Halloween econ 101 – does value = $ only

HALLOWEEN hits a new high tonight.

Still, fewer people are planning on celebrating Halloween in 2007, according to the National Retail Federation survey. Around 59 percent will celebrate Halloween this year, compared to the nearly 64 percent that celebrated last year. Rist said that the drop-off occurs due to tightening economic conditions. However, those celebrating plan on spending more than they did last year, an average of around $65 per person, driving retail spending up to $5.07 billion from last year’s $4.95 billion.“The folks that are continuing to participate are going to spend more,” Rist said.

What are consumers spending the most on? Their creativity. The average person, according to the National Retail Federation’s poll of 8,877 consumers nationwide is expected is expected to spend $23.33 on Halloween costumes this year, though 18- to 24-year-olds plan to be the most festive, spending $34.06 on costumes. Industry-wide, that’s around $1.8 billion. Candy is second, with consumers shelling out nearly $1.57 billion on sugary treats. 95 percent of consumers say they expect to purchase candy.

I hope that we are doing more creativity than the article indicates. New costumes seem to be highly muscled Spidey or Batman sorts of things, or the new slutty look. Maybe only in the burbs?

When in middle school, my two boys would build a haunted house in the cellar with different themes (ghoulish dungeon, horrible science experiments, movie themes)with maybe six friends weeks in the making, then families would come by to see, bringing some food along. Then the trick or treating and Unicef collecting (which appears to be out of favor).

It was also a time when several dads walked around, left in the dust and dark, for a couple hours of real conversation. Rare indeed for dads in my experience.

To put a real scare into kids this year I am handing out twinkies, moonpies to old folk. Happy halloween.