Market research analysts Mintel estimate that consumer spending
on Halloween will rise to 320 million pounds ($418 million) this
year, a 3.2 percent rise on 2016.
Millennials are responsible for much of the growth - 60 percent
of that demographic spent money on Halloween in 2016.
The figures reflect a market that has rapidly expanded since the
turn of the century - spending on Halloween products in the UK
was just 12 million pounds in 2001, according to market research
A 2013 YouGov poll found that 74 percent of Britons said they
would not be celebrating Halloween on Tuesday.
This hostility has long been documented in the country's media,
with newspaper columns like last week's "Call me an old witch
but I hate Halloween," in London's Evening Standard being a
longstanding seasonal fixture.
Experts say that many Britons' antipathy to Halloween was caused
by a lack of historical attachment, as well as the view that it
was an invasive cultural import from the United States.
"The Scottish version of Halloween was an old Celtic festival,"
Hugh O'Donnell, a professor of language and popular culture at
Glasgow Caledonian University and author of a book about
Halloween's international appeal, told Reuters.
"England hasn't been exposed to that kind of culture, the whole
idea of Halloween is not only new, but their acquaintance of
Halloween has not come from Scotland - it's come from the United
The lengthy queues building up outside some London costume
emporia this year, as in recent years, attest to the event's
increasing acceptance in British popular culture.
"I never thought it could get any busier, but it literally got
busier and busier and busier," Andy Andreou, manager of London
costume shop Angels, told Reuters with respect to the rise in
Halloween trade over his 18 years of working there.
"The queues we have are ridiculous and people are happy to queue
- I can't tell you the enormity of it."
Public relations manager Kyle Livingstone, at Angels to pick up
a zombie costume, told Reuters that Halloween's appeal was
centered on "Just fun - it's all about fun."
(Additional reporting by Saskia O'Donoghue; editing by Mark
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