Halloween is going to be very different during the pandemic
As families reconsider Halloween traditions, businesses that typically rely on Halloween for their sales have struggled to adapt.
Here’s what Halloween will look like this year.
To boost sales and build customer loyalty, This season’s Halloween preparations include adding Halloween-specific packaging on fewer treats, an emphasis on family-friendly packaging, and extending the shopping season.
Halloween celebrations are unpredictable this year, but confectionery companies should always be optimistic, David Steinberg, co-founder and CEO of Zeta Global, a data-driven marketing technology company, told CNN Business. He added that consumers will continue to buy candy for reasons that do not include candy: for example, candy sales increased in April, at the start of the pandemic, indicating that “people regard candy as a problem. comfort ‘while they stay at home and social distancing.
The Spirit Halloween seasonal chain, known for its extensive costume collection, is geared up for a very non-traditional Halloween. The company is changing its strategy during the pandemic, getting creative with new ways to celebrate and offering contactless Instacart delivery for Halloween costume purchases.
“We are seeing heavy foot traffic and are anticipating comparable sales to last year,” Erin Springer, senior director of public and media relations at Spirit Halloween, told CNN Business.
And costume sales continue to rise, Steinberg said, although it can be dangerous to participate in traditional treats. “Kids are always excited for Halloween. Parents don’t want to disappoint them, especially after a tough year of home schooling,” said Steinberg. “Whether or not they’re candy or a spell, there’s always a reason they’ll dress up as their favorite character.”
Socially aloof trick-or-treat
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Halloween safety guidelines, calling the traditional trick-or-treat a “high-risk activity.” As an alternative, the CDC suggested “a one-sided trick or treat,” which involves dropping individually wrapped gift bags at neighbors and friends.
Spirit Halloween recommended contactless trick-or-treat (even if they don’t sell candy), socially distant costume parades, graveyard scavenger hunts, and virtual ghost storytelling.
To shop or not to shop
In preparation for Halloween, Lowe’s is launching drive-thru, curbside, holiday events, giving customers free candy and pumpkins. Lowe’s is probably using the event to attract shoppers to its stores. The initiative allows customers to participate in the curbside pickup for the items they have ordered from the store while simultaneously participating in the curbside candy drive.
Party City has also changed its strategy. “Party City basically wrote the playbook about virtual home and drive-thru celebrations,” company CEO Brad Weston told CNN Business, adding that the company has developed virtual party kits, guides step by step and checklists to help plan Halloween celebrations during the pandemic.
The party supplier is focusing more on online sales and in-store pickup, curbside pickup and same day delivery services. In 2019, the company had 256 pop-up Halloween stores nationwide and this year the company will only have 25 pop-up Halloween stores in the United States.
Spirit Halloween, however, which has become a Halloween staple for many, opened 1,360 locations across the country last year, and this year that number has grown to 1,400.
Fixed: An earlier version of this story gave the incorrect number of Halloween pop-up shops opened in 2019. It has also been updated to clarify Party City’s strategy for this season.