Brand Halloween Holiday Creep 2023

Brand Halloween Holiday Creep 2023

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Before you could even put away your beach chair and utter “Pumpkin Spice,” Halloween accessories, boxes of tinsel, faux trees, and December lights began thier holiday creep and began to appear on store shelves.

MULO (multi-location) retailers have changed the traditional sales cycle and accelerated the holiday shopping schedule.

Halloween 2023 began in July, as several MULO brands like Michaels and Home Depot stocked their shelves with products consumers need on October 31st.

And Christmas came early this year, with December holiday decor and gift suggestions arriving at retailers in August. 

The reasons for this include:

  • Concerns about the supply chain and the “better safe than sorry” thinking that lives on post-pandemic. But this year, more inventory arrived on schedule, so retailers are capitalizing on it
  • The need for brick-and-mortar brands to compete with online shopping. Every time we log in, we are exposed to new products. Retailers are attempting to replicate this marketing technique IRL (in real life), but putting shopping ideas into consumers’ consciousness
  • Retailers’ focus on creating in-store experiences that drive more traffic and make in-person shopping enjoyable (and businesses more profitable).

We saw the bankruptcy of Christmas Tree Shops this year, and many MULO brands are struggling with creating critical shopping mass in a world where online shopping has become a standard way of life.

Rather than relying on last-minute holiday shoppers, these brands are getting ahead of the game by attempting to boost sales early on.

But how will consumers react to this trend?

A recent survey showed that 22 percent of consumers polled believe that Halloween decor in stores can never be too early. The retail industry pundits do believe, however, that spending (which has been on the upswing) may be flat or down this year due to economic concerns.

One industry expert quoted in CNN believes that we’re headed for a ho-hum December holiday season. Marshal Cohen, who is chief retail analyst with market research firm Circana, believes that consumers are spending cautiously and that the lack of new exciting items in-store will impact retail performance.

Now that holiday-themed items are on the shelves, the pressure is on retailers to find creative and compelling ways to move them out of the store and into shopping carts, using a combination of online marketing and creative “old-school” techniques like in-store merchandising and community outreach, including direct mail.

Some of the techniques retailers used for back-to-school shopping 2023 (outlined by Stephanie Miles of Street Fight) can be applied to the holiday season as well.

And, after you’ve eaten the last of your Halloween candy and before you’ve hung the ornaments or put out that menorah, learn from other MULO retailers about how to get consumers through physical doors in 2023. Join us here in November. 

Nancy A Shenker, senior editor with Street Fight, is a former big brand (Citibank, Mastercard, Reed Exhibitions) marketing strategist and leader. She has been featured in, the New York Times and Forbes.