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According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans will spend about $8.4 billion on Halloween this year for everything from candy to costumes to decorations and more. That works out to $82.93 per individual, up from last year’s $74.34.

Of the 171 million celebrants, more than 71% or 119 million will hand out candy. Decorations and costumes will each occupy 47% and 48% of Halloween participants respectively. About 45% will carve pumpkins and 34% will throw a party. No matter how you cut it that’s a lot of Halloween.


Winning Candy Stocks

Leading the public winners in that space, Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSYF), maker of the most popular Halloween candies expects a significant chunk of the $2.7 billion consumers will likely spend on candy this year.

Rounding out the public candy-maker segment are Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. (NYSE:TRC) and Mondelez International Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZF). Privately held Mars Inc. is actually second in line behind Hersheys. In total, 94.3% of Halloween shoppers said they planned to buy candy.

Retailers Of Note

As far as where people buy their Halloween candy, costumes and decorations, two names stand out – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMTC) and Target Corp. (NYSE:TGTB). E-commerce retailer Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZND) may be one of the fasting growing with much more growth to come.

With regard to shoppers, 70% said they would buy decorations this year and 67% said they would purchase costumes.

From Afterthought To Full Blown Holiday

There was a time when Halloween was an afterthought on the way to the holiday season. At $8.4 billion it’s something more than that now.

With 46.7% of shoppers saying they planned to do their Halloween shopping at a discount store and less than half that (21.8%) saying they planned to shop online, it’s no wonder companies like Amazon see unrealized potential.


Halloween Theme Park Horror

Even major theme parks have realized just how big Halloween has become. It has graduated from neighborhood haunted houses to the big time. Nationwide more than 300 amusement parks operate Halloween attractions.

Moreover, according to Hauntworld website, the parks generate at least $500 million in revenue each Halloween season. There’s even an annual Halloween industry show in St. Louis where parks can come and see the very latest in scary props, lighting and other Halloween items.

Major players include Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:SIXB), Comcast Corp.’s (NASDAQ:CMCSAF) Universal Studios and Time Warner Inc.’s (:TWXN/A) Warner Bros. Studios.

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