Drug chains a destination for Halloween

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NEW YORK — Consumers plan to make drug stores one of their main destinations for Halloween shopping this fall.

Twenty-four percent of the 1,000 U.S. adults polled in the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Halloween Consumer Spending Survey cited chain drug stores such as CVS/pharmacy and Walgreens as a shopping venue for this season.

Discount stores such as Target, Walmart and Kmart were named by 73% of respondents as a Halloween shopping destination, followed by supermarkets (51%) and clothing or Halloween/costume specialty stores (24%).

ICSC reported that 79% of households plan to make Halloween-related purchases this season, up from 74% in 2014. Seventy-six percent of households expect to spend about the same amount or more this year.

The top Halloween purchases that consumers plan to make are candy and other food and beverages (76%), household decorations (44%) and costumes (39%).

Most consumers aim to fill their Halloween needs in stores rather than buying online, but the latter retail channel has become a key part of the Halloween shopping experience, according to ICSC.

Ninety-nine percent of Halloween shoppers said they plan to make an in-store purchase this year. Just 14% of Halloween shoppers expect to make purchases from online-only retailers such as Amazon.com or Overstock.com.

Meanwhile, 36% of households intend to make an online purchase that will be shipped home, and 22% said that they will buy Halloween items online and then pick them up in the store.

When asked what influences their decision to shop in stores, Halloween shoppers cited the convenience of one-stop shopping (34%) and the ability to see, touch or try on merchandise in person (34%), as well as not having to pay extra for shipping (32%).

Shoppers indicated that they plan to allocate 83% of their Halloween spending budget to brick-and-mortar stores, 12% to online purchases to be shipped to their home and 5% to online purchases that they will pick up in stores.

“As omnichannel shopping continues to pick up steam, both consumers and retailers will benefit greatly. Shoppers will see even more seamless offerings that blend digital browsing and research with the convenience and speed of the in-store experience,” stated ICSC communications director Jesse Tron. “And store retailers can rejoice, since 84% of online Halloween shoppers picking up items in-store say they’re likely to buy additional items that were not part of their original purchase.”


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