As the nights close in and the temperature falls, shoppers young and old are preparing to celebrate Halloween. This seasonal event continues to grow and the opportunity for retailers to take advantage is clearer than ever, writes HIM's Matt Smith. With one in two adults expected to purchase Halloween-related products, it is not surprising the event has transformed into a monumental occasion where consumer spend is expected to reach £280m on Halloween-related products alone. And so the opportunity for c-stores to increase footfall and drive sales is vast!

We spoke to 1,000 convenience shoppers about their Halloween shopping habits and how they may be enticed to purchase certain products. Their response was think big and bold! Entice and disrupt the shopper with signage and eye-catching displays. Use colourful visuals, themed products and promotions to encourage purchases.

More shoppers believe that their local convenience store should be getting behind and supporting seasonal events such as Halloween even more than sporting events, BBQs and parties. However, only one in 10 consumers consider their local shop to be a good source of Halloween items. This is a clear opportunity to maximise sales, so make sure you have leaflets and brochures to make your local shoppers aware of your product offering.

Through speaking to shoppers, we know that they want more from their convenience stores at Halloween, therefore if you’re not seeing a demand it may be because you’re not creating one. Capitalise on the occasion with fancy dress, new product development and products such as trick or treat items and Halloween party packs. Be sure to stock up and drive sales on Halloween essentials (18% of UK adults are likely to purchase a pumpkin, 13% will buy a costume, 12% purchase decorations and 29% buy confectionery) and introduce events such as face-painting to create a buzz for children and ensure a bond with families and the community that will last through the winter.

This year Halloween falls on a Saturday so celebrations are likely to be bigger than ever. Think big and bold and capture your share of this season’s sales occasion.