hoopla letters halloween
DIY Spooky Mail Art from hoopla! Letters

With COVID-19 restrictions still in place for many communities, Halloween celebrations this year will focus on keeping gathering safe, while still having fun and being festive. “Consumers continue to place importance on celebrating our traditional holidays, even if by untraditional standards,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a recent article.

“Retailers are prepared to meet the increased demand for seasonal décor, costumes and other items that allow families the opportunity to observe Halloween safely.”

In excellent news for retailers, consumer expectations for Halloween remain mostly in line with last year’s numbers. According to the NRF, in 2007, consumers spent almost $65 per person for Halloween, whereas in 2019, consumer spending jumped to about $86 per person. This year the NRF estimates spending will be $92 per person.

Overall consumer spending is expected to reach $8.05 billion this year, down slightly from $8.78 billion in 2019, due to COVID-19. However, consumers are spending more on the activities that will ensure a memorable holiday. 17 percent of consumers said they were going to buy costumes for their beloved pets, for example. Consumers are doing what they can to still make it a special event by spending a little more on home decorations, candy and, costumes.

“Some of the most interesting data concerns younger generations, consumers ages 18-24,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said in a recent article. “Although fewer are celebrating this year, the ones who are aren’t shying away from Halloween-related purchases, spending $11 more on average, primarily on decorations and candy.”

What are the 2020 Halloween trends to watch? Consistently, every year popular products for Halloween include:

  • Decorations
  • Entertainment /activities 
  • Costumes
  • Beauty/Makeup
  • Food & drink
  • Paper goods

The trends for Halloween 2020 will fall into these categories: Happy at Home, Pets, Pop Culture, Retro, and Modern.

Happy at home Halloween

Mega retailer Party City reports decorating homes – both inside and out – will most likely increase this year. COVID-19 concerns will have consumers keeping safety and social distancing protocols as a top priority. Party City predicts this year will see a rise in Halloween home decorations, with the shifted focus to at-home and virtual family celebrations. Most families plan to host at-home celebrations (63 percent) or neighborhood parades and events (68 percent).

From trick-or-treating in smaller groups and neighbors gathering in driveways, to socially distanced trunk-or-treat parties in school parking lots and tiny parades of tots on decorated bicycles and wagons, small neighborhood gatherings of all types are expected to rise this year. Concerns caused by COVID-19 have changed the way some plan to celebrate Halloween, with more than half of survey respondents claiming they plan to drop Halloween treat bags at doorsteps as a contact-free way to delight friends and loved ones.

Happy At Home Ideas

  • A Festive Home
  • Friendly Neighbors
  • Booing or Ghosting

Product Ideas

  • Hand-painted outdoor signs
  • Festive treat bowls for neighborhood children to grab and go
  • Fun figurines to place in entryways
  • Colorful doormats with clever phrases
  • Colorful chalk in rustic buckets
  • Hand-painted artificial leaves in unexpected colors 
  • Handmade goodie bags.
  • Small DIY art kits as party favors.
  • Pretty tins for baked goods
  • Handmade paper for written notes.
creepy coasters
Creepy Coasters from Hissyfitz Designs

Pet Halloween 

Animals and cuddly creatures are everywhere, with over 208 million photos using the hashtag Dogs of Instagram on the picture-sharing platform. (The hashtag Cats of Instagram, while popular, trails at 144 million photos). According to the NRF, the top 10 pet costumes for Halloween 2020 are:


  • Pumpkin
  • Hot Dog
  • Superhero
  • Cat
  • Bumblebee
  • Ghost
  • Dog
  • Witch
  • Devil
  • Bat


  • Bright fabric
  • Velcro fasteners for potty breaks
  • Soft fabric for lining
  • Strong fasteners for leashes

Pop culture Halloween

Mass COVID-19 shutdowns meant much of the world stayed close to home for the first half of 2020 which contributed to shared pop culture references. Easily recognizable pop culture figures from 2020 create an opportunity for Halloween costumes. Following the Center for Disease Control guidelines, those gathering should remain 6-10 feet apart when outside, and should also wear masks. Consumers will appreciate those retailers who consider mask restrictions in Halloween costumes. 

Pop Culture Ideas 

  • Tiger King (tiger prints, headbands, shiny fabrics, long earrings)
  • Slasher-themed (thick, colorful knits; classic clothes with a twist)
  • Video game themed (Slick, futuristic fabrics with gloss and ease of movement)
  • Disney’s Frozen characters (icy blue and white draping fabrics, cozy sweaters, snowman-themed apparel)
halloween masks
Spiderweb/spooky eye kid + toy matching face mask set

Retro Halloween

In times of crisis, society loves to look back and reminisce on what it believes to be easier times. 2020 is no exception. The 80s and 90s are back!  Bring these elements into your shop for a trendy yet comforting vibe.


  • Neon plastic
  • Brightly colored metals
  • Fun fabrics in abstract shapes
  • Bold prints
  • Large scale color blocking 
  • Retro fonts with lots of curves
  • Vintage style illustrations of classic motifs 
  • Vivid colors such as hot pink, red, cobalt blue, neon yellow and vibrant purple 


  • Retro costumes
  • Vintage clothing
  • Colorful party decor
  • Oversized jewelry
  • Chunky sweaters in bright colors
  • Neon socks
retro halloween tights
Spooky Stars Mid-Rise Leggings from Yummy Goods

Modern Decor Halloween

The traditional Halloween look of monochrome, orange, pumpkins, and skeletons, with a modern update. Think if the Addams Family moved to Martha’s Vineyard.


  • Gourds 
  • Lace 
  • Black or white finishes
  • Creamy fabrics
  • Dark woods
  • Matte metals

Key products

  • Supple blankets
  • 3D jewelry or figurines
  • Gourds in unexpected colors 
  • Bold signs with whimsical sayings
  • Unusual candlesticks
  • Modern serving trays 
hocus pocus
Hocus Pocus Quilt Pattern from Corinne Sovey
Erica Gerald Mason

Erica Gerald Mason


Erica Gerald Mason is a freelance journalist whose work has been published in many print and digital publications including Vanity Fair, Bella Grace, and Serious Eats. She writes about the intersection of culture and wellness, as well as lifestyle experiences that benefit both our personal and our collective mental health.

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