Halloween has overtaken Easter as a sales opportunity for small retailers with convenience stores across the country reporting a welcome lift to sales this year.
Falling on a Monday and during the half-term period, Halloween 2012 provided an extended trick or treating period, resulting in a steady flow of sales in the lead up to October 31 and a torrent on the day itself.
Devon independent retailer Dan Cock, of Whitstone stores in Holsworthy, said his sales had never been so good.”The build-up was great, and then it went absolutely crazy on the day and we sold out completely of all our themed stock. It seems to be getting bigger and bigger with every year and is now not far behind Christmas, and ahead of Easter, in terms of the time, money and effort I invest in it,” he said.
According to latest data from Planet Retail, sales over the Halloween period are now growing at 12% year on year. And according to Edinburgh Premier retailer Linda Williams, it’s is no longer just for kids. Linda and her husband Dennis also recorded strong alcohol sales as adults hosted themed big nights in over the Halloween weekend.
“Shows such as The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, which had Halloween themes, really helped to get people into the party spirit and did wonders for alcohol and snacks sales,” she said.”The Halloween period has now overtaken Easter in terms of sales, as Easter is so competitive thanks to the supermarkets.”
She added: “We sold countless bags of Haribo as well as shedloads of paraphernalia such as hats and spiders. We also went all out decorating the store and dressing up this year, which helped to boost footfall and sales even further by creating a buzz locally,” she added.
In addition to confectionery and adult party drinks such as cider and wine, other top sellers included apples, candles and face paint, Landmark Wholesale retail controller Stuart Johnson reported.
❝ Our confectionery sales more than doubled over the Halloween period. Pick and Mix was popular, but individually wrapped sweets such as the Cadbury Screme Egg were definitely the biggest winners this year. They’re cheap to buy but they look bulky so kids love that.”
Manny’s Long Ditton, Surrey
❝ Halloween is now up there with Christmas, and probably ahead of Easter for us, as one of the most significant sales periods of the year. In addition to shedloads of themed confectionery, we sold more than 40 large pumpkins which we make a nice margin on. The fact that this year it fell on a Monday and during half-term week also extended the trick or treating opportunity, which helped to boost sales even further.”
Spar Seasalter, Whitstable, Kent