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Halloween spending scaring up record

Retail industry survey predicts $86 average

SAN ANTONIO – It can be scary how much some people sink their teeth into Halloween. As consumers buy into the holiday, the retail industry is anticipating record spending as high as $9.1 billion.

Chris and Michele Villarreal are getting into the spirit by shopping for costumes.

"(It's) going to be a family thing — all 'Star Wars,'" Chris Villarreal said.

"We have a 2-year-old who's going to be BB8," Michele Villarreal added. Their family dog is even getting into the act.

A survey for the National Retail Federation showed spending surpassing $9 billion this year, compared to $8.4 billion last year.

The average is expected to be $86.13 for candy, costumes and decor.

Elizabeth Chavez is doing her part. She expects to spend about $100 for the holiday.

"I know people who will do five times that," she said.

Americans are expected to fork over $3.4 billion on costumes alone, and that's not just for kids. Nearly half of adults said they will also dress up.

"It's a chance to recreate yourself," said Yvette Hogan, Spirit Halloween store manager. "A day to be something different. Let your inner self come out. Maybe that's what it is."

It definitely is a frightfully big business. Among the popular costumes this year are superheroes, princesses, Hocus Pocus, scary clowns and animals.

For pets, the most popular costumes are the pumpkin and hot dog. Sixteen percent of pet owners said they will dress up their furry friends.


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