Halloween Delivers Scary-Big Sales for Retailers
Halloween marks the new kickoff of the holiday shopping season for retailers. According to multiple surveys, more Americans will celebrate the holiday then ever before.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that "more costumes than ever will be flying off the shelves" this year. Seventy-six percent of consumers plan to purchase a costume for Halloween festivities, a dramatic increase from last year's 65 percent. Collectively, total sales for retailers this Halloween are estimated to be around $7.4 billion. So, what's driving this growth?
A greater variety of costumes is a large contributing factor. Popular costumes for kids this year include Elsa from Disney's "Frozen" and Raphael from the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." In addition, nearly 75 million adults will also dress up for Halloween, mostly sticking to the classics such as Batman, witches, zombies, etc. Finally, 14 percent of celebrants plan to dress up their pets this year, making it the fastest growing sector of Halloween retail in stores such as Wal-Mart and Kmart.
"There's no question the variety of adult, child and even pet costumes now available has driven the demand and popularity of Halloween among consumers of all ages," said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF, in a company press statement.
The NRF's report also revealed that 11 percent of consumers will look for costume and decoration ideas from Pinterest, up from 9 percent last year. In the days counting down to the holiday, retailers are trying to boost last-minute sales with a strong social media marketing strategy — e.g., posting decoration ideas and how-tos on Instagram and Pinterest.
Finally, probably the biggest contributing factor to the success of Halloween sales this season is the holiday falls on a weekend this year, encouraging consumers to dress up, decorate and celebrate in bigger ways.
The International Council of Shopping Centers forecasts that the average household will spend $125 on Halloween decorations, candy and costumes this year. The report found that while consumers will research ideas on the internet, most purchasing will take place in-store — only 7 percent of purchases are expected to occur online. Nearly 34 percent of Halloween spending will take place at discount stores.
Overall, it's all treats for retailers this Halloween.