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Pumpkin, Princess, Witch and Vampire Costumes Top Consumers’ Halloween Favorites, According to NRF

For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis (202) 783-7971 or grannisk@nrf.com

Download complete costume lists
View 2012 NRF Halloween Infographic

Pumpkin, Princess, Witch and Vampire Costumes Top Consumers’ Halloween Favorites, According to NRF
-Election and Olympics influence consumers’ choices too-

Washington, September 27, 2012 - This Halloween, trick-or-treaters, party-goers and pampered pets will be dressing up in traditional spooky style with pumpkin, princess, witch and vampire costumes taking the top spots in NRF’s 2012 Top Costumes survey conducted by BIGinsight.

Nearly six million adults plan to dress as a witch this year, and 3.2 million will dress as vampires. For kids, princess costumes take the number one spot (9.7%), with Batman (5.4%) and Spider-Man (4.6%) taking number two and three. When it comes to those planning a costume for their four-legged friends, 12.7 percent of people are sticking with the most traditional of all costumes – a pet-friendly pumpkin.

Americans are expected to spend $2.87 billion on Halloween costumes this year according to a recent NRF survey, spending over $1.1 billion on children’s costumes, $1.4 billion on adult costumes, and $370 million on pet costumes. The average person will spend $79.82 on Halloween candy, costumes and décor, bringing total spending to $8 billion - the most in the survey’s ten-year history.

“Choosing a costume is one of the most entertaining parts of Halloween,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “With many families on the hunt for adult, child and pet costumes this year, retailers are making sure they’ve got their shelves fully stocked with a wide variety of costumes, including the traditional and even the not-so-traditional garbs inspired by Hollywood and even pop-culture.”

Not surprisingly, many consumers are looking to recent and forthcoming events for their 2012 costume ideas. Over one million adults and kids will dress as some type of athlete this year, a nod perhaps to the London Olympics. And with the election looming in early November, over 767,000 Halloween party-goers will don some type of political costume. 

“With nearly one in ten celebrants taking their costume cues from current events, we’ll see plenty of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney look-alikes out-and-about for Halloween,” said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director, Pam Goodfellow. “However, we expect these ‘rivals’ will be able to find some common ground over the punch bowl or a bag of candy.”

As in previous years, man’s best friend won’t be left-out of the Halloween celebrations.  The most popular pet costume will be a pumpkin (12.7%), with devils (6.9%) and hot dogs (5.7%) following closely behind.

View these top trends and more in NRF’s 2012 Halloween Infographic.

Top Adult CostumesTop Children’s CostumesTop Pet Costumes
1. Witch1. Princess1. Pumpkin
2. Vampire2. Batman2. Devil
3. Pirate3. Spiderman3. Hot dog
4. Batman character4. Witch4. Cat
5. Zombie5. Disney Princess5. Bee
6. Vixen6. Action/Super Hero6(T). Dog
7. Princess7. Pirate6(T). Ghost
8(T). Ghost8. Vampire7. Action/Super Hero
8(T). Nurse9. Zombie8. Witch
9. Cat10. Ghost9. Bowties/Fancy Collars/Bandanas
10. Superman 10. Superman

About the Survey

NRF’s 2012 Halloween consumer spending surveys were designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Halloween spending. The surveys were conducted for NRF by BIGinsight. The poll of 9,393 consumers was conducted from September 5-11, 2012. The consumer polls have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.

BIGinsight delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, BIGinsight represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues. www.BIGinsight.com.

As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation. www.nrf.com