Retailers embrace spooky season as Halloween sales jump

halloween-retail

Andrea Beattie, founder of the website and digital magazine Hallozween. Source: Supplied.

More Australian retailers are joining in the Halloween festivities, making the most of the growing market by offering quirky, seasonal products before skipping straight to Christmas.

Andrea Beattie, founder of Australia’s largest Halloween website and e-magazine Hallozween, has noticed “a massive change” in the way retailers and consumers engage with Halloween over the past few years.

“It’s definitely gaining momentum and popularity here,” Beattie tells SmartCompany.

“I think people are starting to realise that Halloween isn’t only an American holiday.”

Beattie says it was impossible to find a carving pumpkin five years ago in Australia if you wanted to make a Jack O’lantern. This year, however, Coles has already sold 53,000 kilograms of large Jacks.

“Big W has also told us that Halloween saw a 33% increase in YOY seasonal product sales, proving that so many more consumers are getting into the spirit of the season,” Beattie says.

Beattie, a self-described Halloween fan, created a website, digital magazine and Facebook group to build a community of more than 10,000 people in less than two years.

She launched the annual e-magazine Hallozween in 2020 to focus on Australian creatives and small businesses in the space.

“And the depth of talent is incredible,” she says.

Hallozween’s online retail directory has more than tripled in the last year alone, mostly from small businesses taking advantage of a surge in demand for Halloween products.

Ashley King, founder of the online store The Kringle Company, launched her first Halloween-themed products this year.

The owner of the gift and decorations business, which mostly specialises in hand-made ceramic Christmas products, released a Halloween mug called Witchy Girl last month.

The mug sold out in seven minutes, generating $7000 in sales.

“We released those mugs and they sold out in minutes so we quickly put some more stuff together and managed to get quite a large amount of stock made for Halloween,” King tells SmartCompany.

The Kringle Company now sells ceramic ghosts, mini ghouls with hats and DIY decoration packs.

“Halloween is fun, it involves kids and next year it’s going to be a massive part of our business,” King says.

Dean Salakas, another Australian small business owner and former Shark Tank participant, agrees the occasion is gaining popularity in Australia.

Salakas, who co-owns the online retailer The Party People, said sales for Halloween costumes and props have been steadily increasing by about 20% each year for the past three years, and now make up about 15% of his total business.

“Last year Halloween was definitely bigger than the year before,” he said.

“The last two years in Sydney we have had Halloween without lockdown but some strict restrictions, and yet Halloween still continues to grow even in that environment.”

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