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America is ready to get spooky again.
The news: Halloween participation is set to return to pre-pandemic levels, lighting the way to record spending, according to a new forecast from Prosper Insights & Analytics.
Key findings: Prosper surveyed 8,283 consumers from September 1-6. It found the following:
- Participation in Halloween activities is expected at 69% this year, up from 65% in 2021 and similar to the 68% participation in 2019.
- Spending is expected to reach $10.6 billion. That would be a record over 2021’s $10.1 billion.
- Candy haul: Consumers are expected to spend $100 on average on candy. That’s on par with the average of $103 in 2021. This, even after Hershey warned that supply chain challenges could leave bowls a little lighter.
Participation breakdown: Consumers plan to participate in Halloween in the following ways:
- Two-thirds will hand out candy
- About half will decorate their home or yard
- 47% dress in costume
- 44% will carve a pumpkin
- 28% will throw or attend a Halloween party
- 20% will dress their pet up in a Halloween costume
Halloween spending is getting a boost from increased participation, says NRF. (Courtesy photo)
Key quote: “Halloween is an exciting time for many families, and that enthusiasm is reflected in the number of Americans who plan to celebrate the holiday this year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said, in a statement. “As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday a fun and memorable one.”
Dressing the part: Ted Lasso mustaches and sexy vampire getups are big business. Halloween costumes account for the biggest chunk of the Halloween consumer brew. This year, costume spending is expected to reach $2.9 billion, which is the highest level since 2017. Pet spending, in turn, is forecast to reach $710 million, which would also be above 2022's record.
Social costuming: When it comes to inspiration, online searches are the largest source of costume ideas, with 36% of consumers saying they turn to social media. Meanwhile, one-quarter said they will look in stores, and 19% said they will turn to friends and family.
“Social media is playing an increasingly important role in consumer behavior, and Halloween is no different,” Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “Younger consumers, particularly those under the age of 25, will look to platforms like Instagram and TikTok for costume inspiration this year.”
Like the end-of-year holidays, Halloween season starts early. Nearly half of consumers, (47%), start shopping in September or earlier.
Where they shop: When it comes to the channel for purchases, 40% of consumers plan to purchase from discount stores, 36% will go to a costume shop and 31% will shop online. Meanwhile, 70% of adults already know what their costume will be this year.
Top costumes: Each demographic, including pets, has its own set of favorite costumes. The most popular adult costume is a witch, while for children it is Spiderman. Pets are most likely to be turned into a pumpkin.
Below is a look at the top costumes in each category:
Top Halloween costumes. (Source: National Retail Federation)
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The virtual store was built by Emperia.
As it opens a new boutique, Italian women’s fashion brand Pinko is opening a virtual store that is designed to create a personalized experience for customers to browse handbags digitally.
Pinko's virtual shopping experience powered by the platform Emperia, which allows users to access metaverse environments through commonly-used devices such as laptops and mobile phones. The launch of the store, which is dubbed Pinko Galleria, is timed with the opening of the brand’s boutique in the exclusive Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.
The store has exclusive offerings that allow the brand to cross the physical and digital worlds:
- New handbags that are specifically designed for the experience, and displayed through 3D modeling that offers education and
- NFTs from Pinko called Meta Love Bags.
- Communities for women that are designed for empowerment and independence.
The opening comes on the heels of last week’s closing of a $10 million Series A investment round for Emperia, which has also worked with Bloomingdale’s and Dior. Founded in 2019 by fashion and retail expert Olga Dogadkina and VR technologist Simonas Holcmann, Emperia’s platform provides the technology and visual infrastructure that architect the virtual stores, as well as data and analytics that provides key insights to retailers about how shoppers interact with the store and what is needed to personalize experiences.
The virtual store is designed to complement the physical store. It presents new opportunities for brand-building that is untethered from physical parameters. It also makes the exclusive more accessible. Shoppers anywhere in the world can now enter the store, even as the physical location is only in Milan.
“The new experience allows audiences, worldwide, to experience the unique, bold design that Pinko is so well-known for, wherever they choose to,” says Olga Dogadkina, Co-founder & CEO at Emperia, in a statement. “Our 3D technology ensures a high merchandise-viewing quality, which complements its real-life twin product, to the smallest detail, allowing Pinko to present and directly-sell its exclusive capsule collection in a way that simulates a realistic shopping experience.”
Inside the virtual store, shoppers have the opportunity to browse and navigate through a space that is laid out and merchandised in 3D with all the hallmarks of a Pinko physical store, right down to a full layout of the brand's signature pink. They’re also greeted by music. A sign that the store is not in the physical world arrives upon turning toward the front. Look out the window, and a shopper will find that they are high above the clouds.
That’s a new way to elevate the experience.
Here are more photos of the Pinko virtual store:
Handbags in Pinko's virtual store. (Courtesy photo)
Hands holding handbags. (Courtesy photo)
NFTs in Pinko's virtual store. (courtesy photo)
Looking out the window at Pinko's virtual store.