Social media pressure' drives Halloween spending

Halloween is becoming a social media holiday.

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The National Retail Federation estimates total Halloween spending will reach $8.8 billion in 2019, which is an average of more than $86 per person. Both figures represent small declines from the previous two years. Regardless of the decline, social media, survey data suggests, drives more of that spending than ever before.

Nearly half of millennials surveyed — 48 percent — admitted to purchasing Halloween items solely for posting online, and four in 10 millennials felt a lot of pressure to spend that money.

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However, the retail foundation says the oft-scapegoated millennials aren’t the only ones responsible for social media-induced spending. Thirty-seven percent of the younger Generation Z said they bought Halloween items just to post online and 30 percent of Gen X respondents did the same.

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Pet spending increased in 2019 too. Seventeen percent of respondents are planning to drop a staggering $490 million to dress up their furry friends for Halloween.

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Social media platforms are a source of Halloween inspiration as well as an outlet of expression. Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram were each used by 14 percent or more of prospective shoppers seeking costume and decoration ideas.

Classic costume ideas, such as witches, vampires and other scary characters, highlighted the most popular outfit choices for adults. Children were fonder of princesses and superheroes, while pets were most likely to be pumpkins and hot dogs.

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