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481 million pound Halloween spend boosted by fashion retailers

London - Even though Halloween sales across a wide range of categories are set to slow, the Halloween clothing sector has shown the strongest growth year-on-year as more and more fashion retailers participate in the annual holiday.

The challenging retail market has likely spooked more high street fashion retailers into participating in Halloween this year, with retailers such as Primark and H&M launching dedicated collections. Halloween sales in the UK are set to grow by 1.7 percent this year, which is slower than previous years as shoppers seek to cut back on discretionary purchases, according to GlobalData. But the Halloween clothing sector is predicted to grow 3.1 percent as high street retailers adapt their autumn collections to create capsule Halloween collections.

481 million pound Halloween spend boosted by fashion retailers

Fashion retailers up the stakes this Halloween

Consumer spend on Halloween decorations and entertainment is likely to decline as discounters such as B&M, Poundland and Lidl increase their Halloween offering, thereby encouraging shoppers to trade down. “There has been an increase in retailers that do not traditionally sell Halloween goods entering the market, in an attempt to drive spend, as trading conditions for retailers become increasingly challenging," commented Eleanor Parr, retail analyst at GlobalData.

“One-third of Halloween shoppers bought Halloween clothing in 2016, presenting a huge sales opportunity for struggling clothing retailers. This year fashion retailers are increasingly buying into Halloween, selling fancy dress for parties and trick or treating, and are also expanding their Halloween collection to include everyday Halloween-themed clothing that can be worn in the run-up to Halloween, such as humorous Halloween slogan T-shirts. Furthermore, the current 90s gothic trend, which includes lace, velvet and black clothing, fits with this theme, meaning some retailers have barely needed to adapt their AW17 offer to appeal to Halloween shoppers.”

Although Asda was the most popular retailer for Halloween goods in 2016, topping all categories, the supermarket chain has lost market share, sales and footfall to competitors Aldi and Lidl, who are challenging its position as the leading retailer for Halloween shopping. Discounters including Home Bargains, B&M, Poundland, Lidl and Aldi have improved their Halloween assortments this year, offering similar products to Asda, but at more competitive prices.

In addition, some retailers, such as Topshop, have capitalised on the hype surrounding cult favourite Netflix tv show 'Stranger Things'. The TV show has been named as 2017's most fashionable Halloween fancy dress theme and Topshop has signed an exclusive collaboration with Netflix to offer a Stranger Things apparel collection and experience at its flagship store on Oxford Street. By using a combination of retail theatre and exclusive products, Topshop is ensuring it stands out in the increasingly competitive Halloween clothing market.

Photo 1: Courtesy of Topshop

Photo 2: Courtesy of Pretty Eccentric