FINANCE

Consumers Expected to Spend $5 Billion on Halloween Due to Increase in Celebrations

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C., From costumes to candy, more people of all ages are expected to get into the Halloween spirit this year. According to the National Retail Federation’s Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey conducted by BIGresearch, consumers are expected to spend $4.96 billion this Halloween, up significantly from just $3.29 billion a year ago.

The spending increase is largely due to a surge in celebrating. According to the survey, nearly two-thirds (63.8%) of consumers will celebrate Halloween this year, a noticeable rise over the 52.5% who celebrated in 2005. Per-person spending is also increasing: the average consumer plans to spend $59.06 on Halloween, compared to $48.48 last year.

Maintaining its spot as the second-biggest decorating holiday of the year after Christmas, decorations continue to be a strong category as 67.0% of consumers plan to purchase Halloween decor. Additionally, most people (95.7%) will be scooping up plenty of candy, with the average consumer spending $18.72 in that category. Costumes are also expected to increase in popularity this year with consumers spending $21.57 to dress up.

Though growing, Halloween remains the sixth-largest spending holiday after: Winter holidays ($457.4 billion estimated), Valentine’s Day ($13.70 billion), Easter ($12.63 billion), Mother’s Day ($13.80 billion) and Father’s Day ($9.01 billion). Since it is not a gift-giving holiday or an apparel holiday, it ranks lower than other annual holidays in terms of spending.

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NRF Predicts Subdued Holiday Gains

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C., Retailers can expect a subdued holiday season this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). It predicts that total holiday sales will increase 5.0% over last year, bringing holiday spending to $457.4 billion. By comparison, holiday sales in 2005 rose 6.1% to $435.6 billion.

“Although sales gains will not be as robust as last year, retailers can still expect above-average holiday sales growth,” said Rosalind Wells, chief economist for the NRF.

Over the last 10 years, the average percentage increases in sales for holiday season has been 4.6%.

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Home Depot to Review CEO Pay

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta, The Home Depot Inc. said on Monday its board would review the compensation of chairman and CEO Robert Nardelli, who came under criticism earlier this year from shareholders who charged his pay is not in line with the company’s performance.

“This year, as in previous years, the independent members of the compensation committee will take a fresh look at executive compensation, using business performance, independent benchmarking and other input as determining factors, the retailer said in a statement.

The statement came amid a published report from Dow Jones that quoted Bonnie Hill, head of Home Depot’s leadership development and compensation committee, as saying directors were reviewing metrics used to set the CEO’s pay.

Nardelli was sharply criticized earlier this year as shareholders charged the retailer’s stock performance has languished since he arrived at the company in late 2000. Federal filings show the chief executive has earned as least $119.2 million in that time, excluding options and some other compensation, while the stock price is off 10%.

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