23 September 2009

Retailing's next test is Halloween

The following is an excerpt from “Retailing’s Next Test: Halloween,” by Paula Rosenblum, Managing Partner of RSR, Retail Systems Research. Read the entire article here.

Halloween is holiday that for most people has little to no familial or religious associations to it. No gift giving required and no “important” rituals. The primary traditions are decorations, costumes and trick or treating. I always observed that you could have a really great time for under $100.
It doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold, rainy or dry….kids wear costumes to go trick or treating for Halloween. And because the run-up takes a while, people also buy decorations. But the big money or the extra sales comes from Halloween parties for grown-ups. It doesn’t get any better than having Halloween itself fall on Saturday.
The bottom line is – this is the month to watch for indicators of how the “big” holiday season is going to go. We believe there’s a certain amount of “frugality fatigue” setting in – and while consumers will still be price conscious, people want to have some fun. It has been a nasty year. The stars are aligned. Halloween should be a barn-burner. If it’s not, we’ll know we’re not nearly out of the woods yet. If it is, things are looking up.

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