Seasonal Supply Chain: the Halloween Pop-up Craze
From costumes, to party decor, to giant bags of candy, Halloween-loving consumers are expected to spend a whopping 7.4 billion dollars in total this year. To meet consumer demand and cash in on this seasonal trend, temporary Halloween shops are opened annually across the nation. These stores pop up mid-September in empty retail lots and typically vanish by November 1st without a trace. Although these shops are only physically present for two months out of the year, a tremendous amount of planning leads up to their existence (Supply Times).These stores don’t appear out of thin air. Planning begins the previous November and continues up until the holiday. So what are the logistics of running a successful Halloween pop-up store? We have three key components to share.
1. Location Scouting
One of the most crucial elements of a successful pop-up store is the location. Retailers begin searching for vacant stores ten months in advance. Ideal stores are around 7,000-10,000 square feet in size, located near high-traffic areas or other retailers, specifically shopping malls and strip malls. Pop-up stores aren’t only an effective business model for merchants; they also benefit landlords. Landlords are more than happy to receive rent for a space that would otherwise remain vacant, a win-win situation for both parties.Leases usually begin around early August, leaving a month for retailers to prepare for the store opening. During this short time, the space is transformed from an empty lot to a professional, branded retail store that blends seamlessly with its permanent neighboring store fronts.
2. Adequate Staffing
Staffing is another important aspect of pop-up retail. Staffing an adequate amount of employees is key to keep up with consumer demand and ensure a successful season. Analyze expected needs as far in advance as possible to allow time to hire the appropriate amount of employees and properly train each individual.This is also highly beneficial for job seekers. As the second largest seasonal shopping time of the year, Halloween pop-up stores create thousands of jobs. For instance, Halloween City hired approximately 10,000 seasonal employees this year alone (PR Newswire). Job opportunities span coast-to-coast, as stores can pop up in any available lot.
3. Trend Forecasting
Halloween pop-ups operate as consignment shops and order merchandise from their headquarters, whether that be Spirit Halloween or Halloween City. Because of this, trend forecasting is extremely important in maintaining the proper inventory levels of specific costumes or decor.Consumers are increasingly sharing valuable information through social media, reviews and online behavior. To ensure your store has the proper amount and type of inventory, a demand forecasting strategy needs to be implemented. Analyzing sales, market trends and historical data gives retailers insight to how much of a particular item is needed to last throughout the season.Demand forecasting helps with managing inventory, ensuring that you do not order too much or too little of a particular good. The last thing you want is to sell out of the year’s hottest costume, causing consumers to flock to your competitors to make their purchase.Although the stores are temporary in nature, the pop-up craze is here to stay. The proper planning, staffing and trend forecasting can lead to a successful retail season for business owners and consumers alike.