Halloween is this week, and if you have children at home (yours or your grandchildren), much of the focus is on choosing a costume for the big day. Of course, for years, the adults have also been getting in on the act. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), this year 43.6% of the people in the US will dress up, and they’ll shell out over $2.6 billion for costumes. In fact, the NRF reports that in 2013, 13.8% of Halloween celebrants will also adorn their pets – and pay over $330 million doing it!
You might think such expenditures make Halloween the second biggest commercial holiday; I know I’ve seen it referred to that way over the last decade or so. And while it is true that 158 million people are expected to celebrate this year, down from 172 million last year (must be due to the government shut down, since every shortfall of late is being attributed to it), the fact is that Halloween comes in a distant seventh on the list of commercialized holidays.
I guess there is still some sense of proportionality out there. Although as a dad, I was stunned to see Father’s Day trailing badly the celebration of Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Easter! Oh… I guess there IS a sense of proportionality at play out there in consumer land.
On Wall Street, the “dressing up” historically has been to the balance sheets of corporations as they prepare to report their earnings.
All the best,