As historians tell it, Halloween originated from Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival when people lit bonfires and doffed costumes to ward off ghosts.
As businesses tell it, who gives a damn where it came from? It’s a money-making bonanza, baby!
- The holiday is expected to generate $12.2B in American spending this year, per the National Retail Federation (NRF), besting last year’s record-setting $10.6B haul.
Where’s it all going?
Average per-person Halloween spending projects at ~$108 — and with 73% of Americans saying they’ll celebrate this year, retailers are salivating as much as a trick-or-treater staring down a king-size KitKat.
Here’s how the spending roughly breaks down:
- Costumes: $4.1B
- Decorations: $3.9B
- Candy: $3.6B
As for the balance, we’ll assume that’s being spent at FedEx Office by those weird fearmongers who print fliers about fentanyl and razor blades in candy, then paste them all over your neighborhood.
Stay strange, Halloween.
It’s not a true American holiday…
… without some corporations absolutely cashing in:
- We already know Spirit Halloween is a $500m+ pop-up sensation.
- The ~$45B Mars candy empire has so much money riding on the holiday, it plans for Halloween two years ahead.
- Universal theme parks’ Halloween Horror Nights brought in ~$575m last fall.
But it wouldn’t be 2023 without everyone tied to the Barbieverse — Mattel and licensed retailers Target, Walmart, and Amazon — printing money.
- In a first, Barbie will rank among the year’s most popular costumes.
Pink is not the new black, however: Witches remain the top adult costume by a mile — 5.8m+ witches will go out this year, more than the next three most popular costumes combined (vampire, Barbie, and Batman).
BTW: That dominance doesn’t extend to kids, though — that’s now Spiderman’s domain. There’ll be 2.6m li’l web-slingers running around all hyped up on sugar this year.
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