Friday, 26 October 2012

No tricks, just treats

Halloween sales from British customers are going to be scarily good this year according to, an ecommerce platform for small businesses.

Last year it’s estimated that sales for Halloween-related merchandise hit £315 million in the UK, up from £280 million in 2010. No doubt retailers are hoping to smash that target this year and with UK consumers now the second-biggest buyers of fancy dress costumes in the world, there should be plenty of scope to do so.

Looking more closely at the research, what I found of note in Alibaba’s study is that the UK is the only country that the Professional/Uniforms category had more searches than the Animals/Insects category. Clearly Brits like more realistic role play, or they find animals too childish a choice? As one fifth of costume searches for babies and kids in the UK were for animal or insect outfits, this could be the case. Add to the mix the recent animal-related film releases of Finding Nemo 3D and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which have no doubt had an impact on what children want to dress up as this Halloween.

It also seems that as a nation we’re ditching scary and opting for funny this Halloween. Alibaba says it’s seen a 19 percent year-on-year increase in online searches of zentai/morph suits, while other popular fancy dress suits in the UK include sexy costumes, cartoon mascot suits and TV and movie costumes.

In the battle for the costume and mask crown, it is the queen that is crowned the winner, accounting for 39 percent of enquiries, while witch (32 percent), princess (26 percent), king (3 percent) and prince (no searches) were much less popular—highly surprising, considering a certain Prince’s dressing up antics.

And if you don’t sell fancy dress? Never fear. Alibaba says it’s seen a 20 percent rise in online searches for event and party supplies, meaning that even if you don’t specialise in novelty clothing, you can still make the most of Halloween by selling seasonal gifts and party supplies.--JD

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