7B the migo IQ blog

October 25, 2016

Halloween Trends: the not-so-spooky trends for retail

By Mandy Hawkins

It’s that time of year again: more clothing layers are added, and pumpkin spice-everything is flooding store shelves.  Welcome to fall.  

While the spotlight for amped up retail spending has always shone upon Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, the National Retail Federation has some not-so-spooky forecasts for Halloween spending.  There’s no need to scream when you look at these statistics.

This will be a record year for spending.

Projected consumer spending on Halloween related items is projected to reach about $8.4 billion, an all-time high.  This is only one piece of the projected $5 trillion forecasted, which is largely spent in a brick-and-mortar setting.  This healthy growth has retailers howling with delight.

Inspiration is just a click away.  

About two-thirds of the dollars spent on Halloween will be focused on the perfect costume for the customer’s party, work-related costume contest, or night of trick-or-treating.  Thanks to the power of social media, inspiration is just a click away.  Whether it’s on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, customers are looking for inspiration and feedback from their circles.  With an omnichannel approach to reaching Halloween shoppers, retailers have numerous opportunities to treat their customers.

Trick-or-Treating has taken a turn.

 While many remain faithful to the tradition of door-to-door candy gathering, there are many alternatives gaining popularity.  Experiences and events, such as attending a party, will rise by about 3% from 2015.  Organized events, such as trunk-or-treating, have become more plentiful due to a variety of reasons ranging from food allergies to safety concerns.  

Retailers have a unique opportunity to reach out to their community in a personal way, by hosting Halloween-themed events.  Customers are sure to receive this act well, and they’re likely to offer retailers some love across multiple platforms.  Customer-generated press is the best; there’s no bones about it.

Howl-O-Ween isn’t just for kids.  

Sure, the Millennials will be participating.  They’re a generation dedicated to experiential living.  But with 80% of pet owners considering their four-legged dependents as family members, Halloween becomes a multi-species celebration.  This means that costumes and refreshments will be purchased to cater to their pet’s needs as well.  Smart retailers will see this as an opportunity to capitalize on the over $60 billion spent in the pet industry.  These statistics are something retailers can really sink their teeth into.

While scary times present themselves across our news streams daily, the need for fun diversions are ever-increasing.  Halloween presents an opportunity for customers and retailers to come together and laugh at the silliness of giant-headed political figure costumes and eat a little too much chocolate.