Halloween is one of those holidays that Americans hold near and dear to their hearts. Our inner child comes out; reminiscing on childhood cartoon characters you want to be and realizing that twenty four is too old to try and go trick-or-treating. The fun, the games, the candy, and the haunted houses are some of the images that come to mind when people think of Halloween. However, there is the business of Halloween to consider: Halloween is the fourth major business holiday of year.
One would think the busiest day in October is the 31st however; October 28th is when people bombard the grocery stores stocking up on those beloved Reese’s peanut butter cups, Twix and candy corn. In fact the top five selling days of candy all fall is the month of October. Not to mention the last minute costumes, decorations and for those twenty one and over extra party favors.
Do you know what the most popular candy that was sold during Halloween for 2013? No, not Reese’s…not Kit Kat…not snickers. If you guessed CANDY CORN you guessed correctly! Who knew! They are not particularly a favorite of mine but to each his or her own. But if it makes you feel any better 90 million pounds of chocolate was sold last year. This totaled a whopping 1.9 billion in retail sales according to the Alliance Data Retail Services. Yet, I wonder how much of those profits made it to the retail workers who had to stock the shelves or the people who worked in the factories making the candy wrappers.
The National Retail Federation reports that consumers spend 330 million on pet costumes, 330 million on greeting cards and 1.96 billion on festive decorations. In total consumers to spent about 6.9 billion on Halloween in 2013 and it is expected to be about the same for 2014.
6.9 billion in revenue sales and yet there are poor working conditions in the garment industries, an unemployment rate of 6.1% in the United States and the gap between the rich and the poor steadily increasing… The business of Halloween is a representation of the reality that is the discrepancy in American priorities.
by ASHLEI MCPHERSON