Last year's popular Halloween costumes back for 2014

Posted at 3:54 PM, Sep 30, 2014

Halloween holiday spending may be rising, but the costumes trick-or-treaters are wearing this year will not be much different from what people wore in 2013.

Americans will spend about $500 million more on Halloween items this year over last, according to the National Retail Federation. Consumers spent an estimated $6.9 billion on the fall holiday in 2013, while the NRF predicts $7.4 billion will be spent this year.

Three in four Americans will spend money on Halloween this year, with each shopper planned to spend $83 on average, according to a consumer study done by

“That sounds pretty high to me,” said Trae Bodge, senior lifestyle editor for RetailMeNot. “I honestly don’t usually spend a lot of money,” commenting that she typically makes her daughter’s costumes.

Not surprisingly, parents make up the bulk of Halloween consumers, with 92 percent expected to spend this year. In contrast, 66 percent of non-parents will open their wallets, according to RetailMeNot.

Bodge said one statistic from the study made her feel bad though. More than half of all parents plan to don a costume when they take their kids out for trick or treat. “I kind of feel like a bad mom for not dressing up,” Bodge joked.

Popular costumes remain the same

Shoppers will spend $2.8 billion on Halloween costumes in 2014 — with about half of that being spent on adults — according to NRF research. Costume trends will remain similar to 2013, according to Bodge. RetailMeNot’s survey predicted popular kids’ costumes will be “The Hunger Games,” “Despicable Me” and Disney’s “Frozen.”

“There will be lots of Elsas and Annas running around — and Olaf for the boys,” Bodge said, referencing the lead characters from 2013’s “Frozen.”
“You’d think by now it would have died out.”

RetailMeNot predicted popular adult costumes will include television shows “Duck Dynasty,” “Game of Thrones” and “Breaking Bad.” Bodge said other pop culture-inspired costumes will include “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Star Wars.”

Bodge said the most popular Halloween retailers among RetailMeNot’s users appear to be Party City, Oriental Trading Company, Spirit Halloween and, based on the website’s search data.

Trick-or-treating trends

Many parents use a bit of strategy when taking their children out for beggar’s nights. RetailMeNot found that 41 percent of parents surveyed said they would intentionally take their kids to wealthier neighborhoods for the event. While some parents may do that for safety reasons, Bodge suspected it may be “because the treats are better.”

On a lighter note, nearly to three in 10 parents surveyed admitted to stealing a piece of their child’s Halloween candy without them knowing.



Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.