It used to be that dressing up for Halloween consisted of poking two eyeholes in a white sheet, draping it over your head and annoying friends, family and neighbors alike with obnoxious ghostly sounds. But those ghoulish days are over.
The National Retail Foundation says Americans will spend almost $8 billion dollars this year on Halloween, with the average person spending almost $80. Talk about frightening. Of that $8 billion, $2.5 will go to costumes, just about $2 billion each will go to candy and decorations and – perhaps scariest of all, depending on your love of furry creatures – a whopping $370 million will be spent on costumes sure to make Fido and Fluffy the laughingstocks of the pet set. Those numbers seem shockingly high, but take into mind that Americans only spent $3.3 billion total in pre-Recession 2005, and that $8 billion is downright horrifying, we think.
So what’s behind these numbers? Supernatural forces? You would think that in this economic climate people would be spending less on frivolous items like costumes, not more, right? Maybe not.
It’s the grown-ups at work. Of the $2.5 billion spent on costumes this year, more money was spent on adult costumes than on those for the kiddies. Nearly 70% of all adults are planning on celebrating what was once a holiday relegated to the under-15 crowd.
So why are so many adults now taken to celebrating All Hallow’s Eve? Research shows that it’s to escape. What better way to break away from the doldrums of your life than to, for just one night, transform yourself into an indulgent rock star, a naughty French maid or a save-the-day superhero? It’s a way to take on a different persona and play the role of someone other than the financially stressed denizen that many of us have perfected in our real lives.
What do you think, Saver? Do you think it’s a haunting waste of hard-earned cash or is spending that much on costumes worth the price to escape?
National Retail Foundation