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Halloween sales building

Many out buying costumes, candy, decorations

October 10, 2011
By Sam Shawver ( , The Marietta Times

The average American will spend around $72 on Halloween costumes, candy and decorations this year, according to the National Retail Federation. That translates to an estimated $6.9 billion nationwide from those who celebrate All Hallows Eve.

Candy will likely top the list of Halloween purchases. In 2010, the sweets brought $1.8 billion from American consumers.

"We spent between $12 and $14 on a couple bags of candy this year," said Belpre resident Gary Ritenour.

Article Photos

SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Marietta College students Corey Clause from Akron, left, and Quincy Bell of Columbus check out a display of Halloween decor at the Big Lots Store on Acme Street in Marietta Sunday afternoon.

"That's about what we've spent for the last 10 years," he said. "But we live on a short street where there's not a lot of kids. And sometimes there's candy left over for ourselves."

Brad Forshey with Food 4 Less in Marietta said candy sales really pick up in October.

"We'll start putting out bins of candy a couple of weeks before Halloween, and it usually sells out," he said.

Fact Box

By the numbers

49.5-The percentage of people that will decorate their yards for Halloween.

$21.05-The amount consumers will spend on candy.

74-The percentage of consumers in 2010 who celebrated Halloween by handing out candy.

50-The percentage of people who decorated their home or yard for Halloween in 2010.

Source: The National Retail Federation,

A step down from the 2010 candy sales was Halloween decorations, which garnered the nation's retailers more than $1.6 billion, according to the NRF.

Halloween decor sales are doing very well at the Big Lots Store in Marietta.

"The sales have been very steady this month," said assistant store manager Shawn Clevenger.

He noted a 'Friends and Family' sale Sunday brought hundreds of customers in to take advantage of 20 percent off everything in the store.

"They're buying costumes, lighting, and inside and outside decorations," Clevenger said. "And LED lighting seems to be the big thing this year. I think the sales are much better this year, but we have a better variety than before, too."

He said most of the store's Halloween stock will be sold out by Oct. 31.

Among Sunday's shoppers at the Big Lots Store were Marietta College students Corey Clause and Quincy Bell who were checking out the candy and decorations.

Clause held up a large black spider.

"We don't hand out much candy in the dorms, but we do need a mascot for our room," he said.



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