Inflation weighing on holidays as Halloween prices spike
Oct 6, 2022, 6:37 PM | Updated: Oct 7, 2022, 4:55 pm
(Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Halloween festivities have faced a serious damper thanks to inflation. Halloween-themed items, like pumpkins, costumes, and makeup, are seeing an increase in price by as much as 15%.
“Gas is higher, diesel is higher. The building materials for any of our structures, our decorations, that’s all higher,” said Janice, an owner of a pumpkin patch and Christmas tree farm in Woodinville, on the Jason Rantz Show. “If we buy pumpkins, they cost more too.”
Americans spent approximately $10 billion on Halloween last year, flirting with near pre-pandemic levels of holiday purchasing. This year’s expectation? $10.6 billion.
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Inflation has caused popular holiday items like cookies to rise by 14.3%, according to Labor Department data, while candy shot up nearly 11% more in cost.
Carving pumpkins and making jack-o’-lanterns will also be more expensive as the price of pumpkins has risen approximately 7% year-over-year.
“I think this stressful part is that you’re putting more money into a business that you’re not sure if you’re going to have the community’s support,” said Janice. “And so you’re investing more than you would have in previous years and still have fewer people coming.”
For those trying to save some money, balloons remain a popular, cost-saving method of decorating for holiday parties with easy cleanup. Looking for costumes outside party-themed stores is another way to avoid higher prices as Halloween costumes have increased by 10% since last year.
Dollar store chains can also soften the blow to your wallet.
Retail giants — Walmart, Macy’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target — are scaling seasonal hires back dramatically in reaction to the wave of inflation that struck the nation. Walmart is cutting its seasonal staff by nearly 75% (from 150,000 seasonal employees to 40,000) while Macy’s only plans to bring back roughly half the amount they hired last year.
Recent forecasts from Bain & Co. showed that while sales grew 13% during last year’s holiday season, projections for this year’s holiday retail growth are just 7.5% — barely half of last year’s growth — making several retailers brace for lower sales and profits amid the holidays.
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