Challenging retail market spooks fashion retailers into participating in Halloween
This year, Halloween sales are set to grow by 1.7%, slower growth than on previous years as consumers attempt to cut back on discretionary purchases. But the Halloween clothing sector is expected to show the strongest year-on-year growth of 3.1% as retailers adapt their ranges to create Halloween fashion. Meanwhile spend on Halloween decorations and entertainment is set to decline, as the discounters increase their market share, customer reach and Halloween assortment, encouraging consumers to trade down.
Eleanor Parr, retail analyst at GlobalData says: “There has been an increase in retailers that do not traditionally sell Halloween goods entering the market, in an attempt to drive spend, as trading conditions for retailers become increasingly challenging”
She added “One third of Halloween shoppers bought Halloween clothing in 2016, presenting a huge sales opportunity for struggling clothing retailers. This year fashion retailers are increasingly buying into Halloween, selling fancy dress for parties and trick or treating, and are also expanding their Halloween collection to include everyday Halloween-themed clothing that can be worn in the run-up to Halloween, such as humorous Halloween slogan T-shirts. Furthermore, the current 90s gothic trend, which includes lace, velvet and black clothing, fits with this theme, meaning some retailers have barely needed to adapt their AW17 offer to appeal to Halloween shoppers.”
ASDA was the most popular retailer for Halloween in 2016, coming top in all categories. ASDA’s value offering has ensured its success, with parents relishing the convenience of picking up low-priced Halloween products at the same time as their weekly shop. However, the grocer has lost market share, sales and footfall to competitors Aldi and Lidl over the past five years, challenging its position as the number one retailer for Halloween shopping. ASDA also faces increasing competition from non-food discounters B&M, Home Bargains and Poundland. These discounters have improved their Halloween assortments this year, offering similar products to the grocers but at more competitive prices. The disposable nature of Halloween goods, coupled with tightened consumer budgets, means many shoppers are eager to trade down.
Netflix TV show Stranger Things has had a cult following since its release last year and consequently is 2017’s most fashionable Halloween fancy dress theme. Topshop has capitalised on the hype around Stranger Things series two, which is released on Friday 27 October, teaming up with Netflix to sell an exclusive Stranger Things clothing collection. The retailer is also drawing Stranger Things super fans to store, creating a Stranger Things-inspired world in its flagship Oxford Street store and even offering shoppers a chance to win tickets to watch the premier of the series instore. Here, Topshop is using retail theatre and exclusive products to stand out in the increasingly competitive Halloween clothing market.