Trick-or-treat, Inside Retail readers!
This special edition is all about Halloween. Candy, costumes and decorations, of course, are the three most popular categories for Halloween retail. After all, the National Retail Federation estimates that spending for Halloween will reach the third-highest spending level on record for the holiday (read on for more).
Hit reply to share with me your boo-tiful Halloween purchases.
1. The National Retail Federation expects people to spend $8.8 billion on Halloween this year, down from $9 billion spent last year. "We are seeing a noticeable increase in consumers whose Halloween purchases are inspired by their friends, neighbors and even celebrities on social media,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. Research firm Prosper Insights & Analytics found 68 percent of consumers surveyed plan to celebrate Halloween, or 172 million people. This is a drop from 175 million that celebrated last year. About 29 million people plan to buy costumes for their pets (a pumpkin is the most popular pet costume).
Here's a By The Numbers style breakdown of other forecasted Halloween spending:
- $3.2 billion on costumes
- $2.6 billion on candy
- $2.7 billion on decorations
- $390 million on greeting cards
- $86: average amount the consumer will spend this holiday
The survey found that 95 percent of responders plan to buy Halloween candy (of course), 72 percent will buy decorations and 67 percent will buy costumes.
Prosper Insights & Analytics surveyed 7,400 people last month to compile the survey. - NRF
2. This year's best "status candy" according to NY Mag is a full-size Tony's Chocolonely bar. Food writer Danyelle Freeman (@restaurantgirl1) said the appeal of Tony's bars is that they're "not only legitimately delicious, but the company is on a mission to end slavery and child labor on cocoa farms." The Tony's bars are Dutch-made and cost a minimum $5/bar. Amazon sells packs of two for $15.
In case you've never heard about "status candy," here's a woman from Rancho Cucamonga telling her neighborhood that "standard full or KING size candy is the bar (pun intended) that we set for our community on Halloween." She also called Halloween Peeps "marshmallow tragedies." Twitter users said it was a consipiracy and that it could not have been a real tweet, but there's no denying full size candy bars are a trick-or-treating score. - NYMAG
3. M&Ms are the most popular Halloween candy this year and are preferred by 58 percent of Americans, according to a new survey from RetailMeNot. The study did not break out whether it was all M&M's or original. M&M's fall limited edition flavor assortment includes Cocoa Crisp (a Target exclusive), Pecan Pie, White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, Ghoul Mix, and English Toffee Peanut. RetailMeNot also found people will spend $37 on fall-themed drinks this year compared to last year's average drink spend of $31. - AOL
4. Google Trends brought back FrightGeist, a platform that predicts Halloween costume trends by city to help users find an original costume. The site welcomes users to "conjure up Halloween's most popular costumes." Currently "It" is the most searched costume nationally, followed by "Witch" and then "Spider-Man." Users can adjust parameters such as whether they'd like a scary costume and whether they'd like it to be classic or more modern. - ALL HALLOWS GEEK
5. #MakeupMonday: here's a tutorial on how to do Frankenstein-style makeup from Spirit Halloween. Spirit posted it as part of its push for "Halloween Horror" costumes. Spirit is the largest Halloween specialty retailer in North America and has been in business for over 35 years. It has 1,300 stores open August through November and was acquired by Spencer's in 1999. Check out this perspective on how Spirit was the original holiday retail pop-up. - KGUN-TV
6. Nike made a Halloween themed Nike SB Dunk Low shoe called the "Night of Mischief" that has seasonally appropriate design elements like spider webs and an orange and black color scheme. Hypebeast called them "delightfully spooky skate shoes." The shoe launched this past weekend. - SNEAKERNEWS
7. If you haven't visited Target's "Hyde & Eek! Boutique," here's a video walkthrough of the full Target assortment of Halloween decor. Among the comments under the video include a grandparent who wants to play jokes on the grandkids: "Is it wrong that I want to freak out the grandkids with [the alarm clock]?" Another person who apparently has a collection of plastic yard flamingos wants to incorporate the skeleton flamingos because that's not going to look creepy. And, here's a slideshow of "the best spooky-chic" decorations from Target, according to Refinery29.
8. Amazon's Alexa is ready for Halloween with a new list of skills for this season that include a ghost detector and Halloween jokes. Alexa can also tell ghost stories and "play spooky sounds." Here's a look at CNET's list of top high-tech decorations to create a full Halloween experience at home. Items include an animated Harry Potter spellbook and a glowing doorbell. - ONE SMART CRIB
For more smart Halloween decor, check out this entire issue of Inside Internet of Things.
9. Here are inspirational photos and ideas for Halloween-focused marketing to try both in store and online. Ideas include amplified displays, candy giveaways and seasonal refreshes for social media. My favorite suggestion is in No. 8 where Total Wine gives customers "high-value content" in the form of seasonal drink recipes. - VEND
Hit reply and tell me what the best Halloween retail marketing is that you've seen.
10. And finally, what would Halloween retail be without Christmas looming behind it? Here's an opinion piece that may hold a lot of truth with respect to the timing of getting Christmas merchandise on the floor ASAP. It boils down to the fact that consumers in particular stores have a certain amount of money that they budget for holiday spending, so the sooner they start seeing the goods, the sooner they will spend. Selfridges began selling ornaments in August, which might seem extreme, except its consumer is largely a tourist traveling and who might not be back again before the holidays. - RETAIL DOC
Written and curated by Cassidy Mantor, a brand storyteller with a decade of retail marketing experience including in-house at Nike and Oakley. Occasionally she writes a “think piece” about fashion law for the American Bar Association. She is happy to be based in coastal Virginia except when there’s a hurricane. She can be found on LinkedIn.
Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).