Washington — One-fourth of consumers say the economy will influence their Halloween spending, as nine in 10 shoppers are planning to spend less overall this year, while 32 percent specifically say they will spend less on candy, according to projections from the National Retail Federation (NRF).
The organization projects total holiday spending to reach $6.9 billion, down from $8 billion in 2012. Further, candy sales are expected to reach $2.08 billion, a decline from the previous year's $2.33 billion.
While handing out candy remains the most popular Halloween activity, with nearly three-quarters of consumers saying they’ll partake in the tradition, overall spending on confections is projected to drop 7.7 percent. The net average spend per consumer is expected to be $22.37 this year compared with 2012's $24.25 average, the NRF reports.
Despite the tepid outlook, retailers can maximize seasonal sales by getting merchandising support for the season out early, as nearly one-third of shoppers say they will begin purchasing for Halloween before September 30, while 43.2 percent of consumers say they will buy during the first two weeks of October. In addition, retailers should continue the support throughout the end of the season, as nearly a quarter of consumers will wait until the final two weeks of the period to purchase.