Halloween advice from Bestway


Halloween is fast becoming a major sales event for independent retailers with total sales of Halloween products doubling over the past decade.

While the multiple retailers will take the lion’s share of costume and pumpkin sales, Tony Holmes, Sales Director at Bestway Wholesale argues that independents and symbols can rack up monster sales – and not just through Halloween-related products.

Holmes points to the fact that many suppliers are now bringing out Halloween-based skus of their popular brands such as Screme Eggs, Mr Kipling’s Slime Slices and MilkyBar Ghosts which will allow retailers to create greater shopper interest in store.

“Independents do impulse novelties extremely well at Christmas and Easter and the potential is there for them to match this at Halloween. However to have a ghost of a chance retailers have to get the seasonal range right and by developing theatre in-store. Over half of all adults will purchase a Halloween-related product and 21% of shoppers would visit more often if their local c-store supported events such as Halloween, so visibility of promotional lines is a must.”

However Holmes argues that Halloween is also a time when families and friends come together so there are incremental sales to be had across other categories such as soft drinks, beers and ciders, wine and snacks and crisps which will all be in high demand.

“Independents need to look at linking products together to get the maximum return from the event. The multiple convenience chains and discounters will all have a decent Halloween offer across the board so the trick is for independents to stock a range that makes a visit to these stores unnecessary. Locality and convenience are major strengths of independents so they need to use these to their benefit. This means that in addition to thinking about themed products, retailers have to look at complementary categories including alcohol, snacking, food for tonight, kids’ novelties, etc. to increase basket spend and profit.”

All Bestway and Batleys depots have a wide range of Halloween novelties available including masks, face paints, fun accessories and sweets on sale in depot from mid-September.

A special Halloween Novelties Kit comprising 98 units – delivering 42% POR – is also available until 31st August as a pre-sell to Best-one symbol and Xtra Local Retail Club members.

Tony Holmes’ Top Five ‘Tricks to Treat’ customers this Halloween
  1. Make sure customers know that you sell Halloween products. Try and make impactful displays in store to maximise the sales potential of the event. Also look at creating shockingly good aisle ends with related products
  2. Don’t just think food and drink – novelties such as masks, glow-sticks, face-paints, themed buckets are all available at Bestway and Batleys depots and offer fantastic margins and can greatly increase profit.
  3. Stock up on large take home packs in soft drinks, beers and snacks as well as confectionery as there will be house parties and celebrations happening all over the country.
  4. Buy early – Don’t wait till the last minute. With Halloween being the 3rd most important sales occasion, it is important to get the right range in store at the right time. Buying early allows you to get the right range and offer a comprehensive offer in store.
  5. With Halloween falling on a Monday, many celebrations will be happening over the weekend prior so make sure that you have everything in place to maximise weekend sales.