Retail stores are
pulling out the black and orange decorations as early as mid-August
in some areas. Why have stores begun to put such a focus on this
minor children's holiday?
Because Halloween is not just for kids anymore.
A recent National Retail Federation survey found
that 82 percent of children plan to dress up to attend parties
or to go trick-or-treating. That comes as no surprise.
That about 73 percent of adults also plan to participate
in a Halloween activity, up from 65 percent in 1998, may be news
to you, but it does explain some of the fuss over the spooky celebration.
Halloween has become a more adult-oriented holiday in the last
decade says James Lowry, a Ball State University retail marketing
expert. Adults have increased sales of costumes, candy, lawn decorations
and other scary merchandise. Decorating stores with ghosts, goblins,
witches and pumpkins as early as August is a blatant attempt to
get the jump on the competition. It seems to be working.
Grownups may have started dressing in costumes to
keep their little ones safe, but the trend caught on and gets
bigger every year. Costumes and decorations fuel sales that amounted
to more than $5 billion in 2001and jumped to more than $6.9 billion
in 2002, according to several retail organizations.
The only time of year that generates more adult
parties is New Year's Eve. Universal Studios in Hollywood and
Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA both host adults-only horror
haunting nights. The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in New
York City draws ghouls and goblins who dress as lawyers and stockbrokers
in the daytime
What is the attraction? "Halloween is a good
time to dress up and be someone else for awhile," Lowry said.
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