IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 1 Oct 2018

Halloween, the new Christmas?

“Halloween is now the third largest celebrated festivity.”

Us typically reserved Brits tend to turn our noses up at the Americanised event that goes by the name of Halloween. We picture overly embellished yards that host giant ghoulish inflatables and overcompensating spun web garlands, all neatly encompassed by a white picket fence. It’s never really been our thing, just something to entertain the kids during October half term, right?

Wrong. In 2017, UK Halloween spend was set to reach £320m with a 3.2% YoY increase, with 46% of UK adults also declaring that they’d be making Halloween purchases. In fact, Halloween is now the third largest celebrated festivity, surpassing Valentine’s Day and falling short to Christmas and Easter.

You’ll have probably noticed that 31st October is a date that creeps in earlier every year; shop windows will be laden with pumpkins and aisles stacked with purple and green themed confectionery as soon as the first day of Autumn hits. Throw yourself back to 2008 and this would be extremely uncommon.

Halloween, the new Christmas?

So, who are these people and why are they jumping on the bewitched bandwagon?

Millennials, aged 22-37: representing 26.5% of the UK market, sitting at roughly 17 million. They entered adulthood during a time of economic downturn and therefore are achieving adult life milestones (mortgage, marriage and children) at a later age than the generations preceding them.

This is therefore a generation that are getting to stay younger for longer, and are more inclined to partake in events that resonate with their childhood. Halloween therefore, typically a ‘holiday’ for children to enjoy dress-up and sweets, is parallel with the millennial hunger to throw out all responsibility while they still can.

What does this mean for retailers?

This offers a multitude of opportunity for retailers, as millennials are such a large yet unique demographic, rich with heterogeneous traits and habits.

One of these traits is the infatuation with customer experience. Over 50% of millennials value experience over physical products and 2 in 3 millennials seek innovation when it comes to the in-store experience. Therefore, an immersive experience is vital to attract a generation of promiscuous shoppers and, because of this, retailers need to woo them to win them.

Halloween, the new Christmas?

Targeting Millennials with Halloween promotion is an opportunity for retailers to vary the customer experience through innovation to create brand affinity, which is a vital consideration in the lead up to the ultimate peak trading period, Christmas. And with spending forecast set to increase YoY, Halloween is a bandwagon that retailers must jump on – or prepare themselves for their own retail fright.

Written by Andrea Williams, Marketing Officer at Retail Assist.

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