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Spooky spending expected to top $9 billion this year

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The National Retail Federation says that planned Halloween spending this year is expected to reach $9 billion. This sum is on par with the previous year, the Federation found.

Halloween Express opens up at Parkway Place Mall around Labor Day, and its doors only stay open until a few days after Halloween. That's a short period of time to sell costumes, props, accessories, and more to Halloween lovers.

"September was really strong," said manager, David Businda. "We had a lot of grandparents, and new parents too, coming in and looking for infant outfits. That actually took off."

He noted that other costumes are popular this year too, from Fortnite, to clowns, to nuns.

"We're getting slammed. I actually beefed up my staff a little bit," he stated. "In our prop shop, we've sold out of some of our props already just because people have got the urge. Like, 'Oh, Halloween is just in a few weeks!'"

His recommendation is not to wait to go for the costume you want, or it could sell out before you go shopping.

Businda said this busy time for Halloween Express only gets busier through the holiday for retailers.

"Usually, you make 20% of your sales, and then 80% of it is made in the last three weeks," he said.

Businda loves Halloween and enjoys sharing it with other celebrants. He is happy to bring people's wildest ideas to life this season.

"With Halloween, you're kind of being somebody that you always wanted to be," he laughed.

He isn't surprised to see spending projected so high this year.

"It's up there! I've experienced it over the years," he said. "Halloween this year is on a Wednesday, which means there will be a lot of parties before, and there will also be parties afterward, so we are hitting both weekends."

We found Matt Roeder shopping with his son, Eli.

"We're just all about entertainment. If it's fun for him, it's fun for us," Matt said. "This year, we are kind of just letting him do whatever he wants."

As Eli picked up a Captain America shield and clutched a Ghostbuster's costume, Matt explained that his family's spending depends largely on a moment of weakness.

"Honestly, it depends on when he catches me," he said. "He pointed out the shield and I didn't want to buy it, but then he comes back to it and we're going to buy it. It's whatever weakness area I'm in at the time. Sometimes it's $30 and I think last year we spent $100 on family costumes."

These are more Halloween projections from the National Retail Federation:

  • Over 9 in 10 celebrants plan to purchase candy
  • 7 in 10 celebrants plan to purchase decorations
  • Nearly 7 in 10 celebrants plan to purchase costumes
  • Celebrants are planning to spend an average of $87
  • Although men and women plan to purchase the same festive items, men plan on spending $14 more, on average, than their female counterparts.

Click here for more projections.