Halloween has grown to become one of the biggest dates in the retail calendar, and after Christmas and Easter it is a key opportunity for convenience retailers.

Both shoppers and retailers think making an effort for events is worthwhile. As part of HIM research we spoke to shoppers, and 33% think convenience stores should get behind seasonal events. But it isn’t just the shoppers who say this, 63% of retailers think so, too.

To convince you further of why you should be capitalising on this time of year if you’re not doing so already, 21% of shoppers said they would visit the store more if they did so! And Halloween is already on the minds of shoppers, with 16% intending to buy items for the occasion in the next two weeks.

However, only one in two shoppers think convenience stores are making the most of events. So what can you do to get into the spirit of Halloween?

Setting the scene is a good start. Make sure you’ve got dangling spooky spiders and hair-raising masks ready for some spine-tingling fun on October 31.

Or why not have a pumpkin carving competition. It could be a great way to get the local community involved and drive footfall to your store.

You don’t need to go mad, either. As many as 70% of shoppers said that just displaying related products together would help them. Display those trick or treats near the pumpkins, and maybe place toffee apples around there, too.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that there is not just one event at this time of year to focus on, as Bonfire night follows shortly after. We spoke to shoppers and 13% are intending to buy items in the next couple of weeks for Bonfire night.

A further area retailers could capitalise on is to cater for those intending to throw Halloween or Bonfire parties. More than a quarter (26%) of shoppers say they would use their convenience store to buy items for a specific event or occasion. So why not combine the two? It’s worth noting that a significant number (28%) of shoppers say that on these occasions they buy slightly more expensive items.