After a tumultuous 18 months of the pandemic, Halloween 2021 came back with a vengeance, showing early and enthusiastic Halloween shopping. Being outdoors, wearing costumes, and often masks as part of the costume, meant that Halloween 2021 was one of the biggest post-vaccine holidays that could be celebrated relatively safely. A review of Spirit of Halloween's visitation trends the past five years demonstrates just how big Halloween 2021 was for Spirit (which is consistent with commentary from Target and others).
This year, 2022, is shaping up to be more similar to pre-pandemic visitation levels of 2019 amid inflationary pressures and reduced demand for decorations following last year's shopping spree. Below, we've compared visitation trends for Spirit of Halloween for 2019, 2021, and 2022, and see that 2022 is tacking much closer to 2019 instead of 2021. While Spirit of Halloween is likely to see fewer visits this year compared to 2021, we still believe it will be strong holiday for most retailers (and setting the tone for the home entertaining trend that we expect to be a key theme for the year-end holidays). One key takeaway for CRE is that seasonal stores can provide a temporary increase in foot traffic during the holidays, adding some holiday spirit and festive decor to the mix.