Heads up: the results are in: Selling Halloween is about to publish the findings from its 2015 Industry Report. The National Retail Federation (www.nrf.com) predicted last fall that more than 157 million Americans would celebrate Halloween in 2015, with total spending topping $6.9 billion. The average American celebrating the holiday was said to be planning to spend $74 on decorations, candy, costumes, and more—and the research, culled from input provided by members of the retailer and haunt communities, provides insight into what’s driving the business.
On the retail side, adult costumes were the biggest revenue producer last year, with 25% of respondents placing them at the top of their “revenue-producer” chart. Tied with adult costumes for the number-one spot on this hit parade were accessories, deemed by 25% of retailers queried to have produced the highest volume of their Halloween revenues in 2015.
Recent years have seen a trend among consumers to purchase more accessories to go with costume elements they already have at home, and this year’s survey underscores that trend. Some 31.67% of respondents to the survey said accessories yielded their strongest sales gains this past Halloween season. Survey results also bear out the ever-stronger trend among consumers to decorate their homes inside and out for Halloween, with 25% of retailers who participated in the research noting that their biggest sales gains were in the indoor and outdoor décor category.
Additionally, if the research is any indication, retailers need to keep their inventory fully stocked until just before Halloween. The most popular time for Halloween shopping is one week prior to the holiday, with 38.33% of retailers surveyed noting that this is when they see the highest volume of Halloween buying traffic.
As for haunt operators, there is clearly a move to digital. In addition to seeing more online traffic (41.18% of haunters surveyed), a whopping 52.94% of operators will offer online coupons this year to draw more business to their attractions. Mobile is becoming more important as well. Some 29.41% of haunt operators queried will offer mobile apps, and 41.18% will offer a mobile ticketing option.
Haunt operators also continue to seek innovative and affordable ways to refresh attractions year-after-year and are looking for new ways to inject interest into the haunt. Interestingly, more than half of haunters (55.94%) said their operations attract thrill-seekers in the 25- to 55-year-old age bracket, rather than younger consumers.
But there’s far more to the research than this. The report also offers a wealth of other information retailers and haunters can use to spark positive change in their own business and grapple with the challenges that surface. The range of topics covered includes annual sales, top-selling products and product trends, marketing tactics, social media tactics, and much more. Retailers and haunt operators can also find out what their competitors are doing to make their operations stand out from the pack—starting, but not ending, with adding merchandise and attractions.
Don’t miss it. The survey will be released on the Selling Halloween website shortly and can be downloaded at no charge.