By Rieva Lesonsky

If you think Halloween is only for kids, think again.

Halloween sales are the furthest thing from scary. The National Retail Federation (NRF) just issued its Halloween Consumer Spending Survey, revealing the average American will spend about $78 this Halloween, up nearly $3 from last year. The NRF says “more costumes than ever will be flying off the shelves” and  predicts total Halloween spending will hit $7.4 billion this year.

Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and CEO, says Halloween is “one of the fastest-growing consumer holidays.” Shay says Halloween celebrations and spending will be positively impacted this year by the fact the holiday falls on a Friday.

Halloween is not just for kids anymore. The NRF says of the $2.8 billion that will be spent on costumes, $1.1 billion is for kids’ costumes, $1.4 billion for adult costumes and, yes, $350 million will be spent buying costumes for pets!

But it’s not just costumes that get cash registers ringing. Billions ($2.2 billion, to be exact) will be spent on Halloween candy and another $2 billion on décor.

The survey also says almost one-third of Halloween celebrants planned to start their shopping before October 1, while over 43 percent of shopping will take place in the first two weeks of the month.

Even if you don’t sell costumes, candy or greeting cards (yes, 36 percent of Americans send Halloween cards), you can take advantage of the Halloween spirit. Decorate your restaurant or stores (if appropriate—you don’t want to turn off customers). Clothing stores are also likely to get a sales boost (not all costumes are “costume-y”), and nearly 20 percent of consumers expect to make their own costumes, so crafts and fabric store owners should reach out to customers as well.

Pinterest is expected to draw lots of Halloween traffic, especially among 18-34 year olds.

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+   and and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.