Trick? Or Treat?

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Get Halloween Retail Ready with Gigwalk

This season, make sure you turn Halloween sales into a retail treat.

Halloween has transformed retail. From kindergarteners to college kids, consumers are celebrating Halloween like never before. And that means retailers have reason to celebrate as well. Sales of Halloween costumes and candy have skyrocketed. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) seven in 10 Americans celebrate Halloween with each consumer spending almost $80 on decorations, costumes and candy. Total holiday spending for Halloween is $8 billion, with $2.4 billion spent on candy, $2.9B on costumes, and  $.6 B on decorations. That’s a figure that has doubled in less than 10 years. Even pet owners are getting into the spirit of things, with the NRF reporting that Americans are planning on spending a record $370 million this year on Halloween costumes for pets.

So how can retailers prepare for the onslaught of trick or treaters? Focus on execution. As Americans plan on purchasing more than 600 million pounds of candy, Halloween is no longer kids’ stuff. Major brands like Hersheys and Mars are rolling out television advertising, and Halloween themed product and packaging. Ad agency MDG notes that Hershey’s is marketing its Halloween candy in a savvy “seasonally themed” color scheme that evokes the colors of autumn — which enables its product to remain relevant, and on the shelf before and after the Halloween holiday has passed.

In addition to merchandising for special events like Halloween, Howard Riell of Convenience Story Decisions explains there are four things retailers must do to drive sales. Gigwalk can provide in store auditors on demand, who can help with each element to ensure your execution is for fright night is done right.

Avoid out of stocks.
Retailers must track candy stocks at all times and eliminate slow movers. Controlling out of stocks will be crucial during this season of impulse purchases. With consumers waiting until the last minute to buy their bags of trick or treat candy, retailers must prepare with plenty of inventory, especially on the Sunday before the holiday, and on Halloween itself.

Cater to consumer niches.
Give your operation an edge by stocking flavors, brands and packaging sizes that meet specific consumer demands. And consumers are nothing if not demanding when it comes to their favorite brands. Big Insight, a consumer-focused information portal reports that in a recent monthly survey of nearly 9,000 consumers, “about one in five (20.1%) of those with a preference cite Snickers® as their favorite candy to pass out on Beggar’s Night, double the popularity of the next brand on their list, Reese’s® (10.8%) followed by Kit Kat® Bars (6.7%), M&M’s® (6.3%), and Hershey® Bars (4.8%).”

Plan for new products.
Candy makers have seen their sales growth driven by introductions of new products. 30% of confectionery sales came from new products introduced in the last two years, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA). This Halloween, smart retailers will take advantage of the marketing and merchandising support offered by candy distributors and manufacturers as they roll out new product.

Promote impulse purchases.
Positioning displays for impulse buys in high-traffic aisles that lead to checkout is a tried and true way to drive sales. Other hot spots might include the cold vault. While every store will have different traffic patterns, category managers should be able to merchandise their Halloween products to maximize sales. When it comes to sales of Halloween costumes, having the right product on the shelves is crucial. The National Retail Foundation reports that “consumers say their biggest source of inspiration is what they see in a retail store or costume shop. More than one-third (35.7 percent) will look for new ideas in a store.”

As the Halloween season approaches, its time for retailers to get creative with in store displays and shelf ready packaging. Here are a few ideas for inspiration:

If all goes well,  savvy retailers won’t have much merchandise to clear from their shelves as they prepare for the next big holiday event: Christmas. But if they do, rest assured Gigwalk is here to help.


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