RETAILERS have been screaming all the way to the bank because of the popularity of Halloween with the event taking a frightening £460 million.
Supermarkets enjoyed huge sales on anything from fancy dress to booze as Britons went crazy for yesterday’s spooktacular party date.
The celebration is now the UK’s second-biggest night after Hogmanay and yesterday’s was expected to be one of the most popular ever, mainly because it fell on a Saturday.
“Halloween has doubled in size over the past 10 years,” said Tesco’s Halloween buyer, Bryony Watson.
Supermarket giants like Asda and Sainsbury’s prepared for yesterday’s fright night by tripling stocks of fancy-dress costumes.
The shops were also packed with pumpkins and Halloween-inspired treats and sweets.
The recent emergence of Halloween as a major pre-Christmas shopping spectacular can be traced to the US, where it has been a family holiday for decades.
This year Americans are predicted to have spent a terrifying £4.4 billion on Halloween.
One analyst said: “The figures show just how big it is in the States. Traders here can see that and want a slice of the action.
“According to Mintel, UK sales this year were likely to be £283m from £275m last year. But traders like Tesco think that’s a conservative estimate and that it’s more likely to be in excess of £400m, with many analysts saying the figure could be as high as £460m.”Spooktacular! The best Halloween costumes at today’s football matches – click here to read moreOne company expected to see a boom in trade this season is MorphCostumes. The Edinburgh-based company created the “Morphsuit”, which sells in 25 countries and counts the US as one of its leading markets.
However, it’s not just America where Halloween costumes are driving business, MorphCostumes’ chief executive Fraser Smeaton said.
“We’re seeing Halloween get bigger and bigger outside America, as we take up the American culture,” he said.
Fancy-dress hire has become a huge part of the celebrations.
There was plenty of evidence of this at the Devil Dash at Balloch Country Park yesterday, where crowds sporting devil horns and Halloween costumes completed a 6.66km run to raise funds for CHAS and The Sunday Post’s Oor Hoose appeal.
Elizabeth Coakley, manager of The Party Shop in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, said party-goers had been queuing “out of the doors” of her shop for outfits.
Shoppers were snapping up face paint and “Day of the Dead” skeleton costumes.
“It has been going crazy all week,” said Elizabeth.
Online selling giant eBay said more than 28,000 zombie costumes had been sold over the past two weeks.
Cities across the UK came alive as revellers enjoyed some fiendish fun. Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh were among the most popular nights out for Halloween fans.
Only the Catholic Church seems to have a dim view of Halloween. The Vatican has linked the holiday to an eradication of Christian values.
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