Year in and year out, Halloween is one of the most popular consumer holidays on the calendar. This year’s spooky holiday, however, is expected to find fewer ghosts and goblins celebrating, and fewer dollars being spent by those who do.
Roughly 158 million people plan to celebrate Halloween this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, down from 170 million who celebrated last year. And this year’s celebrants will each spend an average of $73 on costumes, candy and decor, down from nearly from $80 each in 2013.
In Columbia, many celebrants say they plan to continue their traditional Halloween haunts – the end game simply being to have fun. At the Halloween Express store on Harbison Boulevard this week, shoppers were honing their final lists amid a well-stocked array of merchandise choices.
By moving back to the Harbison location after a year’s absence, the Halloween Express store multiplied its square footage, said Trey Holleman, assistant store manager. There’s more display space for browsing and buying, and oodles more storage space for inventory.
Here are a few Halloween shoppers who shared some of their celebration plans.