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Fear Not

Here’s to a safe and prosperous Halloween season—and a vaccine!

A throwback to my trick-or-treating days.

Halloween feels a lot scarier this year than usual as American families and businesses grapple with how to celebrate safely amid a deadly pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially advised against trick-or-treating, as well as other favorite traditions like costume parties, bobbing for apples, parades, hayrides and haunted houses. Boo-hoo, indeed!

Consumers, however, haven’t completely soured on the sweet holiday. Many are still planning to celebrate—with social distancing in mind. Think home decorations, candy, monster movies, baking pumkin bread and sending out greeting cards.

Top 10 Kids Costumes for 2020

  1. Princess
  2. Spiderman
  3. Superhero
  4. Ghost
  5. Batman
  6. Witch
  7. Vampire
  8. Frozen (Elsa, Anna)
  9. Pumpkin
  10. Cat

According to the National Retail Federation, more than 148 million Americans plan to participate in Halloween-related fun. Safe at-home activities ranked highest: 53 percent plan to decorate their homes, 46 percent to carve pumpkins and 18 percent to dress up their pet. In fact, consumers are expected to shell out $92.12 on average (compared with $86.27 in 2019) with  30 percent planning to make their purchases online. In total, Halloween-related spending is expected to reach $8.05 billion; that’s only down slightly from $8.78 billion last year. So, hopefully, not too scary.

Already, I’ve seen some scary-good ideas coming from our industry to boost sales, both in-store and online. Brands have been blogging regularly about how to build unique costumes by mixing and matching products. Retailers are inviting customers to shop virtual Halloween pop-ups and treating patrons with spooktacular window displays. Many are “going live” on social media for safe activities like ghost story readings and pumpkin carving tutorials. (Please tag Earnshaw’s on Instagram or email me. We’d love to feature your creative efforts and showcase some good news.)

This year has been awash in bad news. It’s been far too terrifying on all accounts. The virus-related deaths, bankruptcies, closures, furloughs, anxiety…How I wish I could cast a spell and make 2020 disappear—powers that I dreamed I possessed when I was a witch-in-training at age 5. I would be Emily, the good witch!

Here’s to a safe and prosperous Halloween season—and a vaccine!

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