European retail traffic trends during Halloween and All Saints’ Day

Pumpkins, party food, and seasonal costumes are big retail traffic drivers for many European countries each autumn. But this welcome uplift in store traffic isn’t being conjured up everywhere. ShopperTrak’s historical footfall data reveals which European consumers are thrilled by Halloween, and which disregard it in favour of celebrating All Saints’ Day.

Halloween shoppers – Germany and the UK

The UK and Germany experience significant increases, above an average weekend, in store traffic during the weekend before Halloween. Traffic is typically up +1.5% that weekend in the UK, and +5% in Germany. Trend analysis confirms that the UK will see healthy uplifts in store and shopping centre traffic on the actual day too – October 31st – which falls on a Tuesday this year. Stores in the UK can expect a +7% increase in shopper visits on Halloween Day, when compared to the daily average.

All Saints’ Day shoppers – France, Spain and Italy

While Halloween has secured excellent traffic numbers for French retailers in recent years, French shoppers are even more active on All Saints’ Day. Taking place on November 1, All Saints’ Day is a public holiday in France. It’s a Catholic festival when schools and banks are typically closed, meaning leisure activity surges.

French stores experience a traffic increase of around +1.5% on the Halloween/All Saints’ Day weekend, when compared to a typical weekend. Store traffic on Halloween Day itself tends to be up about +15% on the daily average, while All Saints’ Day sees around a +5% spike on the daily average.

Both Spain and Italy have a public holiday for All Saints’ Day, but traffic suggests that these audiences choose to celebrate in very different ways. People in Spain spend quality time with family and avoid the shops, while Italians shop in droves.

In Italy, the weekend before Halloween and All Saints’ Day sees an influx of shoppers with stores typically enjoying a +7% increase on average weekend traffic. Italians love spooky fun, and this year traffic on Halloween Day could be as much as +50% higher than it is on an average Tuesday. However, All Saints’ Day is likely to be even busier, and could see up to +60% more traffic than an average Wednesday, according to ShopperTrak’s trend analysis.

Retailers advised to ramp up their promotional activities

In order to capitalise on consumers’ willingness to shop during these two dates, successful retailers have stepped up their marketing activities that blend lifestyle activities with retail. We are seeing high-profile TV advertising campaigns from several of the European supermarket groups, as they showcase eye-catching party food ranges and Halloween decorations. Many retailers are also driving interest by using in-store experiences to draw consumers into their bricks-and-mortar outlets. Examples of themed activities include pumpkin carving classes and Halloween inspired make-up tutorials.

For both Halloween and All Saints’ Day there is much for European retailers to gain from tracking the impact of store experiences on shopper behaviour and conversion rates. And by analysing store performance and shopper behaviour for this year, retailers will be well prepared for a bumper Halloween and All Saints’ Day in 2018.

ShopperTrak provides a Global Retail Traffic Index – a pioneering barometer of consumer footfall that helps retailers plan for seasonal peaks. Find all the latest traffic trends data here.

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