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Nov 032015
 

GreatPumpkin-titlecard

Americans cashed out slightly less at $6.9 billion on Halloween products in 2015, according to the National Retail Federation, which amounts to a half-billion dollar drop from 2014 spending levels at $7.4 billion.

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However, what’s been the annual trend in the past decade in spending for Halloween in America?

Our Halloween spending levels have been climbing since 2007, peaking in 2012 at $8 billion (or $80 per person on average). Be that as it may, our “Great Pumpkin” festivity spending trend has largely tapered off during the last three years, averaging around $7 billion (or about $75 per person on average) annually.

Halloween retail product and service expenditures in total by consumers generally have been trending up over the past decade in the U.S. (in billions of dollars), as follows (so detailed out here for aid to viewing the chart below for mobile device users): $5.1 (2007), $5.8 (2008), $4.7 (2009), $5.8 (2010), $6.9 (2011), $8 (2012), $7 (2013), $7.4 (2014), $6.9 (2015).

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Average Halloween 2015 expenditures for young people came to $76.15 (for millennials aged 18-24) and $97.97 (for Generation Ys aged 25-34). These figures may be compared to an average $87 spent by young adults in 2014.

In contrast, average Halloween 2015 spending for people of all ages (including children) came to $74 in 2015 (slightly less than $78 spent in 2014).

Average retail spending per consumer of Halloween products and activities has trended up over the last decade in the U.S., as follows (so detailed out here for aid to viewing the chart below for mobile device users): $65 (2007), $67 (2008), $56 (2009), $66 (2010), $72 (2011), $80 (2012), $75 (2013), $78 (2014), $74 (2015).

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Looking more completely demographically, average engagement in Halloween 2015 spending was broken down generationally at:

  • $76.15 (for Millennials aged 18-24);
  • $97.97 (for Generation Ys aged 25-34);
  • $96.41 (for Generation Xs aged 33-44);
  • $75.95 (for Baby-Busters aged 45-54);
  • $56.50 (for Baby-Boomers aged 55-64);
  • $44.53 (for Great Generations aged 65 and older).

Along gender lines, Halloween shoppers spent on average: $83.91 (among men) and $65.26 (among women).

Charlie Brown 5

When considered in relation to family incomes, average expenditures on Halloween 2015 was $60.85 (for households making under $50K) and $84.03 (for households bringing in over $50K).

Geographically speaking, average Halloween consumer spending in 2015 across various regions of the country was:

  • $78.65 (across the U.S. northeast corridor);
  • $65.29 (in the U.S. midwest heartland);
  • $75.85 (down in the U.S. deep south);
  • $77.85 (along the U.S. west coast).

Did you celebrate Halloween or participate in any haunting activities this year?

In 2013, 158 million people celebrated Halloween in the United States. Moreover, this amount of “The Great Pumpkin” celebration rose to 162 million in 2014.

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Sixty-four percent of 245,273,438 American adults 18 years and older (that is, 157,086,769 folks) celebrated Halloween 2015, a drop of nearly 5 million folks, who elected to join the thirty-eight percent of us (or 88,186,669 folks) choosing to avoid the ghostly October celebrations altogether. 

For those saying not this year, did the state of the U.S. economy impact your Halloween plans? Well, 82.2 percent of men and 83.7 percent of women said not at all. Whereas, 17.8 percent of men and 16.3 percent of women said yes it did.

Given that it did, how did the U.S. economy impact your Halloween 2015 plans? 

  • 76.5 percent of men and 80.8 percent of women said they are spending less on everything overall; 
  • 17.8 percent of men and 18.7 percent of women made a costume(s) instead of purchasing; 
  • 17.7 percent of men and 13.3 of women resorted to using last year’s costume(s); 
  • 8.8 percent of men and 5.2% of women did not hand out candy this year;
  • 17.3 percent of men and 24.7 percent of women bought less candy this year; 
  • 9.6 percent of men and 16.8 percent of women placed up last year’s decorations with no plans to buy more; 
  • 9.6 percent of men and 13.5 percent of women did not participate in as many “Halloween” activities (i.e. haunted house, “spooky” amusement parks, fall festivals, etc.); 
  • 0.6 percent of men and 2.0 percent of women resorted to other ideas and creative solutions. 

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Where did you look for inspiration for Halloween 2015 costumes for yourself, your child(ren), and/or your pet(s) this year?

