NPR logo

Halloween Spending On The Rise

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Halloween Spending On The Rise


Halloween Spending On The Rise

Halloween Spending On The Rise

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The total amount of spending on Halloween this year is expected to reach $8 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. Some trends include Victorian corsets, group costumes, and fancy dress for pets.


Now let's report on a different kind of horror. Tonight, of course, is Halloween, and Americans are expected to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 billion on decorations candy, costumes and other stuff.

From Seattle, NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports on the business behind this ghoulish night.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: At Kyra Stewart's store - Masquerade Costume - the Victorian-inspired corset is one of the most popular items for women. Men, says Stewart, often begin their look with a zoot suit. They become d Dick Tracy or gangsters, or even the wolf in "Little Red Riding Hood."

KYRA STEWART: These rent for $75 and that includes the jacket, pants, a zoot chain, a tie, a pocket silk - it's a pretty complete look.

KAUFMAN: But some revelers spend even more.

CHRIS ADAMS: Everyone on the team is dressing up as pirates.

KAUFMAN: Chris Adams works for a security firm having a giant office party.

ADAMS: Individually, I think I've spent maybe $200 on my costume.

KAUFMAN: Kind of steep, isn't it?

ADAMS: Very steep. Absolutely. I think that's the Marine Corps in me, I got to kind of be the best at it, and this is my first time ever dressing up.

KAUFMAN: Two hundred dollars is definitely on the high side. A survey done for the National Retail Federation suggests that Americans 18 and over will spend an average of almost $80 - quite a bit more than last year.

The giant storm that battered the East may curtail some Halloween festivities. But the Retail Federation says most of the buying would have been done before the storm hit.

Candy, of course, is a big item, an estimated $44 a household. And lest we forget, face paint.

DAWN DOMINIK: My base rate starts at 60 and goes up from there.

KAUFMAN: Makeup artist Dawn Dominik loves this holiday.

DOMINIK: We get to be whoever we want to be and nobody gets to say anything about it.

KAUFMAN: And finally, there's the money we shell out on pets. The Retailers Association says Americans will spend about $370 million on costumes for Fido and friends.

Wendy Kaufman, NPR News, Seattle.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

We no longer support commenting on stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.