Halloween Takes Center Stage At Meijer
By Bob Johns, associate editor
The hybrid grocery/department store chain is poised to capitalize on the scary season with a broader assortment in-store and online.
Halloween has become big business for retail, and hypermarket giant Meijer is poised to take advantage. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans are expected to spend $2.6 billion on Halloween costumes — $1 billion on children’s costumes, $1.2 billion on adult costumes, and $330 million on pet costumes. When you add in candy and decorations, Americans will spend nearly $6.9 billion on Halloween. This is why Meijer has expanded its Halloween offerings, not only to customers, but their pets as well.
“Halloween may be just one day a year, but everyone spends October thinking about the perfect costume, treats, and décor for the whole family, so why shouldn’t we include our dogs,” Ojala said. “Whether customers are looking for costumes in extended sizes like plus or tall, or trying to turn their pet into T-Rex or Katy Perry, Meijer is making it easy to step up their Halloween game and stay on budget.” The company is leveraging its website to offer more than 10,000 costumes and accessories, including makeup, nail polish, wigs, and masks, and 500 décor items. For your furry companions, Meijer is carrying more than 80 pet costumes, including everything from Heinz Ketchup bottles to raptors and bananas.
In order to further capture the rising Halloween pet market, Meijer is also partnering with Purina to celebrate creative pet lovers by giving away $10,500 in Meijer gift cards through the Meijer 2013 Halloween Pet Costume Sweepstakes. Customers have a chance to win one of more than 100 Meijer gift cards by submitting a photo of their pet in a Halloween costume. The first 100 customers to submit their photo will win a $100 Meijer gift card and a grand prize winner, selected by Meijer, will win a $500 gift card. This is a creative way to not only boost sales, but encourage customers to engage more fully.
Some other Halloween trends that Meijer is hoping to capitalize on include:
- While Captain Jack Sparrow, Iron Man and Princess Leia still rate as top costume trends, zombies, vampires and other scary characters are inspiring more ghoulish Halloween costume choices.
- More friends and families are going as a group: Whether Steampunks, a Box of Crayons or a Barrel of Monkeys, friends and families are always the center of attention attending Halloween parties in group-themed costumes.
- Classic candies still rule but food allergies drive new niche: Bite-sized chocolate and hard candies are expected to be top sellers, but candy manufacturers are also responding to growing demand for nut-free goodies with a wider variety of candies safe for children with food allergies.
- Investment costumes have life for years to come: Meijer has found that many shoppers want high-quality “investment” costumes they can reuse for future Halloween celebrations or themed events and conferences. Meijer has the largest assortment of replica movie and theatre costumes online with enough capes, armor, jackets, dresses and robes to keep customers in-character for years to come.
With Halloween nearly reaching $7 billion, more retailers are expected to expand their selections each year. A successful Halloween season can be the perfect transition from back-to-school to the holidays.