Survey: Drug stores part of Halloween shopping mix

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NEW YORK — Drug stores will again be a staple destination for Halloween shoppers this fall.

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) said Thursday that chain drug stores are among the most popular retail outlets for Halloween shoppers. Twenty-four percent of the 1,000 adults polled in the ICSC Halloween Consumer Spending Survey cited drug stores like CVS/pharmacy and Walgreens as a shopping venue for this season.

Bartell Halloween candy displayDiscount stores such as Target, Walmart or 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 said that 79% of households plan to make Halloween-related purchases this season, up from 74% in 2014, with 76% expecting to spend about the same or more this year. The leading Halloween purchases cited by consumers were candy and other food and beverages (76%), household decorations (44%) and costumes (39%).

Most shoppers aim to fill their Halloween needs in-store versus online, but the latter channel has become a key part of the Halloween retail 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 like Amazon or Overstock.

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

When asked what sways their decision to shop in stores, Halloween shoppers cited the convenience of one-stop shopping (34%); the ability to see, touch or try on merchandise in-store (34%); and not having to pay 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 shipped home and 5% to online purchases picked 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,” ICSC communications director Jesse Tron said in a statement. “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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