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Delaware Valley Retail: How Business Owners Scare-Up Halloween Sales

Sep 25, 2019 3:14:00 PM / by Larry Julius

Philadelphia Advertising HalloweenBased on information from the National Retail Foundation, Delaware Valley consumers will be spending $138 million on Halloween this year. 

Typically, 80% of all Halloween shopping, according to the NRF, will occur between now and October 16.  The remaining dollars will be spent in the last 14 days leading up to the holiday.

Nearly 53% of consumers in the Philadelphia area are expected to participate in Halloween this year, each spending, on average, about $86.  This money will go towards the purchase of candy, decorations, costumes, pumpkins, and greeting cards.

Almost every type of local small business enjoys a taste of this spending. This includes hardware stores, convenience stores, craft stores, fabric stores, thrift stores, florists, card stores, consignment shops, haunted houses, home decor store, bakeries, and, of course, candy stores.

To claim a significant share of this Halloween cash will require local small business owners to advertise.  The key to successful advertising is reaching as many Halloween shoppers as possible over the next four weeks.

According to the NRF, the bulk of holiday dollars will be spent by adults 25-54.  No other local advertising medium reaches more of these consumers than Philadelphia radio.

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Last week, for instance, 92.4% of all 25-54-year-old consumers tuned-in to a Philadelphia radio station. This is significantly more than watched local TV; read a local newspaper; signed-in to Facebook; or streamed audio from Pandora and Spotify.

Advertise In Philadelphia Media Reach Adults 25-54

It should come as no shock to most to business owners, but the bulk of Halloween spending happens in households with children under 17. In the Delaware Valley, there are 759,000 potential trick-or-treaters, also-known-as children 5-14 year olds.  Philadelphia radio is the most effective way to reach their parents.

Advertise In Philadelphia Media Reach By Number of Children at Home

According to the NRF, the fastest segment of Halloween spending is among pet owners.  Twenty percent of holiday consumers will be purchasing costumes for Fido and Fluffy. This is up from 16% last year.  Radio, once again, is the best way for Delaware Valley businesses to reach people with pets at home.

Advertising In Philadelphia Media Reach Pet Owners

The most popular pet costumes are Pumpkins (11.2%), Hot Dogs (7.4%), and Bumble Bees (4.9%).

“The economy is good and consumer confidence is high, so families are ready to spend on Halloween this year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says. “Retailers are stocking up to supply children, pets and adults with their favorite decorations, candy, and costumes for the season.”

Local Business Owner Scares-Up Big Bucks At Halloween

Randy Bates has operated The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride attraction in Glen Mills, PA since 1992. This Halloween attraction occupies 26 acres of the family's farm.

"The first season we were open, we just offered the hayride," says Mr. Bates. "We were open a total of five days and brought in about 2500 paid admissions."

Advertise In Philadelphia Halloween AttractionsTo attract those first customers, Mr. Bates hung flyers in local businesses and put a sign out at the farm's entrance on Middletown Road. 

The following year, Mr. Bates invested $10,000 in radio advertising on a single Philadelphia station. "That season we doubled our business," he says.

Mr. Bates continued to advertise on Philadelphia radio, and the business continued to grow. "At one point, we were advertising very heavily on five or six stations."

In 1995, after a visit to a trade show of the Halloween Industry, Mr. Bates was inspired to build the Bates Motel.  This attraction is considered to be one of the 15 scariest haunted houses in America.

The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayrides is only open during the Halloween season which runs from late September through October 31. During that time, 50,000 customers will pay a combined $1.2 million to be scared witless.

Although Mr. Bates's advertising has expanded to include social media and digital advertising, Philadelphia radio is still a part of the attraction's marketing mix.

"We run commercials from the second week of September through Halloween," he says. "In addition to regular ads, we also use DJ endorsements. This has proven to be a big draw for us, which is important since we only have about six weeks to make most of our money for the year."

Mr. Bates believes other small business owners can benefit from advertising on Philadelphia radio stations.

"Don't advertise on the stations you like personally," he offers. "Instead, figure out what your demographics are and invest only in stations that reach that audience."

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Topics: Delaware Valley Small Business Owner, Small Business Advertising, Best Way To Advertise, Advertise On Philadelphia Radio Stations, Advertise In Philadelphia, advertise in delaware valley, retail, store traffic, halloween

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