Carving out a Profitable Halloween   

Posted 29/10/19

Love it or loathe it, as a retailer, there’s no hiding from Halloween. With UK consumers spending an estimated £500 million1 in 2018 on related products, including food, decorations, clothing and accessories, the spooky season presents lucrative opportunities for retailers to capitalise on.

According to Kantar,2 we’ve spent a collective £1.5 million on pumpkins alone in the past 12 weeks, while research from Walnut Unlimited1 has suggested each household in the UK is due to spend an average of £22 on Halloween, with those aged between 35-44 spending an average of £28.

Halloween is arguably now one of the biggest retail events of the year, following Christmas and Easter. So, as a retailer, how can you maximise this seasonal occasion?

Dressing to Impress

Looking the part is one of the essential considerations when planning a Halloween party outfit, so it’s no surprise costumes for all ages present one of the biggest retailing opportunities. Don’t expect too many requests for traditional witch and ghost outfits, however, these traditional costumes are a thing of the past. If costumes aren’t appropriate for your business, focus on accessories or home decor instead.

Getting the look isn’t just down to what people are wearing. For make-up artists and hairdressers, Halloween is a chance to put your creative skills to the test, as consumers are prepared to invest in creating realistic or extreme looks. If your business is active on social media, provide make-up inspiration and tips and tricks via those platforms to build awareness and encourage bookings.

Bakers and confectionary outlets can get busy creating ghoulishly special cakes and treats, run some ghostly baking workshops or share some unique recipes. If you run a food or drink establishment, get into the spirit with a scary menu promoted well on your social media channels; pubs and bars can increase footfall by hosting party nights offering themed cocktails or other drinks.  

Scary Staff and Weird Windows

Encourage staff to get on board by dressing for the occasion.  Run a competition for the best-dressed employee, update window displays to engage passers-by; have some fun by combining the two to make a live spooky window scene – that would be sure to get the town talking. If that’s not your thing, then even just a little touch of Halloween in the window can make an impact and let your customers know you have seasonal products in store.

Offer Some Freebies or Run Special Offers.

Ghostly treats don't have to be just for the little ones; engage with all generations by offering complimentary snacks with a Halloween theme, or deploy supermarket tactics of putting tempting treats by the tills.


Hopefully you will enjoy lots of treats and no tricks, but however you plan to embrace Halloween, it’s still important to take time to protect against risks and hazards. If you do get a fright, comprehensive retail insurance gives you peace of mind, protecting you, your customers, and your reputation.

To find out more about our specialised retail insurance cover, or to obtain a quote for your business, contact smei today. For a chat with our team call 0330 134 4564.




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