Experts' CornerNews and Events

Getting in the Halloween Spirit Sweetens Sales and Connects Customers

Americans plan to have a fright-filled, delightful celebration this Halloween. Although inflation is getting scarier by the day, the spiraling economy hasn’t put a damper on people’s plans.

The National Retail Federation predicts spending will hit a record $10.6 billion in 2022. This total exceeds the $10.14 billion consumers spent in 2021. “Halloween is an exciting time for many families, and that enthusiasm is reflected in the number of Americans who plan to celebrate the holidays this year, “NRF President and CEO Mathew Shay said in a statement. “As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday fun and memorable.

  • Estimates predict the average amount spent on costumes, decorations, and candy is $100
  • 69 percent of Americans say they will participate in Halloween celebrations
  • Halloween continues to be one of the biggest retail spending events of the year

Halloween is second only to Christmas in terms of consumer spending. Yet, analysts often debate the holiday’s long-term impact on stimulating the economy. Many economists feel the increase in spending has a positive effect on the economy and leads to higher gross domestic product (GDP) and an increase in economic activity that stimulate seasonal job growth. Some specialty stores and pop-up kiosks exclusively sell Halloween merchandise—costumes, decorations, displays, and candy. When the holiday is over, these businesses close until the following year. 

Getting in the Halloween Spirit
Hardware and home improvement stores are not the typical “go-to” spot for Halloween revelers. However, promoting the holiday in-store and online and supporting community-sponsored events can put your business in the mix and bring in diverse customers. Plan to join the fun by creating simple, inexpensive Halloween displays and decorating endcaps with spider webs, hanging bats, and other accents that require little time to set up. Don’t be shy about checking Pinterest and social media for exciting ideas that can be implemented quickly.

Since October is Fire Safety Month, build an endcap display that includes smoke detectors, Carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and other devices that Keep it simple and catch customers’ attention by using products as a focal point. It’s best to keep displays at eye level to let them be seen from different angles. Remember the key points you want the customer to know when they walk away from the display.

Connect with Local Organizations
Check with the local Chamber of Commerce to find out how they plan to promote Halloween. In towns where going door-to-door is still permissible, there is usually a specific time when trick-or-treaters can stop by to collect goodies. Perhaps a local organization is holding a costume judging contest or youth event—consider being a volunteer, or donating one of the prizes. Consider asking your staff to dress up as characters from a movie or wear superhero costumes such as Spider-Man, Batman, or She-Hulk on Halloween to delight customers with a memorable experience.

  • Adults ages 35-44 spend the most on Halloween
  • Young adults ages 25-34 are most likely to celebrate the holiday
  • Forty-five percent of consumers shop for Halloween in September
  • 39 percent of shoppers buy merchandise for a holiday in October

The Bottom Line
While Halloween sales may not significantly impact your overall sales, it is an opportunity to engage customers on one of their favorite holidays. Incorporating a holiday theme into current or upcoming October promotions is a budget-friendly way to spotlight merchandise and services to the “cast of characters” who will be celebrating and shopping your business.

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