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Halloween will look very different during the pandemic

As families reconsider Halloween traditions, companies that usually rely on Halloween for sale have mixed to adapt.

This is what Halloween looks like this year.

The Covid-19 pandemic puts a damper on traditional trick-or-treating this year, a disappointment for both children and candy lovers. For candy companies like Hershey’s, Halloween is the biggest season of sales, and the pandemic threw it a basket ball.

To increase sales and keep customers interested this season Halloween preparations include putting Halloween-specific packaging on fewer treats, focusing on family packages and extending the shopping season.

Halloween celebrations are unpredictable this year, but candy companies must remain 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 buy sweets for reasons that do not include trick-or-treat: e.g. Sales of candy rose in April at the start of the pandemic, indicating that “people see candy as comfort”

; while staying at home and socially distanced.


The seasonal chain Spirit Halloween, which is known for its extensive costume collection, is prepared for a very untraditional Halloween. The company is changing its strategy during the pandemic and getting creative by offering new ways to celebrate and offering contactless Instacart delivery for Halloween costume shopping.

“We’re seeing strong customer traffic and expect sales on a par with last year,” Erin Springer, senior head of public and media relations at Spirit Halloween, told CNN Business.

And costume sales are still rising, Steinberg said, though it may be uncertain to participate in traditional trick-or-treat. “Kids are still excited about Halloween. Parents will not disappoint them – especially after a hard year of school from home,” Steinberg said. “Whether they’re trick-or-treating, there’s still a reason they dress up as their favorite character.”

Socially remove trick-or-treating

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued Halloween safety guidelines that classified traditional trick-or-treating as a “high-risk effect.” As an alternative, the CDC proposed “one-way trick-or-treat”, which involves handing over individually wrapped goodie bags at neighbors ‘and friends’ houses.

Retailers, such as CVS, Target and Meijer, took note and tapped into one-way tricks-or-treats by offering “boo bags” – bags of candy meant to be left at your friends ‘or neighbors’ front doors, eliminating human Contact.
In addition, a group of companies – including Party City, Hershey, Shoprite, Spirit Halloween and the National Retail Federation and Unicef ​​- joined forces to create halloween2020.org, a website that charts how to cheat or treat safely in every county in the United States .

Spirit Halloween recommended contactless trick-or-treating (even if they do not sell candy), socially distant costume parades, cemetery power hunts, and virtual ghost stories.

To shop or not to shop

Online shopping has taken over during the pandemic, and pick-up on the street – which minimizes human contact – has become one of the biggest shopping trends in 2020.

In preparation for Halloween, Lowe’s is launching drive-through, curbside trick-or-treat events leading up to the holiday, giving customers free candy and pumpkins. Lowe probably uses the event as an opportunity to keep shoppers in their stores. The initiative allows customers to participate in picking up items on the items they ordered from the store, while participating in trick-or-treat.

Party City has also changed its strategy. “Party City has essentially written the playbook on virtual celebration at home and drive-by,” the company’s CEO Brad Weston told CNN Business, adding that the company developed virtual party packages, step-by-step guides and checklists to make it easier to plan Halloween. parties during the pandemic.

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

Spirit Halloween, however, which has become a major theme for many, opened 1,360 locations nationwide last year and rose to 1,400 this year.

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