New research from Hermes reveals what consumers around the country have planned for this Halloween.

Seven weeks from now retailers will be in the midst of Black Friday, executing their carefully constructed plans to drive online traffic, ensure exceptional customer service and maximise sales. This key date in the industry calendar does of course originate from our American cousins, but before then retailers also have to contend with another US-inspired ‘holiday’, Halloween.

While popping into my local supermarket I recently noticed that the aisles were decorated with plump pumpkins, eerie outfits and inflatable skeletons, and I thought it would be interesting to learn just how many people splash out for Halloween, while also gaining an insight into the most popular items purchased. Therefore, the Hermes team decided to carry out some consumer research and I thought I’d share the findings with the readers of this blog.

We asked 2,008 consumers whether they were planning to buy something for Halloween this year. Interestingly, only 28% of people said they were not going to part with their hard-earned cash. Of those that will splash out on spooky items, 27% said they’d shop in store, closely followed by the 22% of people who said they will buy items both in store and online. Meanwhile, 8% of respondents revealed that they plan to exclusively shop online for their ghoulish goods. This goes to show that consumers are generally quite indecisive when it comes to planning for Halloween and would rather browse a dedicated aisle in store when seeking inspiration over potential purchases.

This is reinforced by the fact that just 56% of the 2,008 respondents had a clear idea of what they were going to buy and for what purpose (albeit a few weeks before the day itself). Of those planning ahead, 57% said they were buying items for trick or treating, while 32% said they’d be buying fancy dress costumes for children. The results also showed that adults like to dress up too, with 30% claiming they’d be looking for ghostly garments of their own. Meanwhile, a further 6% will be indulging in some raunchy retail therapy when buying ‘fetish dress’! As expected, the 18-to-24 year old age group are most likely to get into the ‘spirit’ of Halloween. Just under 87% said they were likely to purchase items with almost half of them opting for a fancy dress outfit.

If you’re afraid of ghosts then I suggest staying clear of Belfast on October 31 after 92% of people from the city revealed they would be buying Halloween-themed products. For added safety you could always head to Sheffield where only 56% of people will make a purchase.

This research goes to show that retailers can expect a wave of activity during the next fortnight as UK consumers go hunting for outfits and props, not just in store but online too. Meanwhile, our network of couriers will be working hard to ensure all of the hair-raising Halloween-themed purchases are delivered ahead of the big day.

  • Mark Pettit is sales & marketing director at Hermes