Record year for Halloween merchandise sales

Total UK sales for Halloween merchandise will rise 12.5 percent to £315m this year, overtaking the amount spent on Valentine’s Day to make it the third largest retail event in the calendar.

Only Christmas and Easter now generate more income for the retail industry when it comes to specific occasions, according to market research firm Planet Retail, which is forecasting the growth.

With the likes of Ann Summers entering into Selfridges for the retailer’s new Dead Cool theme, intimate apparel is increasingly catching on to the commercial importance of the annual occasion.

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Planet Retail claims the rise in popularity of the date can be attributed to the growing influence of US culture and of retailers such as Walmart, whose Asda chain has devoted increasing amounts of shelf space to the holiday.

Asda has an estimated 50 percent market share of Halloween retail sales and, as in previous years, is offering a number of exclusive tie-ups with brand manufacturers.

Although the Halloween market will be worth £35m more than it was last year, Planet Retail claims the rate of growth has slowed from 19 percent last year due to the difficult economic environment.

“Many people may look to update costumes with new accessories rather than buying new ones. We expect people to continue to spend on confectionery and party items,” said Lisa Byfield-Green, retail analyst at Planet Retail.

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