Nearly 8 in 10 U.S. Households to Make Halloween Purchases This Year

In-store the number one channel for Halloween goods

NEW YORK--()--About 8 in 10 households (79 percent) expect to make Halloween-related purchases this holiday season, up from 74 percent in 2014, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Halloween Consumer Spending Survey.

Three-quarters of American households (76 percent) expect to spend about the same or more this year on Halloween items than they did last year.

The most popular purchases Halloween shoppers plan to make are:

  • Candy and other food and beverages (76 percent of households)
  • Household decorations (44 percent), and
  • Costumes (39 percent).

Top Spots for Spooky Shopping: Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Nearly all Halloween shoppers surveyed (99 percent) plan to make an in-store purchase this year. Just over one-third of households (36 percent) plan to make an online purchase that they’ll get shipped to their home, and 22 percent say they will buy Halloween items online and pick them up in-store.

When asked what influences their decision to shop in stores, Halloween shoppers said they like the convenience of one-stop shopping (34 percent), the ability to see, touch or try on merchandise in-store (34 percent), and they don’t want to pay for shipping (32 percent).

The most popular destinations for Halloween shoppers are:

  • Discount stores such as Target, Walmart or Kmart (73 percent)
  • Grocery stores (51 percent)
  • Clothing or Halloween/costume specialty stores (24 percent), and
  • Chain drug stores such as CVS or Walgreens (24 percent).

Just 14 percent of Halloween shoppers expect to make purchases from online-only retailers like Amazon or Overstock.

“As omnichannel shopping continues to pick up steam, both consumers and retailers will benefit greatly,” says Jesse Tron, ICSC Spokesman and Communications Director. “Shoppers will see even more seamless offerings that blend digital browsing and research with the convenience and speed of the in-store experience. And store retailers can rejoice, since 84 percent of online Halloween shoppers picking up items in-store say they’re likely to buy additional items that were not part of their original purchase.”

Overall, Halloween shoppers plan to allocate their budgets as follows:

  • In-store spend: 83 percent
  • Purchase online and ship to home: 12 percent
  • Purchase online and pick up in store: 5 percent

Superheroes and Princesses: Kids’ Top Costume Picks

For the second year running, the top Halloween costumes for boys and girls 17 and under will be superheroes and princesses, respectively (12 percent each). Superheroes also claim the number two spot for girls (3 percent). For boys, the second-most popular costume pick is villains (6 percent).

While the majority of these “heroes” and “princesses” will be seen trick-or-treating in their respective neighborhoods (56 percent), parents also plan to take their kids trick-or-treating in other ways such as a community-sponsored event (19 percent), schools (13 percent), and malls or shopping centers (12 percent).


The ICSC Halloween Consumer Spending Survey was conducted online by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of ICSC from September 21-23, 2015. The survey represents a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,000 adults 18 years of age and older.

About ICSC:

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. For more information, visit


Noelle Malone, 646-728-3540
Media Relations Coordinator

Release Summary

About 8 in 10 households (79 percent) expect to make Halloween-related purchases this holiday season, up from 74 percent in 2014, according to ICSC's Halloween Consumer Spending Survey.


Noelle Malone, 646-728-3540
Media Relations Coordinator