The title is supposed to be a bit of an unsuccessful play on words, substituting Pub Crawl. So having failed dismally, I shall move on to content.
Over the last few weeks I have been visiting customers, bricks and mortar independent retailers and online operators, trying to get a Halloween overview and I am delighted to say(most), looking down the barrel of the last week, they all look good and are very positive.
I have also looked at the high street multiples , mainly the big supermarkets and the discount operators. In my opinion, I am not at all surprised the independents are doing well as the big boys have only got one thing going for them and that is price. Their ranges are uninspiring, they lack excitement and do not seem to have moved on from five years ago. I won’t be thanked for suggesting where I think they could simply correct this. Quite honestly they wouldn’t be interested and why should they. They will sell out anyway.
What they do offer is a tight range at low prices for those families who have neither time nor budget to arrange a Halloween event. But in my view they miss the opportunity to make more of store theatre encompassing the food and drink sections. I believe this would make whole event much bigger for everybody . I don’t see why the food industry can’t make it number two to Christmas in terms a single event.
What I did not see in the supermarkets is any evidence that they had kids costumes which conformed to the children’s nightwear regs. They all carried tags warning of the dangers of fire and naked flames, but little else to suggest the product was any different to anyone else’s .
The reality is that I don’t think the players in our industry see the multiples as true competitors. You have both plowed your own furrows.
Whatever your sector , all the signs are this will be a bumper Halloween season for all. The one very major difference between the multiples and the party industry, and that is, if Halloween didn’t exist, the multiples could live without it, I think the party market in the UK might not.
And no, I never went into a pub ……