Retail Therapy: Retailers' Halloween hits and misses
As one of the editors of Retail Dive, it’s my job to keep tabs on every piece of retail-related news—the good, the bad, and the silly. In this week’s special Halloween-themed Retail Therapy, we bring you some costume no-nos, Halloween shopping trends, and a really cute dog, ready to hit the trick-or-treat streets.
Some retailers have received praise this Halloween season for their merchandising decisions. Others, not so much.
Target was recently lauded for its decision to use a model with braces and arm crutches to show off its Disney Frozen Princess Elsa costume in a recent Halloween ad:
Wal-Mart, meanwhile, drew heat on social media for selling an “Israeli Soldier Costume for Kids” and a prosthetic “Sheik Fagin Nose,” modeled on a man apparently wearing a keffiyeh, a head scarf that is often associated with the movement for Palestinian sovereignty. This came during a time of escalating conflict between Israel and Palestine. Both costumes have since been taken down.
Halloween costume trends
The Force is strong with Star Wars once again. With the next installment in the franchise coming to movie theaters just before Christmas, Star Wars dominated the Halloween costume market this year. Star Wars-related searches on e-commerce sites took the top spot on the list of the most-searched movie-themed costumes of 2015, according to SLI Systems.
Some more fun facts from SLI’s survey about Halloween costume trends:
- The top three most popular non-movie searches were witch, pirate, and zombie
- Searches for “Trump” increased, and had 38% more searches than Marvel’s “Ironman”
- Spiderman was the most-searched Marvel super hero
This is more trick than treat: Candy prices are predicted to rise 4.2% this year, the biggest increase in four years, thanks to rising prices for raw sugar. For bargain-hunters, the smart move might be to procrastinate on sweet purchases, with some of the best deals available being found on October 31.
The National Retail Federation predicts that pet owners will spend about $350 million to dress up their pets this Halloween. Online marketplace eBay was selling 1.5 million pet costumes on its site on Oct. 21, the Seattle Times reports. Top best-selling costumes for pets on the site are Superman, lions, pandas, Batman, and neckties.