Look out Santa Claus, Halloween is growing
October 24, 2008
Merchants love Halloween.
It’s always been good for candy sales, but decorations and other themed merchandise are becoming big sellers.
Whitney Rogers, spokesperson for Pier 1 Imports, said her company started carrying wreaths, candelabras and party supplies just last year to get in on the sales. This year is even bigger than last, she said via email.
Mike Holm, manager at The Market in Park City, said Halloween sales come in second behind Christmas and that it’s a great holiday for business.
While nowhere near Christmas, Halloween is growing in popularity. Phil Bair, store director for the Kamas Foodtown, said he hears people all the time say they like Halloween as much as Christmas.
During the 26 years of his career, Bair said he’s seen Halloween transform from being just about candy to becoming what it is today the second most profitable holiday.
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He muses that it’s because of the decline in Trick Or Treating. For whatever reason, it seems fewer children are going door-to-door. With that element in decline, perhaps people are compensating by decorating more.
Julianne Rosen-Carone, owner of the Rocky Mountain Christmas store on Main Street Park City, thinks there’s a nostalgia factor involved.
While she doesn’t have any hard numbers she can quote, she said she’s seen Halloween decorations eclipse all other holidays besides Christmas.
When she shops for her merchandise, she sees the industry abuzz about it. In fact, she believes it’s becoming a retail industry all its own with small stores opening for three months only to sell spooky stuff.
Part of the reason is religion, she said. Thanksgiving is a somewhat sober holiday with less of an emphasis on children. Easter is only celebrated by Christians, and they’ve got widely varying views on the appropriate way to honor the day.
But Halloween can be celebrated by almost everybody and it’s a children’s holiday. Any activity that involves parents with their children seems to be good for retail, she said.
Rosen-Carone said she believes parents love merchandise that reminds them of their own childhood.
Right now, her best sellers are Halloween items that look vintage from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Rosen-Carone said it seems like buyers get maxed out on Christmas and turn to Halloween next.
"Adults want to remember those fun times from their childhood, so they decorate the house up more and bring the spirit in their house," she said. "It’s a family thing, maybe more so than when we were growing up."