Halloween: do or die!

Katie LittlerKatie Littler, Insights Director

Halloween is no longer just the supermarkets’ terror-tory. Shoppers are now dying to use discounters for their Halloween needs. But convenience stores are now banished to third choice for Halloween, according to our latest research. A very scary situation indeed.

We’ve recently spook-en to over 2,000 UK adults and 1-in-2 intend to buy something specifically for Halloween, including confectionery (29%), pumpkins (18%), decorations (12%) and even food and booo-ze (8%). The opportunity is even bigger this year as Halloween falls on a Friday, so even more people are predicted to join in the festivities.

So how can the UK convenience industry resurrect its Halloween sales?   

We can get some frighteningly good ideas from the USA. US retailers have a ‘do or die’ attitude to Halloween; where there may not be a need or demand, they create one! Unavoidable displays and in-store theatre create the sense of a big ‘holiday’ which shoppers want to embrace.  External displays of hundreds of pumpkins can be found outside stores.  Texan supermarket, HEB, has an unavoidable Halloween themed walkway as shoppers enter the store.

Stores are lined with ‘trick or treat’ confectionery solutions; variety bags of 50 or 100+ mini confectionery treats. But it’s not just confectionery; Texan retailer, Central Market, offers and cleverly merchandises pumpkin beer and pumpkin bread. Accessories like cups & plates, trick or treat bags and decorations drive impulsive spend and grow the sense of an ‘event’ which shoppers want to be a part of.  The Halloween themed party platters are also on display!

Given that Halloween is now the third most celebrated holiday in the UK, behind Christmas and Easter, we think it’s time UK convenience stores gave Halloween a bit more bite!

Clients can view a full 'Eyes & Ears' Halloween photo deck on our online hub.

Halloween in US retailer

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