Now is the time of year when retailers start gearing up for Christmas in earnest, with festive promotional material and products being rolled out across their stores.

But there are plenty of other seasonal occasions throughout the year that are worth acknowledging – and reflecting with special marketing campaigns.

Halloween, for instance, is just around the corner and according to marketing agency Savvy Marketing, it is becoming one of the most lucrative events in the annual retail calendar.

Indeed, a survey by the organisation suggests the event could be worth more than £283 million to retailers in the UK this year, since over a third of shoppers are likely to be celebrating.

A poll of consumers highlights plenty of reasons why shops should therefore make a point of building up to Halloween and catering to this demand.

  • 63 per cent of those who intend to celebrate Halloween expect their supermarket to have a dedicated aisle.
  • 44 per cent want special Halloween-themed products to be provided by retailers.
  • 38 per cent expect shops to have coupons and special offers linked to the occasion.
  • 28 per cent want shops to offer Halloween-themed in-store activities, such as facepainting.

Alastair Lockhart, insight director at Savvy Marketing, commented: “It’s really not surprising that retailers continue to ramp up their investment in the event year-on-year, scaling up space and range allocation, and becoming increasingly ambitious in their in-store and online execution. The event also continues to attract new players to join the market each year.”

He noted that Halloween is becoming increasingly important to the so-called Big Four supermarkets, as they look to fend off competition from discount stores.

This, he stated, is because the occasion allows leaders in the market to take advantage of the larger store spaces they have available and use it to “inspire shoppers and create a little extra excitement”.

Mr Lockhart said discounters can struggle to compete as they have a relatively small space on offer, but stressed they still have a good track record of making the most of the space they do have available.

As a result, he believes how Halloween-themed items are priced will have a big effect on which retailers do particularly well in the run-up to October 31st.

Supermarkets were also urged to be mindful of the competition that is currently being posed by high street retailers, such as TK Maxx and Poundland.

Mr Lockhart went on to note that retailers will be hoping rising consumer confidence translates into strong Halloween trading this year and gets the “all-important golden quarter” off to a strong start.

He added that this is likely to be helped by the fact that Halloween 2014 falls during the school half-term holidays in many parts of the country this year.

Interestingly, it is not just children who plan to get involved in the Halloween festivities, as Savvy Marketing’s study revealed almost half of 18 to 35-year-olds plan to celebrate the occasion.

Retailers could therefore benefit from ensuring some of their themed promotional content is designed with this segment of the market firmly in mind.

WILL HALLOWEEN PROVIDE A SPOOKTACULAR START TO THE GOLDEN QUARTER?, Savvy Marketing

Posted by Robin McCrink