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Halloween 2015: Darth Vader, Sith Lords and zombies

Even though Christmas is just around the corner, data suggests consumers are preparing to spend big on Halloween.

The National Retailer Federation (NRF) estimates 157 million Americans will celebrate the festive holiday and spend nearly $7 billion this year, with costumes accounting for the largest expense. The average purchase will average approximately $74 per shopper, according to the NRF.

It's not just adults and kids dressing up as princesses and pirates. The organization said consumers will spend an additional $350 million on pet costumes and assorted accessories, to treat and trick out their beloved pets.

"Whether it's Halloween, Mardi Gras or St. Patrick's Day, we provide ways for people to dress up for every holiday," says Richard Parrott, president of beauty retail chain store Ricky's, in an interview with CNBC.

With Disney princesses holding court as some of the most popular costume options for young girls, Parrott considers Halloween as important as fashion. He said his team pays attention to all trends which this year point towards the dark side of the aisles, with a new "Star Wars" movie looming on the horizon.

"The coolest thing to be this year is the bad guy," Parrott said, with "more Darth Vaders, Sith Lords and Walking Dead zombies."

He added that the trends gets younger each year, with more kids wanting to dress as their favorite villain, just as much as they seek to buy costumes of popular super hero favorites such as Batman.

"However people will always spend money on themselves or their children," he says. "So a chance to dress up and play pretend is always good business."

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Lasry Halloween house
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With the business of ghosts and ghouls booming, pop-up Halloween stores are becoming a more popular and viable business model. While Parrott admits the sales generated from Halloween are a huge revenue boost for retailers, he says the haunted holiday isn't quite the sales Super Bowl as some may think.

"I'm in the costume and accessory business year round," he told CNBC. "The pie isn't as big as it used to be so you have to be strategic before you open a store."

Based in New York City since 1989, Ricky's has 25 stores in the city's metropolitan and three additional stores in Miami, Florida but the brand is also synonymous for their seasonal selection of fun Halloween fare.


In that vein, Parrott said global trends and competition as a key factor behind why he needs to be strategic in keeping Ricky's afloat as a brick and mortar retailer.

"The economy plays a huge factor," says Parrot, recalling the impact of 2012's Hurricane Sandy, as well as early winter storms that preempted the fall season.

"People can order anything from Amazon and have things shipped from anywhere," Parrott said. "Halloween is a global phenomenon that is a high-growth business, but it's squeezing everyone."

On the Money airs on CNBC Sundays at 7:00 pm, or check listings for air times in local markets.