Sir: Halloween, just gone, has been embraced by many retailers, particularly the supermarkets, but still more could have been done. According to Planet Retail, Brits will have spent up to £325m this Halloween. Plus, our own survey of 2,000 UK adults found that 59% of all consumers and 77% of 18-24 year-olds now celebrate Halloween despite it being a traditionally US event.
However, only 10% of Brits have a local shop that they consider a good source of Halloween items, which suggests there’s a huge opportunity here for retailers to look abroad for inspiration – and by that I mean temporary pop-up shops.
In the US, the number of pop-up shops has increased from 2,043 in 2009 to 2,459 in 2013 – a massive 1,706 of which serve the Halloween season alone. Some e-tailers install up to 30 temporary stores just for the Halloween period, employing hundreds of temporary staff – a useful injection for the economy and retail industry.
And that would work here. Our research found that 21% UK shoppers would use a pop-up shop to buy Halloween-themed products if one opened near their home or workplace. This increases to 36% among the Halloween-friendly 18-24 year-olds.
The UK retail sector should take note for next year. If pop-ups are considered, planned and executed properly and not used simply for the sake of having one, then they can be incredibly valuable. In fact, pop-ups are everything that makes for a successful modern bricks-and-mortar retailer: local, agile and relevant.
Nick Gray, managing director, Live & Breathe