Halloween is slowly approaching, and while some retailers are doing their bit to stock the themed holiday goods, Look Sharp is adding a spooky experience to its offering to draw consumers in.
Halloween is not celebrated as intensely here as overseas, yet that doesn't mean Kiwis won’t be making the last-minute dash to party stores around the country to stock up on costumes, decorations and candy.
Look Sharp Store is one of New Zealand’s biggest party supply stores, and is well aware of the last-minute Kiwi way of shopping for Halloween.
Drew Lim, marketing manager for Look Sharp Store, says the store cannot wait for the last minutes party rush that the they have become so accustomed too. Despite the calm way Kiwis act around Halloween, Look Sharp for the past few holidays have always stocked early, focusing on a wide selection and more customer engagement.
“Giving such special experiences to customers does not always lead to direct sales. But we are very pleased with how customers are engaging with our props and moving/animated decorations with so much laughter and surprise.”
The Scary Room is a customer engagement idea at the Lunn Ave branch that acts as a haunted house, where customers can walk through and see decorations live in action.
“The idea behind setting up a scary room was to give our customers an opportunity to see products in real lifestyle room setting, as they could get more inspiration and ideas for their upcoming party,” says Lim.
“While many grown-ups really enjoy this attraction, it has been a huge entertaining room for kids. Many kids enter their first haunted house attraction holding their parents' hand and some even cry outside the entrance looking at their parents who just can't seem to stop smiling.”
Look Sharp has hundreds upon hundreds of items for sale during anytime of the year, but once the themed items get rolled out the store kicks into gear. Providing early bird specials and a “Halloween Night” on September 28 that features early bird sales, Halloween baking tutorials and many games for all ages.
“It was indeed a family friendly event and many families and kids turned up, some of whom stayed in store for 3 hours trying all the fun they could,” Says Lim.
These efforts were all designed to provide customers a head up for the growing holiday. We still get asked by many customers "When is Halloween?" which means it's long way from the Holiday becoming a household event.”
The ‘one stop fun shop’ says they’re seeing an increase in interest of the holiday each year, but cannot supply accurate results of sale until after Halloween due to Kiwi’s last-minute shopping.
“In 2008 when we first opened our CBD store, the holiday was predominantly celebrated by youngsters and uni students who just needed an excuse to have fun leaving their exams pressure aside. But now it is surely becoming a day that all ages gather to have fun.
Retail sales wise, it's too early to tell our performance as things usually happen at the last minute, seriously, the very last minute.”
This year Halloween falls on a Tuesday, which according to Lim is the worst possible day for Halloween trading.
“With this year's Halloween falling on Tuesday which is traditionally said to be the worst day for Halloween retailers, most parties for adults are to happen over the next weekend (Thu-Sat) while most Kids trick or treating would still happen on the Tuesday evening.”
Look Sharp is fully stocked and ready for the last minutes weekend trading, with four out-of-Auckland stores now operating (Queenstown, Dunedin, Hamilton and Tauranga) it anticipates Halloween to become a greater Holidays for more Kiwis as involvement grows.