As families reconsider Halloween traditions, businesses that usually rely on Halloween for sales have mixed to fit.
Here’s what Halloween will be like this year.
To increase sales and keep customers interested, This season’s Halloween preparations include adding Halloween-specific packaging to fewer treats, focusing on family-sized packaging and extending the shopping season.
Halloween celebrations are unpredictable this year, but candy companies should still be optimistic, David Steinberg, co-founder and CEO of Zeta Global, a data-driven marketing technology company, told CNN Business. He added that consumers will continue to buy candy for reasons that don̵
The seasonal Spirit Halloween chain, known for its large collection of costumes, is prepared for a very non-traditional Halloween. The company is changing its strategy during the pandemic by getting creative by offering new ways to celebrate and offering contactless Instacart deliveries for Halloween costume shopping.
“We are seeing strong customer traffic and expect sales on par with last year,” Erin Springer, senior media and public relations manager at Spirit Halloween, told CNN Business.
And costume sales continue to soar, Steinberg said, though it may not be safe to participate in the traditional trick or treat. “Kids are still excited about Halloween. Parents don’t want to let them down, especially after a tough year of home schooling,” Steinberg said. “Whether it’s trick or treating or not, there’s still a reason to dress up like their favorite character.”
Socially distant trick or treat
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Halloween safety guidelines, labeling the traditional trick or treating as a “high-risk activity.” Alternatively, the CDC suggested “one way trick or treating,” which involves delivering individually wrapped gift bags to neighbors and friends’ homes.
Spirit Halloween recommended contactless trick or treating (even if they don’t sell candy), socially distant costume parades, cemetery treasure hunts, and virtual ghost storytelling.
To shop or not to shop
In preparation for Halloween, Lowe’s is throwing drive-through, trick-or-treating sidewalk events leading up to the holidays, offering customers free candy and pumpkins. Lowe’s is likely to use the event as an opportunity to entice shoppers to visit their stores. The initiative allows customers to participate in curbside pickup for items ordered from the store and at the same time participate in sidewalk trick or treating.
Party City has also changed its strategy. “Party City has essentially written the playbook on virtual celebrations at home and in the car,” company CEO Brad Weston told CNN Business, adding that the company has developed virtual party kits, step-by-step guides and checklists for making easier to plan Halloween celebrations during the pandemic.
The party supplier is still struggling, however. In 2019, the company had 275 Halloween pop-up stores across the country, and this year the company will only have 25 Halloween pop-up stores in the United States.
Spirit Halloween, however, which has become a Halloween staple for many, opened 1,360 locations nationwide last year and increased that number to 1,400 this year.