Cards Galore believes, ‘if you’ve got it, haunt it’

Cards Galore has been making the most of Halloween.
Cards Galore has been making the most of Halloween.

The UK public is expected to spend £472 million on Halloween this year – and card and gift shops are getting in on the act.

While not a major greeting card sending event in the UK, unlike it is in the States, nonetheless a growing number of card and gift retailers are dabbling in Halloween cards as well as stocking a range of gifts and novelties.

‘Creep it real’ and ‘If you’ve got it… haunt it’ are the messages on the ‘A’ boards positioned outside Cards Galore’s 50 stores right now, with its windows liveried up with graphics of pumpkins and ghouls.

Cards Galore’s witty PoS has helped to attract attention for the event.
Cards Galore’s witty PoS has helped to attract attention for the event.

“We always stock a fairly large selection of Halloween gifts as well as a small selection of Halloween cards, though there aren’t many publishers that publish Halloween cards,” revealed Rumit Shah, director of Cards Galore. Just as Valentine’s Day sales are affected by the actual day the event falls, so the same is true for Halloween. “We always do better when it falls towards the end of the week when customers buy last minute bits on their way home from work.”

Rumit Shah, director of Cards Galore, with Portfolio’s md Jayne Diggory at the Spring Fair.
Rumit Shah, director of Cards Galore, with Portfolio’s md Jayne Diggory at the Spring Fair.

From a publisher perspective, Rajeev Arora, founder of Davora, which publishes a small range of cards for the event, says that the increasing trend for children’s parties around Halloween bodes well for the future. “Halloween is growing for us. We produced Halloween invites for the first time this year – there are so many more kids’ Halloween parties going on these days, it seemed like a natural step for us to take.”

Yorkshire-based independent retailer, Rachael Barnes, co-owner of Dragonfly Cards and Gifts, says she has seen a definite growth in Halloween related products in her shop over the last few years.

New Halloween invites from Davora.
New Halloween invites from Davora.

“We sell a lot of partyware and decorations, plus the Halloween Ty Beanie Boos are always really popular, especially with the boys as they’re a bit cooler than the everyday soft toys,” says Rachael.

“We do offer half a dozen different Halloween cards, from Hallmark and Davora, but this is not big business – yet! It’s mainly American families who buy them or for those customers who want to post a little Halloween present.”

Some Creepy Facts…

* According to the Verdict data, £160m will be spent on Halloween costumes this year in the UK, up from £155m a year ago.

* The UK public are expected to spend £100 million on Halloween decorations.

* Asda alone is predicting a significant boost in pumpkin sales, with 2.2 million of them expected to be sold this year – 61% more than the 1.35 million that were sold in 2015.

* The UK has a long way to go to catch up on the US’ spend on Halloween. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, total US spending for Halloween reached $8.4 billion last year and is set to reach a record $9.1 billion in 2017 ($4.3 billion of which is predicted to be spent on costumes and $2.7 billion on decorations).

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