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Retail Tricks: Halloween

Halloween now represents the UK’s third most profitable seasonal period in retail, overtaking Valentine’s Day, beaten only by Christmas and Easter.

This year Britons are estimated to spend a staggering £300m-£400m on Halloween-themed products, far exceeding the 240m spent in 2014 (International Business Times 2015).

Across the pond, in the USA, the popularity of Halloween also continues to increase. The National Retailer Federation (NRF) estimates 157 million Americans will celebrate the festive holiday this year, with an estimated spend of $7 billion (£4.5 billion) on Halloween-themed products.

The potential for savvy retailers who can capture this growing market is huge, particularly for Supermarkets, where 65% of shoppers are said to make their seasonal purchases (Mintel 2014).


Here are five tricks retailers adopted to encourage customer footfall & sales this Halloween:


  1. TV Advertising. Tesco’s approach to capture seasonal market share is with a humorous, national, TV campaign. The campaign which takes place within a Tesco store, sees employees fright customer whilst shopping. The campaign has gone viral on social media and effectively shows Tesco stores fully embraced Halloween.
  2. Crafts & DIY. Seasonal events offer a great opportunity to engage consumers’ interests. Sainsbury’s & Waitrose do this well, with advertisements and ‘how-to’ blogs for decorations, costumes and catering ideas, effectively encouraging consumers creative sides, whilst of course, promoting the products required to make such inspirations.
  3. Social Media #Halloween. Praised for its ability to directly interact with consumers, social media is an effective way for retailers and brands alike to create a buzz, tagging all sorts of promotions onto the Halloween hashtag.
  4. Merchandising Displays. Point-of-purchase displays increase sales and act as a physical reminder of seasonal events in-store. Nisa adopted this strategy particularly well this year, with seasonal displays and themed gondolas, effectively highlighting Halloween products in-store.
  5. Store Layout. Dedicated promotional isles provide a home for cross-category complementary product sales, the importance of which retailers have really understood this year, with the big four all increasing shelf space for Halloween related products.