Wal-Mart Unmasks America's Changing Halloween Habits for 2007

Spookiest holiday isn’t just for people and pumpkins anymore
as pets are a big part of this year’s fun


BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Oct. 23, 2007 – In the countdown to fright night, a peek into the Wal-Mart costume closet reveals America’s changing Halloween habits for 2007. In fact, with Halloween spending up 10 percent from 2006, the nation’s largest retailer serves as the best barometer on everything boo-ful: from the preferred garb of once-a-year ghosts and goblins to the continued popularity of pumpkins to the Fifi’s favorite frightful frock.

• The comic book costume craze continues as thousands of children across the country have responded, “Spider-Man!” when asked what they’d like to be this Halloween. Scream, Super Man, Batman and Jack Sparrow also top the list of most popular children’s costumes so far this year.
• Pumpkins are still the holiday’s hallowed icon, and sales at Wal-Mart stores nationwide, show five states stand out as those where jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pies are fall faves. This year, customers in Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachusetts have purchased the most pumpkins consecutively (as of October 19, 2007).
• Costume contests for pets? Maybe. Wal-Mart’s 2007 costume sales indicate that dog owners who will parade with their pets this Halloween prefer princesses, witches and rather than fangs, four-legged Dracula.

“Halloween is the second most popular decorating season,” said Andy Barron, Wal-Mart senior vice president, general merchandise manager for hardlines. “With that in mind, we’ve worked hard to have all the costumes, candy and creepy decorations customers want in our stores at unbeatable values.”

Wal-Mart has also watched “boo-ing” – a trend that started in cities like Atlanta, Cleveland and Sacramento – spread across the country this year, with more and more Americans using Halloween as the excuse behind random acts of kindness. “Boo bags” filled with Halloween candy and other treats have been secretly left on the doorsteps of neighbors or desks of co-workers, or even emailed to friends via sites like www.walmart.com/halloween.  Those lucky enough to have been “boo-ed” display an “I’ve Been Boo’d” sign and pass the trend along by “boo-ing” their own list of friends. 

Additional Halloween 2007 highlights from Wal-Mart include:

• Kids at heart can expect a plethora of pirates at costume parties this Halloween. Pirates top the list of adult costume sales, followed by the women’s fifties look, Grecian goddess, tigress and leopard girl costumes.
• The top ten states for pumpkin sales at Wal-Mart are Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Montana, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maine and Idaho.
• More than 70 percent of consumers plan to stay home and hand out treats this Halloween, while more than 25 percent plan to throw a spooky gathering, according to the National Retail Federation.

For last-minute Halloween ideas on costumes, decorating, candy or party planning, visit www.walmart.com/halloween.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com.  The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally.  Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.

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