Why Halloween lifts retail spirits

October 25, 2011

The fun distractions of costumes, candies and parties are a momentary tonic for pressured adults needing a break from their daily routines.

Halloween is anything but scary for America’s retailers.

With consumer confidence low and spending prospects dim, this ghoulish holiday has become the perfect mini-opportunity to inexpensively have fun and lift spirits. While multiple surveys suggest Christmas season sales will be middling this year (the National Retail Federation/BIGResearch says holiday spending will dip to $704.18 per adult versus $718.98 in 2010), budgets for Halloween decorations, costumes and candy are on the rise to $72.31 versus $66.28 in 2010.

In The Lempert Report’s October 11 story about Halloween ideas for supermarkets, we reported more detailed NRF figures and ways stores could capitalize on this colorful autumn event involving more adults each year. Walmart is hot on Halloween too, with 20% more merchandise than a year ago – although a limited-edition M&M’s candy variety (White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s) in short supply has been sold at premium prices on eBay and Amazon, reports Ad Age.

We think Halloween is a great way for pressured adults to blow off steam. But we also find merit in five reasons for the holiday’s growth cited by Luminosity Marketing:
•    More adults are participating in Halloween fun.
•    From one day of trick or treating, it has expdned to family parties, neighborhood parades and lawn decorating competitions that last several weeks.
•    Online sales and marketing make costumes easily accessible, and daily deal sites can excite people into buying.
•    The movie and TV industries stoke interest with properties such as True Blood and Twilight.
•    An estimated 15,000 Halloween pop-up stores are an outcome of a weak commercial real estate market.