Young adults 18-24 relied on social media for costume inspiration, including 13.1 percent logged into Facebook, 3.7 percent took to Twitter, 6.6 percent brought up Instagram, 7.7 percent looked on YouTube, 13.3 percent use Pinterest, and lastly, 2.7 resorted to ideas gained from blogs.

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But, most of us looked far and wide this year for costume selection guidance, including 13.2 percent used print media (magazines, catalogs, etc), 31.4 went online to search, 26.8 percent visited a retail or costume shop, 18.1 percent collaborated with family and friends, 13.6 percent looked to pop culture (celebrities, television, and movies, etc), 7.1 percent just simply relied on current events, 5.2 percent resorted to habit and wore the same costume as last year, as continued from each prior year, and finally, 4.5 percent of us came up with our own new costume ideas with a dash of creativity in 2015.

And, when did we begin shopping for Halloween 2015?

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Well, 6.4 percent of us started really early before September, 27.7 percent Halloween shopped in September, 40.9 percent waited until the first couple weeks of October, and 25 percent of us began our costume and candy “shop till we drop” during the last two weeks before Halloween.

So, what did we buy?

Adults spent $1.22 billion in 2015 (compared to a bit more at $1.4 billion in 2014) on their costumes. And, they cashed out another $0.95 billion in 2015 (compared to slightly more at $1.1 billion in 2014) on their children’s costumes.

Americans further boosted the economy by cashing out $350 million on costumes for their pets. Most of the 23 million pets you see walking the streets and at your door for “Trick or Treats” on Halloween night dressed up as pumpkins, hot dogs and devils!

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Altogether, $2.53 billion in 2015 (compared to slightly more at $2.8 billion in 2014) has been spent on costumes, like the Batman character and a witch or animal, as the most popular like in 2014. Top three children’s costumes for 2015 are still a princess, an animal, and spider man. We spent $2.1 billion on Halloween candy, $1.9 billion on haunted house decorations, but only $0.3 billion on ghosts and goblins greeting cards.

Where did you buy Halloween-related items this year? Discount stores (47.7 percent), department stores (19.2 percent), special Halloween costume shop (32.6 percent), clothing stores (19.1 percent), home decorating stores (8.2 percent), home improvement stores (3.8 percent), greeting card and gift stores (7.8 percent), crafts or fabrics stores (12.2 percent),  local small businesses (6.1 percent), online e-commerce (17.3 percent), catalogs (3.3 percent), grocery stores and supermarkets (24.8 percent), pharmacy drug stores (9.7 percent), thrift stores and resale shops (10.1 percent), and other venues (4.6 percent).

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How did you celebrate Halloween?

Dressing up annually on Halloween night is substantially growing in popularity, as 64 percent in 2015 (compared to a much higher 78 percent in 2014) of Americans plan on dressing up this year, with 20 percent making costumes by themselves.

Americans’ Halloween 2015 spending per item is as follows (so detailed out here for aid to viewing the chart below for mobile device users): 64 percent of us spent on average $43 on Halloween costumes, 94 percent of us spent on average $25 on “trick or treats” candy, 67 percent of us spent on average $31 on scary haunted house decorations, and finally, 34 percent of us spend on average $11 on ghostly greeting cards.

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And, 51 percent of young adult consumers carved a “Great Pumpkin” like Charlie Brown.

Nearly 67 percent in 2015 (compared to 47 percent in 2014) of Americans decorated their home or yard. While, a third of us (at 33.4 percent) or 51 million Americans hosted or attended a Halloween costume party to celebrate the Autumn fun.

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In contrast, 94 percent in 2015 (compared to 71 percent in 2014) of Americans dished out $25 per person on their Halloween stock supply and handed out candy to children ringing door bells of millions of neighborhood homes, shouting “trick or treats!”

Finally, a whooping 33 million Americans got into the Halloween spirit by visiting a Haunted House!

Boo! Hope I didn’t scare you.

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We are all deep inside still kids in the kindergarten enjoying “The Great Pumpkin Patch,” Charlie Brown!

Happy Halloween America!

Video Credit: via YouTube. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! (1966 Original Episode), Emmy-Award Winning, Lee Mendelson, executive producer of all the classic PEANUTS specials.

