Halloween: The Scary Profits

When we think of fall, we think of sweaters, pumpkins, leaves, and Halloween.  Halloween is a holiday that almost everyone can celebrate.  As a child, it was a competition to see who could get the most candy.


Candy makers prepare for the Halloween season.

In 2012, it was estimated that 70% of the U.S. said they would celebrate Halloween, each American spending an average of $79.83 for the holiday.  In 2011, $300 million were spent on pet costumes alone.  This year, it is expected that candy makers in New York are expecting sales to reach $2.5 billion.

It is really interesting to look at how producers advertise and how they actually sell stuff for the holiday.  With the increase of internet use, it is really easy to go online and find a Halloween costume.  Some people have their costumes picked out months in advance.  Even though, there is an increase in sales online for Halloween, kids (and even adults) look forward to getting Halloween catalogs in the mail.  Although ordering costumes online is fairly easy to do, there are also the last minute shoppers who need to quickly grab a costume, or run into a store and grab that mask they need for their Batman costume.  This is why you may see a new store come into a strip center that is a Halloween specific store, the real estate space is only used during the few months that customers will buy.  But…

How are these stores cost beneficial?

These franchisees (often local ones) start looking for vacancies around ten months before Halloween.  The best locations are ones near busy streets and often near places where they can have temporary signs.  More often than not, these companies will offer to pay more for their rent than the average tenant would because of the fact that they are expecting to make a lot of money for only a month, plus they would only have to pay for one month of the rent.  The next step is to hire staff and get inventory.  Costumes are the most cash producing products that these so called “pop-up stores” sell.  Because costumes may range anywhere from $24-$180 in price, if a store sells 70 percent of the inventory, they consider it “to be a good season.”

Not only are their pop-up stores, but every year for during this month long event, there are also haunted houses that only open up during Halloween time.  Thousands of people will pay to be scared.  The places that open up these haunted houses have to not only pay employees to scare, but they have to pay for insurance and other expenses to ensure they do not get sued and this is why prices to enter the haunted houses are fairly high.  In 2013, haunted houses were a $300 million industry, with 2,500 attractions around the world.  A large haunted attraction can make anywhere from $2-$3 million per season and smaller attractions can make $50,000.  Set and lighting designs (as well as venues) also make up a huge cost of creating a successful haunted attraction. An attraction in Los Angeles includes a $100,000 lighting and sound set.

So, as we near this cash cow holiday, take a second to look around at just how much money is being spent on this one holiday alone that takes an entire month to prepare for.

Work Cited:

Earle-Levine, Julie. “Halloween Candy Sales Expected to Top $2.5B.” New York Post. N.p., 12 Oct. 2014. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.

Sanburn, Josh. “More Americans Planning to Spend Money on Halloween – And Pet Costumes – This Year.” Business Money More Americans Planning to Spend Money on Halloween And Pet Costumes This Year Comments. N.p., 26 Sept. 2012. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.

Pappa, Farrah. “The Booming Business of Halloween Pop Up Stores.” The Booming Business of Halloween Pop Up Stores. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.

Weissmann, Jordan. “The Halloween Economy: $2 Billion in Candy, $300 Million in Pet Costumes.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 28 Oct. 2011. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.

White, Martha C. “It’saliiiive! Haunted-house Industry Scares up Big Money – NBC News.” NBC News. N.p., 6 Oct. 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.


One thought on “Halloween: The Scary Profits

  1. Halloween, just like Chirstmas, has pretty much been adopted as an American holiday. Since it no longer really holds and religious significance to the majority of America’s population, it has also spread across the globe and is considered to be an international holiday. I think it would be very interesting to research when Halloween became so widely popular internationally, and then compare pre-international sales, to international ones.


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