Halloween Growth Strategy Examples

Halloween Growth Strategy Examples

What Magic Potion is Causing This Levitating Growth in Popularity?

In 2022, an impressive 78% of Americans plan to celebrate Halloween. Our Halloween growth strategy examples reveal the increasing popularity of nearly every aspect of Halloween (with one notable exception that could be the crux of the holiday’s success).

Halloween in the US became steadily more popular until a brief dip in 2020, due to the pandemic. From 2015-2019, the average participation rate for Americans was nearly 70%. That dropped to 58% in 2020 and bounced up to 65% in 2021.

In 2021, average expected Halloween spending in the US grew to a record $102.74 per person—reaching triple-digits for the first time ever. So how are Americans spending their Halloween dollars?

Halloween Growth Strategy Examples:
Most Consumers Haunt In-Store Retail

In a Numerator US holidays survey of over 11,000 consumers, 88% report a plan to shop in-store for Halloween, broken up by channel:

Halloween Growth Strategy Examples

Mass retail and specialty retail stand out in comparison to other holidays. And retailers are amping up. In August 2022, Party City sought to hire 20,000 team members for the Halloween season to staff both 750 Party City stores and 150 Halloween City pop-up stores.

Pop-up retail represents about 35% of the Halloween market. Spirit Halloween is the ubiquitous seasonal retailer with 1,400 stores across the US—and is the subject of its own horror film, debuting October 11, 2022. It claims to be the world’s #1 Halloween costume store, while competitor Halloween Express claims to have the largest selection of Halloween merchandise available anywhere.

Halloween Growth Strategy Examples:
Online Retail Conjures $3B

The overall trend to online retail continues with Halloween, with 45% of consumers planning to shop online. In 2021, Halloween ecommerce represented about $3B, almost 30% of total spending.

Halloween Growth Strategy Examples

Retailers like Home Depot have seen success with offering online-only products, like the $299 12-foot-tall animatronic witch that sold out by August. Home Depot CEO Ted Decker enthused about consumer excitement for Halloween:

“How quickly people are spending $300 for a clearly discretionary item but [one that’s] a lot of fun,” speaks to the “resilience” and willingness of customers to spend.”

Halloween Growth Strategy Examples:
Do You Dare to Decorate?

Halloween décor is one steady growth strategy example that keeps climbing. We first noted the rising popularity in Halloween decorations as part of a 2020 effort to celebrate at home. Last year, we reported that 2021 was a record year for spend on Halloween decorations, at $3.17B.

Nearly half of Americans plan to decorate for Halloween in 2022, only slightly behind Christmas.

Halloween Growth Strategy Examples

One area of growth that consumers don’t appreciate is the increasing price of Halloween décor. Some TikTokers have shown shopping videos from Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann Fabrics that raise eyebrows, with styrofoam pumpkins approaching $130 (even with a 40% discount, $78 is enough to scare most consumers off).

Halloween Growth Strategy Examples:
Millennial and Gen Z Adults Possessed

A 2021 YouGovAmerica poll asked 1,000 Americans what they think about Halloween. Overall, 23% describe it as one of their favorite holidays. But there is a clear generational gap. Boomers mostly seem to think Halloween is okay, with Millennial and Gen Z adults being more enthusiastic.

Halloween Growth Strategy Examples

Morgan McBride of Charleston Crafted describes her love of Halloween:

“Halloween is one of my very favorite holidays to decorate for. It’s a chance to be completely silly and really go over the top.

“I could go on and on about why I love Halloween – it’s a holiday about pure fun with no pressure for gifts or entertaining or anything like that.

“But it’s so fun to decorate for! If you want to decorate big or small, you can always have fun with Halloween decorations.

“While it’s fun to just make your house look like a Party City, there are also ways to do tasteful Halloween decorations.”

In the Numerator report, 34% of consumers plan to gather with family or friends to celebrate Halloween, which is much lower than nearly every other major holiday except St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo and Valentine’s Day (obviously not a holiday geared towards large gatherings). This “freedom” from planning, preparing and attending scheduled gatherings may just be why many adults in their 20s-40s enjoy Halloween so much (And why older adults who value traditional family gatherings don’t see the appeal).

The category of “events” seems to be a non-growth strategy example for Halloween. If it became a structured holiday like Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah, perhaps Halloween would lose its appeal for the adults who are responsible for the preparation required for these holidays.

Halloween Growth Strategy Examples:
Creepy, Cute or Clever Costumes

According to the YouGov poll, Millennial and Gen Z adults are also more likely to don costumes than Boomers.

Halloween Growth Strategy Examples

Maggie Griswold of Stylecaster celebrates this year’s trend of adults moving beyond the typical cat, ghost or witch costume:

“There’s no time of year better than Halloween to showcase your iconic style. I mean, it’s essentially a normal person’s Met Gala: Everyone is given the chance to channel their inner diva and dress like whatever persona best represents them. It seems like the Halloween costume trends for 2022 are so much more fashion-forward than what we’re used to. I mean, we’ve got the fourth season of Stranger Things, The Umbrella Academy, and every single Zoey Deutch look from Not Okay to use as inspo.”

For kids, the top Halloween costumes of 2021 might sound familiar and classic:

  1. Spiderman
  2. Princess
  3. Batman
  4. Superhero
  5. Witch
  6. Ghost
  7. Pumpkin
  8. Superman
  9. Zombie
  10. Avengers Character

Using Google Trends’ FrightGeist Wizard, anyone can find their perfect Halloween costume. Select from Spookiness Level, Uniqueness Level, Style and Trend Meter and out comes Google’s prediction for you. I got “Ewok.” Here’s a picture of my daughter dressed as an Ewok for her first Halloween in 2017. Spooky, indeed.

Halloween Growth Strategy Examples

Halloween Growth Strategy Examples:
Candy, Obviously the Treat

Unsurprisingly, Halloween is the most popular holiday in 2022 for candy, with 80% planning to purchase (Easter comes in a distant second at 64%).

You may remember Hershey making the spooky announcement about a candy shortage this year, but that’s one fright you can avoid. Halloween accounts for 10% of the company’s annual sales. As a good growth strategy example, the company rushed to prioritize production for this important holiday (and avoid a PR nightmare). In August, Allison Kleinfelter, senior director of Hershey corporate communications, assured consumers:  

“We actually anticipate high single-digit growth for our Halloween and holiday seasons and will have even more seasonal product available to the consumer this year than last year.”

Halloween’s enduring popularity has made the holiday a growth strategy example in celebration. All indicators show many consumers crave the combination of spooky, fantasy and casual fun– not to mention sweet treats. Join the fun and buy yourself a creepy yard inflatable (if you can find one).

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