By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
October is here and many of your customers are making preparations for their annual haunted house or spooky front yard. The stores that sell seasonal products have already gotten ready for the holiday season. I have just started to take inventory of all the halloween props I have and am getting ready to visit the local halloween haunts near me for some new ideas and inspirations. I know exactly where to go for the most unique and ghoulish decorations in town and it is likely your customers do as well. My favorite spots are usually smaller shops that I find when I’m on the road but I also source from the usual local retail haunts.
Halloween is the second largest holiday in retail topped only by Christmas. Being a huge halloween fan myself, I’ve seen the seasonal retail business growing immensely over the past decade or so. Retailers are getting more sophisticated and carrying a larger selection of items for the avid collector. The desire for better products has risen causing a larger demand for more choices and better quality. Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, At Home, Big Lots and even the Dollar Tree have taken advantage of the added revenue numbers as more and more people are taking this holiday to the extreme.
As entertaining at home continues to be a viable option for families, many independents are profiting from adding on these seasonal items year-round for various holidays. Getting started is as easy as placing small items near the cash registers for impulse sales or making a space for a display in the back of the store. This will not only draw in more traffic but will force customers to walk by general merchandise. The key is not to replicate what can be found in the big box stores. Instead, find a line of unique or novelty items that customers won’t be able to find anywhere else. You will have loyal customers like me coming back year after year to add to their collection, and not just waiting until they need a new refrigerator or a sofa to come in. As your customers’ haunted houses and their desire for better products grow, so can your bottom line.