Retailers See Halloween 2021 As More Fun Than Scary

Halloween 2020 wasn’t much of a celebration – not many parties, and worries about children going door-to-door to trick or treat. Halloween 2021 is a different matter – and retailers are seeing a wave of pent-up demand.

For the most part, consumers still prefer to do their shopping in stores, and that was very evident this Halloween season as shoppers found empty shelves at big-box retailers such as Target, Home Depot, and Walmart. During its last earnings call, Home Depot said it sold out its pre-released Halloween product almost immediately.

However, luckily for procrastinators, there still seems to be a lot more Halloween merchandise available online.

Halloween discounts

In collaboration with StyleSage, Refinitiv discovered that there’s been a 42% increase in Halloween costumes and accessories items online from one year ago. Accordingly, the discount penetration, which means the percentage of Halloween-related costumes and accessories on sale, has gone up to 69%, significantly higher than its pandemic (51%) and pre-pandemic levels (45%) (Exhibit 1).

October to-date, 5% of the Halloween apparel online is completely sold out. The average discount for Halloween costumes & accessories has gone up to 19%. This is slightly higher than the pre-pandemic levels of 17%. Thus, although there’s more Halloween apparel this year, and a higher portion of this merchandise is on sale, its average discount level is holding up well relative to the previous two years.

Exhibit 1: Average Discount and Discount Penetration for Halloween Costumes & Accessories


Source: StyleSage Co.

Likewise, there is significantly more online Halloween home décor merchandise this year compared to the pandemic of 2020, when there were stay-at-home orders and lockdown restrictions. Since then, there’s been a 108% increase in Halloween home merchandise online.

Despite the considerable increase in merchandise, the average discount penetration — the percentage of Halloween décor merchandise on sale — has come down from a year ago. However, it is up to 50% compared to its pre-pandemic level of 44% (Exhibit 2).

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