It’s good to hear from the readers of C-Store that Halloween went well for the trade. While the autumn celebration has been observed for centuries, it is only in very recent years that it has become a sales event for the retail industry.

Manufacturers have cottoned on quickly as well, with special flavours, colours and pack formats brought in just for a single day’s enjoyment. Millions of pumpkins are sold across the UK (seriously now, how many do you sell during the rest of the year?) and millions of children acquire a huge bonus haul of sweets through trick or treating.

But what is coming through particularly strongly this year is the sense of fun that Halloween brings, to individual stores and to communities as a whole. A small shop might not have the space to display a huge range of fright night paraphernalia, but it does have the opportunity to look a little different and act a little different for a week or so with props, window graphics or through staff dressing up.

This sense of being part of local life is hugely important for neighbourhood stores, and helps to sustain the impression that, for the local community, it’s not your shop but their shop. This in turn builds loyalty and good feeling, which are commodities that should yield sales not just on one night but for many more days and nights to come. For, as we all know, anything that makes the customer linger in store or leave a little happier is a surprise worth having.