Halloween retail market set to tumble 18%

Alastair Lockhart

Wed 21st Oct 2020


Savvy’s latest research reveals a record decline in the value of the Halloween market, as COVID-19 restrictions cancel trick or treating and parties. Savvy estimates retail sales will be worth £319m this year, down 18% on 2019.

The rule of six, further restrictions across much of the UK and health concerns are all weighing on the Halloween retail opportunity this year. While our research suggests sales of home decorations will increase and that shoppers plan to stay in to watch spooky films, demand for sweets, fancy dress and alcohol are set to be subdued.

While families with younger children still plan to get involved with the event this year, young adults – who have driven much of the market growth in recent years – are planning a quiet night on the 31st, unable to host or attend house parties.

Key findings

  • 37% of UK shoppers plan to celebrate Halloween this year, down from 45% in 2020.
  • Young families are the most likely to get involved with the events this year (68%)
  • Based on Savvy’s analysis of the research, the value of Halloween sales to retailers is estimated to be £319m this year, down substantially on the £387m that the event delivered in 2019.
  • Amongst those planning to get involved:
    • 70% expect they will buy sweets, chocolates and other treats
    • 44% plan to decorate their homes in a Halloween theme
    • 39% say they will stay in to watch a spooky films
    • 36% will buy fancy dress
    • Only 13% intend to visit a pub or restaurant
  • Trick or treating is not completely off the agenda for those planning to celebrate Halloween, with 26% planning a socially distanced version of the tradition
  • Inspiration will be especially important this year
    • 68% of shoppers will seek inspiration at the supermarket
    • Social media continue to gain importance as source of inspiration with 43% of halloweeners planning to turn to Facebook, 35% to Google and 29% to Instagram