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Vampires Move Up Top Costumes List; Nurses, Politicians Drop Off

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For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis (202)783-7971

Vampires Move Up Top Costumes List; Nurses, Politicians Drop Off

Washington, October 1, 2009 – When it comes to Halloween costumes, vampires, princesses, police officers and pirates are in, while politicians, nurses and Batman are out. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, 47 million adults and 58 million children across the country plan to dress up for Halloween this year.

Once again, witches take the top spot for adult costumes (18.1%). Thanks to popular books, movies and television series, vampire costumes jumped to the number two spot (4.2%) from third last year. Hardest hit this year were nurse costumes, which fell from number five to number 13, and political figures, which didn’t even make the list.

“The departure of both nurses and politicians from the top costumes list could be an indication that Americans would like to shelve the health care reform debate – at least for one night – to have a little bipartisan fun,” said Tracy Mullin, NRF President and CEO. “Pop culture always influences Halloween costumes, and it will be interesting to see how creative Americans can get this year.”

For children, make-believe takes the top spot for the fifth year in a row with 4.5 million princesses expected to flood the streets in pink dresses and tiaras on Halloween. Those handing out candy will also see an estimated two million witches, 1.3 million Spidermen, and a million pirates, pumpkins and vampires. For pets, a pumpkin will be the top choice, with devil and witch also near the top of the list.

“The economy will impact how much Americans spend on Halloween, but people will still find ways to celebrate one of the most lighthearted holidays of the year,” said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “Young or old, Halloween is about having fun, even if it means using last year’s costume or piecing something together from things around the house.”

Top Adult Costumes

1. Witch

2. Vampire

3. Pirate

4. Clown

5. Wench/Tart/Vixon

6. Cat

7. Devil

8. Scary Costume/Mask

9. Athlete

10. Police Officer

Top Kids Costumes

1. Princess

2. Witch

3. Spider-Man

4. Pirate

5. Pumpkin

6. Vampire

7. Disney Princess

8. Star Wars Character

9. Tinker Bell

10. Batman

Top Pet Costumes

1. Pumpkin

2. Devil

3. Bowties/Fancy Collars

4. Witch

5. Superdog/Supercat

6. Princess

7. Bat

8. Dog

9. Angel

10. Bee

About the Survey
The NRF 2009 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Halloween season. The surveys were conducted for NRF by BIGresearch. The poll of 8,526 consumers was conducted from September 1-9, 2009. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.

BIGresearch is a consumer market intelligence firm that provides unique consumer insights that are gathered online utilizing very large sample sizes. BIGresearch’s syndicated Consumer Intentions and Actions survey monitors the pulse of more than 8,000 consumers each month to empower its clients with unique insights for identifying opportunities in a fragmented and changing marketplace.

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 24 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2008 sales of $4.6 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations. www.nrf.com.