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Despite Frightful Economy, Consumers Eager to Celebrate Halloween

Families Budgeting Big to Create New Costumes and Decorations this Year According to Annual Halloween Shopping Survey from Savers

The economy is not going to allow consumers to let financial woes keep them from getting into the Halloween spirit. Savers released their second annual Halloween Shopping Survey on September 14, where shoppers clearly indicated the importance of the holiday. Embracing the fun of Halloween, this year a family of four expects to spend on average, $300 to decorate, costume and otherwise celebrate the holiday.

Rather than repurpose costumes from a previous year, 90 percent of adults are planning to create a brand new look this season, and another 81 percent will purchase new decorations for their home. However, shoppers are still looking to be savvy and cut costs wherever they can, and more than half (54 percent) of people planning to dress up this year will either combine new and secondhand items or make their costume by hand in order to create a unique look and get the best value for their Halloween budget.

The Savers family of thrift stores offers the largest selection of new and used costumes, accessories, makeup and home décor of any retailer. With new costumes starting at $9.99, new seasonal accessories as low as $1.99 and aisles of gently worn merchandise at a fraction of the original price, Savers empowers shoppers to be resourceful and inventive in creating a Halloween costume that stands out from the crowd without breaking the bank. With everything under one roof and thousands of choices including ready-made costumes, themed accessories, vintage and retro wear, it’s easy for Halloween shoppers to make one stop to create a great costume for every member of their family.

“Halloween is one of our biggest times of year at Savers, and it keeps getting bigger. In fact, over the last five years we’ve seen Halloween sales increase more than 35 percent. It’s a holiday where you can escape from everyday worries, alter your ego and just have fun celebrating with friends and family. People love that,” said Ken Alterman, President and CEO of Savers, Inc. “But we also know that everyday financial struggles are a real concern for many, and at Savers you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a memorable Halloween.”

 Trends for Halloween 2011

Savers’ annual “Halloween Shopping Survey” polled 1,000 adults about their Halloween shopping habits, popular costumes and trends for this year. Key findings from the survey include:

·         Planning Makes Perfect: On average, people dressing up for Halloween spend 61 days planning and preparing their costume. In fact, nearly two in ten (13 percent) will plan for Halloween a year or more before the big day. On the flip side, 20 percent of people wait until the very last minute to plan their costume, picking it out on the day of Halloween.

·         A Focus on Fido: Halloween isn’t just for people, pets are actually the ones getting pampered the most. To outfit their four-legged family member in the perfect Halloween look, pet owners will spend $59 on average.

·         Costuming Kids for Less: While most parents (87 percent) plan to dress up their child this Halloween, on average they plan to spend only $32 on their little one’s costume – much less than what they plan to spend on themselves ($52) or the family pet.

·         A Desire for Décor: Consumers aren’t just interested in finding the perfect Halloween costume, they also want to spookify their houses to celebrate the holiday. More than half of consumers (53 percent) plan to decorate their homes for Halloween, and most of those people (43 percent) will go all out decorating both inside and outside their abode.

·         All About Accessories: In our online survey** more than a third of respondents (38 percent) believe accessories are the most important factor in creating a unique Halloween costume, and a similar number (34 percent) say they’re able to use their Halloween accessories or costumes throughout the year for other theme parties and events.

·         Costumes Defined by Pop Culture: The zombies from AMC’s “The Walking Dead” were named the best TV-inspired costumes (31 percent), followed by the sparkle and glamour of “Dancing with the Stars” (19 percent) and the sultry vampires from “True Blood” (17 percent). Pirates get a boost this year as adult respondents named “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” as their top big screen costume inspiration (36 percent), as well as for their kids’ costumes (19 percent). Respondents also cited “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II” as another top choice for adults (11 percent) and kids (13 percent) this Halloween.

·         Refusing to Reuse Costumes: Nearly two-thirds of adults (65 percent) say they’ve dressed up for Halloween the last two to three years. And everyone seems to agree it’s important to have a fresh look each Halloween – an overwhelming majority of adults (90 percent) and kids (93 percent) that dress up for the holiday sport a totally new costume every year.

 Costume Consultants Boost Creativity, Lower Stress

For more than 50 years Savers has helped customers find great Halloween costumes at a great value. With brand, new ready-made costumes, including exclusive looks and officially licensed characters starting as low as $9.99 and ranging up to $59.99, there’s a costume for every budget. When coupled with the thousands of new Halloween accessories as well as an endless selection of secondhand clothing, from new wigs and fairy wings to authentic uniforms, cowboy chaps and 80’s prom dresses, there are literally millions of ways to create a complete, unique look at Savers.

To help shoppers navigate the choices and narrow in on their perfect costume, each store location has dedicated “Costume Consultants” who are specially trained to help shoppers find exactly what they need. Whether building an original costume or enhancing a brand new, ready-made look with unique accessories, Costume Consultants are standing by to alleviate any Halloween stress and make sure every costume is a one-of-a-kind gem.


To provide further inspiration, stores will host free “Halloween Costume Catwalk” fashion shows at 3 p.m. every Thursday in October. Set to festive Halloween-themed music, each store’s Costume Consultants will showcase the season’s hottest costume looks while providing useful Halloween shopping tips. Savers also offers free in-store Do-It-Yourself instruction sheets for a variety of popular costumes and home décor projects that can be used as a shopping guide.

Your Online Halloween Hub 

Whether a shopper is looking for costume inspiration, decoration tips and tricks, or ideas for home entertaining, Savers provides a variety of simple DIY Halloween projects at The site features creative costume ideas for popular trends including zombies, pirates, and superheroes, as well as makeup tutorials to help viewers effortlessly transform themselves into a breathtaking Black Swan or daring Day of the Dead. Visitors to the site can also view instructions for DIY decorations that are easy and economical to make their home spooky and sensational this Halloween.

 Shopping with a Conscience

With everything you need under one roof, shopping at Savers this Halloween saves time and money.  Shopping secondhand also helps keep millions of pounds of reusable goods from entering landfills each year, and every item donated to Community Donation Centers, located on-site at Savers stores, benefits a local nonprofit organization. To help protect the environment, support nonprofits’ community-based services, and give someone the opportunity to enjoy this year’s costume as a secondhand look next year, Savers encourages customers to donate their Halloween costumes after the holiday.

For more information on Savers’ Halloween offering, or to locate the nearest store, visit For full results from Savers’ Halloween Shopping Survey or to request high-resolution Halloween costume images, please contact [email protected]. Shoppers can also become a part of the Savers social network this season by visiting or @SaversVVillage on Twitter.

*Methodology Note: The Savers Halloween Shopping Survey was conducted by Kelton Research during the summer of 2011 and polled 1,068 nationally representative consumers aged 18 and older.

**Methodology Note: The Savers Shopper Survey was conducted during the summer of 2011 and polled 11,781 customers in the U.S. and Canada.


Savers, Inc. is a privately held for-profit global thrift retailer offering clothing and accessories for men, women and children and household goods under the Savers, Value Village, Village des Valeurs, Unique Thrift Store and Valu Thrift Store brands. Through its unique business model of purchasing, reselling and recycling secondhand merchandise, the Savers family of thrift stores benefits more than 140 nonprofit organizations, gives local consumers a smart way to shop, and saves more than 500 million pounds of quality used goods from landfills each year. Savers, Inc. has paid more than $1 billion to its nonprofit partners over the last  10 years, turning otherwise unused items into sustainable funding that supports vital community programs and services. Savers, Inc. operates more than 270 locations and has nearly 15,000 employees in the United States, Canada and Australia. For more information, please visit

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