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Halloween will look very different during a pandemic



While families are reconsidering Halloween traditions, companies that typically rely on Halloween for sales are struggling to adapt.

Here’s what Halloween will look like this year.

The Covid-19 pandemic puts a damper on traditional tricks or treatments this year, a disappointment for both children and candy lovers. For candy companies like Hershey’s, Halloween is the biggest sales season and the pandemic has distorted it.

To stimulate sales and maintain customer interest, preparing for Halloween this season includes placing Halloween-specific packaging on fewer treats, focusing on family packaging and extending the shopping season.

Halloween celebrations are unpredictable this year, but candy companies still need to be optimistic, David Steinberg, co-founder and CEO of Zeta Global, a data-driven marketing technology company, told CNN Business. He added that consumers will continue to shop for candy for reasons other than trick or treating: For example, candy sales increased in April, at the start of the pandemic, showing that “people look at candy as a comfort.”

; while they stay at home and social distance.

Costumes

The seasonal chain Spirit Halloween, which is known for its rich collection of costumes, is prepared for a very unconventional Halloween. The company changed its strategy during the pandemic, becoming creative, offering new ways to celebrate and offering contactless delivery to Instacart for shopping for Halloween costumes.

“We see strong customer traffic and expect sales on par with last year,” Erin Springer, senior public relations and media manager at Spirit Halloween, told CNN Business.

And costume sales are still rising, Steinberg said, although it can be dangerous to engage in traditional tricks or treatments. “Kids are still excited about Halloween. Parents don’t want to disappoint them – especially after a hard year at home,” Steinberg said. “Whether they are deceived or not, there is still a reason for them to dress like their favorite character.”

A socially remote trick or treat

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued safety guidelines for Halloween, describing the traditional trick or treatment as a “high-risk activity.” Alternatively, the CDC has proposed a “one-way trick or treat” that involves leaving individually packaged bags of good quality in the homes of neighbors and friends.

Retailers such as CVS, Target and Meijer took note by engaging in a one-way trick or treat, offering “boo bags” – bags of candy that should be left at the doors of your friends or neighbors, removing human contact.
In addition, a group of companies – including Party City, Hershey, Shoprite, Spirit Halloween and the National Retail Federation and Unicef ​​- have teamed up to create halloween2020.org, a website that outlines how to mislead or treat safely in any county in the United States.

Spirit Halloween recommends a non-contact trick or treat (although they don’t sell candy), socially remote costume parades, graveyard hunting cemeteries and virtual ghost storytelling.

To shop or not to shop

Online shopping peaked during the pandemic, and curb raising – which minimizes human contact – has become one of the biggest shopping trends in 2020.

In preparation for Halloween, Lowe’s launches trick or treat events that lead to the holiday by providing customers with free candy and pumpkins. Lowe’s probably used the event as an opportunity to keep shoppers coming to their stores. The initiative allows customers to take away from curbs for items they have ordered from the store, while participating in a trick or treat.

Party City also changed its strategy. “Party City has essentially written a guide to virtual parties at home and driving,” company CEO Brad Weston told CNN Business, adding that the company has developed virtual party sets, step-by-step guides and checklists to make planning parties easier. for Halloween during the pandemic.

The party provider is still struggling. In 2019, the company had 275 pop-up stores for Halloween across the country, and this year the company will have only 25 pop-up stores for Halloween in the United States.

However, Spirit Halloween, which for many people has become a major Halloween, opened 1,360 seats across the country last year and this year increased that number to 1,400.


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