Chart Credits: Fundivo.com

Photo Credits: The PEANUTS characters and related intellectual property are owned by Peanuts Worldwide LLC, a joint venture owned 80% by Iconix Brand Group, Inc. and 20% by members of the Charles M. Schulz family.

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Oliver McGee is professor of mechanical engineering at Howard University. He is an aerospace, mechanical, and civil engineer, and author of six books on Amazon. He is former United States deputy assistant secretary of transportation for technology policy (1999-2001) in the Clinton Administration, and former senior policy adviser in the Clinton White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1997-1999).

Follow Oliver on Twitter and Google+. Learn more at Partnership Possibilities for America.

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Oct 022015
 

Charlie Brown 5

Friday, October 2, 2015 marks the 65th anniversary of PEANUTS by Charles M. Schulz. First launched on October 2, 1950 in only nine newspapers, the original four column comic strip below was an immediate success among readers.

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Photo Credit: PEANUTS via Wikipedia, The first strip from October 2, 1950. From left to right: Charlie Brown, Shermy, and original Patty.

PEANUTS appeared throughout its original run under the drawing pin of Charles M. Shultz (1950-2000) in over 2,200 newspapers, in 75 countries and 21 languages.

“The main character, Charlie Brown, is meek, nervous, and lacks self-confidence. He is unable to fly a kite, win a baseball game, or kick a football,” according to Wikipedia. “In 2013, TV Guide ranked the Peanuts television specials the fourth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time.” [Sands, Rich (2013-09-24). “TV Guide Magazine’s 60 Greatest Cartoons of All Time – Today’s News: Our Take,” TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.]

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From the award-winning PEANUTS hits, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” to Charlie Brown miss kicking the football as Lucy snatches it away, Linus’s thumb-sucking carrying his ever-present blanket, and Lucy leaning over lovingly atop Schroeder’s classical piano, these classic animated television specials have for several generations launched our holiday seasons with such lovable characters and delightful phases, like “Security Blanket” and “Good Grief.”

“Most of the other characters that eventually became the main characters of Peanuts did not appear until later: Violet (February 1951), Schroeder (May 1951), Lucy (March 1952), Linus (September 1952), Pig-Pen (July 1954), Sally (August 1959), Frieda (March 1961), “Peppermint” Patty (August 1966), Woodstock (introduced April 1967; given a name in June 1970), Franklin (July 1968), Marcie (July 1971), and Rerun (March 1973),” according to PEANUTS via Wikipedia.

We have marveled at how Cartoonist Charles Schultz mirrored our children’s conversations and the decisions they face during the wonder years of their young lives.

In Honor of PEANUTS 65th Anniversary Celebration, October 2, 2015

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Photo Credit: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ stamps show us what the holidays are all about. http://on.mash.to/1FGH2qx 

According to WFLA in Washington, “To celebrate the holiday season and launch October as National Stamp Collecting Month, the U.S. Postal Service is dedicating the A Charlie Brown Christmas Forever stamps [on October 2, 2015] at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California. The 9 a.m. PT event is free and open to the public. The stamps will be available nationwide that day. Customers may pre-order the stamps now for delivery shortly after October 1, 2015. Peanuts fans are encouraged to share their excitement about the stamps on social media using #CharlieBrownStamps.”

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“Scheduled to join Postmaster General Megan Brennan at the ceremony are: Schulz’s wife Jean Schulz; Schulz’s son Craig Schulz; Emmy award-winning “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Executive Producer Lee Mendelson; U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Acting Chairman James Bilbray; Charles M. Schulz Museum Director Karen Johnson and Snoopy,” WFLA Washington reports.

“’A Charlie Brown Christmas’ continues to resonate with fans, because everyone can relate to Charlie Brown and his quest to find the true meaning of Christmas,” said Jean Schulz. “It will be a great joy to see these iconic images when I open my mailbox this holiday season.”

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A Phenomenal Artist-Cartoonist, Charles M. Schulz (1922-2000)

The Iconix Brand Group, Inc., historically chronicles on behalf of Peanuts Worldwide LLC, that Charles Schulz once described himself as “born to draw comic strips.” A Minneapolis native, he was just two days old, when an uncle nicknamed him “Sparky,” after the horse Spark Plug from the “Barney Google” comic strip.

