top 10.

I’m interested in your opinion: What was the most popular costume you saw this year?

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5 Responses to Halloween Metrics revisited

  1. Robert E November 1, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    Probably has a lot to do with living in an area that has a baseball team currently competing in the world series. Most popular costume was baseball player.

    I heard of a city in the Midwest that has an ordinance that trick or treating cannot begin until 5:30pm and must end by 9:00pm. Only those under 13 are allowed to participate.

    This was the first time I had heard of such an ordinance, but was told that they are getting more common.

  2. Robb November 5, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Poll was right on. Kids: Princess, Adult: Witch
    I loved the one bride who put a coke bottle under her hair to make it stick way up.
    Good quote: Hallowe’en is for kids to dress as adults, men to dress as women, and women to dress as ***.

  3. heather December 6, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    I think it depends on where you live. I live in the middle of the country, and there were mainly young children at our door (parents still play a key role in what costume the kids wear)…. batman was popular….

  4. Michele January 3, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    I got a kick out of this post. There are analysis opportunities all around us aren’t there? We actually had a few Avatars and good ole Harry Potter and friends stand-bys. I was quite happy that our son was the only SpiderMonkey that I saw. You need to be close to the 5-7 year old crowd to know who that is – or a self confessed viewer of the Ben 10 Alien Force series – ha ha.. I was also happy to see more tween girls dressed as Hermione than a short-skirted something or other…Maybe its us conservative East Coasters – LOL


  1. Halloween Metrics 2015 - Manage By Walking Around - November 3, 2015

    […] for kids was a princess (3.2M). That’s remarkable consistency. However, I went back to a blog I wrote 5 years ago and discovered the rest of the top ten was much more volatile. Here’s my […]

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