Halloween Retail

Tom Arnold

Tom Arnold is a finance professor and retail expert in the University of Richmond's Robins School of Business.

Arnold says Halloween will remain sweet, but be prepared to pay more. Quintessential Halloween items like candy and pumpkins will still be available, but at a higher cost and might be harder to find.

He offers the following insights about Halloween retail:

This Halloween, candy will not be an issue if one is flexible enough to not insist on Halloween-themed items. If you are a Halloween “bargain hunter,” your options will be limited to non-existent. Though Hershey backtracked its earlier statement about a candy shortage, supply chain issues will mean less Halloween-themed candy, and those who usually wait until after Halloween to buy Halloween-themed candy at clearance prices will be disappointed.

Pumpkin availability, like other crops, is going to be dependent on the weather. Unfortunately, like many crops, the weather this year has been difficult in a number of areas. This will likely lead to pumpkin shortages in many places, but probably not everywhere.  However, even when available, pumpkins will be more expensive due to increased costs for growing the pumpkins.

Inflation will be an issue. Whatever you find available for Halloween is likely to cost more. Vendors are not expecting consumers to stay away because of prices. In fact, Party City is hiring its largest holiday workforce in anticipation for all the demand for its products for Halloween.

Vendors are not likely to raise prices dramatically to take advantage of the excess demand, but there is certainly no incentive to lower prices nor to take a loss for the higher cost of inventory.

Contact Cynthia Price (cprice2@richmond.edu), associate vice president of media and public relations, to connect with Tom.