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The International Mass Retail Association (IMRA) has released a survey suggesting that there may be fewer treats for retailers this Halloween, as consumer react to the tough economy and the generally unsettled climate in the US by cutting back on Halloween-related spending.

“Six in 10 consumers (62 percent) are shopping for Halloween, and they expect to spend less than in the past two years - an average of $35, compared with $61 in 2001 and $43 in 2000,” according to IMRA.

"Americans are holding on to their money this October in anticipation of the holiday season," said IMRA President Robert J. Verdisco. "They are looking for the best buys every day and learning how to save for special occasions and gifts. Although they plan to spend less on Halloween, we think they will enjoy purchasing their holiday gifts even more this year."
KC's View:
We suspect that Halloween will be even slower than IMRA predicts, in part because it stopped surveying consumers on October 13. As of this writing, the sniper shootings in Washington, DC, are on virtually every front page around the country, and we think that will increase parental vigilance everywhere. (In DC and environs, we’re guessing that they’ll probably just call off Halloween.)

As much as we respect IMRA and its survey, we suspect that the “people will spend less on Halloween so they can spend more on the December holidays” logic is a little bit of wishful thinking. We don’t know anyone who relates the two holidays…and we think people will spend what they can (and what they feel comfortable with) in December, regardless of how much they spent on candy and presents in October.