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Upscaling Halloween

09/18/2008 by Specter

Yesterday Visa announced the results of a Halloween spending survey. The survey shows that 75 percent of Americans plan to celebrate, and spend on, Halloween. Among those, the average person will spend $47 on candy and decorations. Disregarding the current economic headwinds, this spending represents an increase of 18% from the $40 Americans reported they were planning to spend on Halloween in a similar Visa survey last year.

The survey also found...

Men estimate they will spend $50 on Halloween, while women say on average they will spend $43.

Consumers under the age of 45 will spend $17 more than those 45 and over. The younger group estimates their Halloween spending at $55 and the older will spend $38 on average.

Urbanites ($51) intend on spending $8 more than those who live in the suburbs ($43), and suburbanites are spending $4 more on average than those who live in rural areas ($39).

Parents with children 18 or under living at home are planning on spending an average of $57 on Halloween candy and decorations compared to $40 for anyone without children living at home.

While I'm not surprised that 75 percent of Americans celebrate this wonderful holiday I'm surprised at how thrifty the survey seems to portray their spending. It would seem like a lot if it was spent on just some candy and a few costume accessories but if recent catalogs are any indication $40 - $50 is the low end of the Halloween spending scale.

Once the domain of the corner drug store and seasonal party stores, retailers have finally realized there is money to be made catering to the older, more sophisticated, and more affluent consumer. A trend that is sure to continue, despite current economics, as Boomers age and more middle-class couples delay or forgo starting families.

With that in mind I thought it would be fun to do a little virtual window shopping at some of the better stores and see what they're offering this season.

Pottery Barn

Voluminous Camilla Canisters
Voluminous Camilla Canisters

Ominous and elegant candles and holders
Ominous and elegant candles and holders

Spooky House Wall Mural
Spooky House
Wall Mural

Pottery Barn has been busy updating its Halloween offerings and has come up with a very enticing selection of upscale Halloween decor to encourage you to part with your hard earned dollars.

Trick-or-treaters aren't the only ones who deserve a treat during the Halloween holiday. For a feast for your eyes and your sweet tooth, try setting out Pottery Barn's Voluminous Camilla Canisters ($54 - $69) with your favorite candies.

From ominous to elegant is the selection of Halloween inspired candles and holders. Get your guests in the mood for the most horrific of holidays with Archer Pillar Holders and Skull Candles ($49 and $19) or for a more elegant table set out the Black Candelabra with Black Tapers ($59 and $20).

Continuing with the elegant theme, the White Pumpkin Candles ($19 - $44) lend a touch of charm and class. For the traditionalist they are also available in orange ($6 - $44).

To make a big impression on your holiday guests choose from one of two giant wall murals. Particularly attractive is the 8' x 12' three panel Spooky House Wall Mural ($199).

Many more upscale Halloween decor items are available from Pottery Barn.

Z-Gallery

Metallic Skull
Metallic Skull

Bone Chillers
Bone Chillers

Halloween goes glam at Z-Gallery with Metallic Skulls ($24.95), Metallic Skeleton Hands ($13.95), silver Skull Napkin Rings ($39.80), and an assortment of other shiny silver decorations to keep the werewolves at bay at your next Halloween cocktail party.

My main concern at parties has always been keeping my drink chilled, which is why I was very interested in their Bone Chillers ($9.95) because cubes are just so boring compared to skulls and crossbones.

See all of Z-Gallery's Halloween offerings or find a store near you on their website.

Joseph Schmidt

Halloween Round
Halloween Round

If your weakness is chocolate and specifically chocolate truffles, you absolutely cannot go wrong with a visit to Joseph Schmidt. While Joseph Schmidt only has three Halloween themed product lines, what incredible products they are. I recommend the Halloween Round ($21) with its seven extra large truffles packed into a Jack-O-Lantern themed box.

Smith & Hawkin

Vine Lit Scary Tree
Vine Lit Scary Tree

Glass Pumpkin Hurricanes
Glass Pumpkin Hurricanes

Garden and outdoor retailer Smith & Hawkin offers a small selection of Halloween and Autumn inspired decor items.

New this year is the Vine Lit Scary Tree ($239), an exclusive item offered by Smith & Hawkin, it is constructed of flexible yet durable powder-coated iron, stores easily with fold-away branches, and features 200 LEDs to light up your garden or porch with a soft glow.

Speaking of glowing Glass Pumpkin Hurricanes ($19 - $59) would make an elegant statement on your table, mantel, or porch.

See all of Smith & Hawkin's Halloween and Autumn offerings on their website.

Williams-Sonoma

Chocolate Skulls
Chocolate Skulls

Halloween Petit Fours
Halloween Petit Fours

Spiced Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Spiced Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Halloween treats are definitely upscale at Williams-Sonoma this year with a variety of exclusive offerings.

Particularly delectable is the set of six miniature Chocolate Skulls ($19.95) crafted out of milk, bittersweet, and white Guittard chocolate. The set of two of each flavor comes complete in a coffin-shaped box.

Only online and catalog shoppers will get to enjoy Halloween Petit Fours ($29) at their next soiree. The assortment of 12 includes four each of dark chocolate with caramel buttercream, white chocolate with vanilla buttercream, and orange tinted white chocolate with chocolate buttercream, all created by Dragonfly Cakes exclusively for Williams-Sonoma.

Brittle lovers will need to try Williams-Sonoma's delightful new twist on one of their old favorites, Spiced Pumpkin Seed Brittle ($19.95). This brittle is made with two of my favorite ingredients, toasted pumpkin seeds and microbrewed California ale. Created in small batches from all-natural ingredients by master candymakers exclusively for Williams-Sonoma, this is one of the must try treats this season.

For a full look at Williams-Sonoma's exclusive line of Halloween offerings and tips for throwing the perfect kids' Halloween party, visit their website.

 
   

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