Halloween--A Treat For The Economy04:44
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A Halloween display is shown with a Costco online advertisement at a Costco store in San Jose, Calif. (AP)
A Halloween display is shown with a Costco online advertisement at a Costco store in San Jose, Calif. (AP)

The people who crunch the numbers on holiday spending say Halloween is an increasingly important day for retailers.  The National Retail Federation says shoppers will spend $6.9 billion this year on Halloween confections, costumes, and doodads-- up 18% over last year.

Need a rubber rat for the front lawn?  It costs $22 — but it comes with blood on its teeth. Retailers are also offering Barbie pumpkin-carving kits, "boo-rific" Oreos, and a range of pet costumes.

As the Boston Globe reports:

Halloween experts point to a variety of factors working in the holiday’s favor. (The holiday is so big it now has its own specialists.)

For starters, there’s the rise of the “kidult,’’ that is, young adults who still enjoy the trappings of childhood, which has turned a holiday once meant mainly for children into an event for grown-ups. Improved manufacturing and market-research capabilities mean companies can release short-term specialty products without fear of being left with huge numbers of unsold items. Advances in technology also mean more attractive home-fog machines.

And don’t forget Rover. The NRF predicts owners will spend $310 million on pet costumes this year. Pity the Havanese forced to go as himself.

Guest:

  • Beth Teitell, reporter for The Boston Globe

This segment aired on October 25, 2011.

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