Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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Localizing Halloween retail stories

October 19, 2020

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Jack-o-Lantern photo by Łukasz Nieścioruk via Unsplash

Halloween will look very different this year in light of Covid. Although some families and neighborhoods are opting out of trick or treating for safety reasons, sales of Halloween candy are up (perhaps because consumers are stress eating?). Now’s the time to look at how are local retailers and other businesses are scaring up sales during a difficult year.

Here’s a look at questions to consider in your Halloween business coverage: 

What local retailers sell Halloween decorations? How do their sales compare to previous years? This writer sees some very elaborate outdoor Halloween displays with music and blow-up figures in her neighborhood this year. Is that also happening in your community? How much are residents spending on outdoor decorations? Are locals outsourcing their displays or assembling it themselves? 

What local retailers sell Halloween costumes? What do retailers see as the most popular costumes this year? Political costumes, perhaps? Are thrift stores, craft supply shops, and pet stores seeing any seasonal demand? Are eye doctors promoting Halloween contact lenses? Has your local haunted house or escape room gone virtual? If so, how does that work? What other businesses can you find that might have an unexpected connection to this holiday? 

What about Halloween or autumn-inspired foods and beverages? Are local bakeries seeing interest in orange and black cakes or other goodies? Are local breweries making pumpkin ale? What other seasonal treats are in demand this year? How have these businesses adapted their distribution to keep customers and employees safe? 

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