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Halloween: A boom for businesses

Halloween: A boom for businesses

Halloween, also known as the All Hallows Eve is a heavily celebrated occasion in many countries on the 31st of October every year. According to many academic sources, the celebration initially took place as a Christianized feast originally influenced by Celtic Harvest festivals and obtains its roots from the Pagan culture.  However, the modern day version of Halloween consists of several pseudo gore galore activities such as going to costume parties, trick-or- treating, visiting haunted attractions, carving pumpkins into lanterns, house decorating, thus in other words consumers spending an estimate of almost $8 billion in the US alone.

According to research conducted in the US and Canada by the National Retail Federation, nearly 68% of American and Canadian customers celebrate Halloween by taking part in at least one Halloween related activity. There has been an average statistical rise in the spending done towards the holiday with the individual American spending at least $66.28 towards costumes, candy and decorations, making it a highly lucrative and attractive market for business opportunities.

Out of the overall expenditure, 36% of consumer spending is attributed towards Halloween costumes. Halloween costumes are typically modeled after eminent supernatural characters such as vampires, skeletons, monsters, ghosts, devils, angels among others. Analysis reveals that most of the spending in this respect has an emotional appeal for the customer, as a few years ago Halloween was more focused on children, but in the recent years the industry is seen to be driven by the imaginative adult wanting to take on another figurative identity for one night. The opportunity is strategically maneuvered by companies as they tend to set up retail costume stores two months or so before Halloween, vend a variety of costumes, make numerous profits and then wrap up till next year. These companies endeavor to make the majority amount of profits in the heat of the moment and curtail the risk of poor sales in the time before Halloween, following a similar trend of other traditional holidays such as Thanks giving and Christmas. Some companies tend to rent out warehouses to sell their products, there for minimizing their costs further and fully partaking in the holiday spirit.

The second largest expenditure, (that is 30% of $ 8 billion) in Halloween celebrations is attributed to the purchase of Candy including chocolates, liquorish, hard candy etc. According to surveys done by The Association, a Washington- based trade group, the approximate expenditure on Candy during the time of Halloween in up to $32 billion annually. As reported by the National Confectioners Association, candy is considered to be an ‘affordable luxury’. The appeal for buyers is again celebratory but also somewhat emotional as with the tougher economic times in the present, small things that bring people happiness are not that expensive and hence a part of everyone’s Halloween spending budget. 72.2% of households have been reported to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. In countries such as the US and Canada, no major celebrations occur before the time of Halloween and so merchandize customized for Halloween gets the most shelf display time, beginning in some stores around the month of August, reaping great benefits for retailers and companies. However, it has been reported that such substantial amounts of candy consumption has been correlated directly to a lot of weight gain and health problems in children and young adults right after the time of Halloween.

Decorations and pumpkin carvings amount for 27% of the annual $8 billion of Halloween generated business. Aside from the conventional shopper, the White House, US, was also decorated with bats and goblins as President Obama and the First Lady doled out candy to the trick-or-treating children of local military families.

Another surprising statistic in the spirit of Halloween spending and an uprising business venture has been noticed in the 11.5% of consumers who not only dress up for Halloween themselves, but also don costumes on their pets. Out of the $8 billion spending, $330 million was spent by owners purchasing costumes for their pets this year. Specialty stores have been set up to create individual outfits for pets, some of the more popular ones being a hotdog, pumpkin or a devil outfit. This is another rewarding niche in market that is on its way to steady growth as owners are willing to dish out expenditure on Halloween for their pets.

Local Halloween parties were also organized in Islamabad, and people were seen celebrating in full Halloween in events hosted by Kuch Khaas and Tehzeeb.

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