Throughout his youth, he and his father shared a Sunday-morning ritual of reading the funnies. After serving in the army during World War II, Schulz got his first big break in 1947, when he sold a cartoon feature called “Li’l Folks” to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

In 1950, Schulz met with United Feature Syndicate, and on October 2 of that year, “PEANUTS,” so named by the syndicate, debuted in nine newspapers, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Minneapolis Tribune, The Allentown Morning Call, The Bethlehem Globe-Times, The Denver Post, The Seattle Times, The New York World-Telegram & Sun, and The Boston Globeaccording to PEANUTS via Wikipedia.

Schulz died in Santa Rosa, California on Saturday, February 12, 2000—just hours before his last original strip (shown below) was to appear in the then-Sunday papers on February 13, 2000.

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Photo Credit: Final Sunday strip, which came out February 13, 2000: one day after the death of Charles M. Schulz.

In closing with the final retirement words of The Phenomenal Artist-Cartoonist, Charles M. Schulz:

Dear Friends,

I have been fortunate to draw Charlie Brown and his friends for almost fifty years.  It has been the fulfillment of my childhood ambition.

Unfortunately, I am no longer able to maintain the schedule demanded by a daily comic strip. My family does not wish “Peanuts” to be continued by anyone else, therefore I am announcing my retirement.

I have been grateful over the years for the loyalty of our editors and the wonderful support and love expressed to me by fans of the comic strip.

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy… how can I ever forget them…

— Charles M. Schulz

The Peanuts Collection from Little Brown and Company is a compendium of rare materials from the Charles M. Schulz museum and family archives.

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APPENDIX

In Honor of PEANUTS 60th Anniversary Celebration, October 2, 2010

“I know that Sparky would be humbled but also delighted to see the scope of events celebrating the 60th Anniversary of PEANUTS,” said Schulz’s widow, Jeanne Schulz, ten years after his late husband Charles’ death. “Most of all he would be so moved to see the tremendous enthusiasm and affection that people of all ages and nationalities continue to feel for his beloved characters.”

A yearlong tribute culminated on October 2, 2010 the “birth date” of the beloved world of PEANUTS, with four celebratory events described below that was also enjoyed by family, friends and fans worldwide, according to Iconix Brand Group, Inc., announcing in a then-press release on behalf of Peanuts Worldwide LLC:

  • “A photograph of PEANUTS creator Charles Schulz (1922–2000) presented to the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in a ceremony for invited guests on October 1, 2010. The 1986 photograph, created by acclaimed portraitist Yousuf Karsh, is the Portrait Gallery’s first image of the famed cartoonist. In the image, Schulz is at his drawing board with pen in hand. Before him is a partially completed PEANUTS full-page comic featuring the perennially popular story line in which Lucy snatches the football away from Charlie Brown and sends him hurtling through the air. The photograph, with the accompanying original comic strip, will be on view to the public immediately following the ceremony in the museum’s “New Arrivals” exhibition.
  • “On October 2, 2010 the National Portrait Gallery will host a family-and-friends day with events for all ages: cartooning workshops; a screening of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; and guest appearances from Snoopy and Schulz friend, Lee Mendelson, executive producer of all the classic PEANUTS specials.

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  • “The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will also mark the 60th anniversary of the PEANUTS strip with a case that will feature objects from Schulz, including drawing utensils, an animation cell from the television special It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and two comic panels that show the cartoon’s progression from rough pencil sketches to finished ink strips beginning October 1, 2010.
  • “Also this month, PEANUTS fans are celebrating the 60th anniversary of their favorite comic strip via the “Countdown to the Great Pumpkin” game. This online social media game invites Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Foursquare and YouTube users to join the 60th Anniversary fun by completing a series of daily PEANUTS-themed “to-dos” from early September through Halloween. Players earn points for each task completed—such as sharing a PEANUTS quote with their friends or followers, or changing their profile picture to that of a PEANUTS character—and the winner will take home a special PEANUTS-loaded iPad and have a shot at an extra $25,000. Weekly winners receive prizes throughout the contest and members of the Schulz family—including Charles Schulz’s son Craig, daughter Jill, and widow, Jeannie—are playing along, offering their own PEANUTS memories and suggesting some of the daily to-dos.”

Photo Credits: The PEANUTS characters and related intellectual property are owned by Peanuts Worldwide LLC, a joint venture owned 80% by Iconix Brand Group, Inc. and 20% by members of the Charles M. Schulz family.

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