Halloween used to be just for kids, but its popularity among adults is growing each year. US consumers are expected to spend $10.5 billion this season, up from $3.3 billion in 2005. The holiday owes its popularity to Millennials and older members of Gen Z, who have transformed many of their childhood hobbies into adult passions, from playing video games to collecting comic books and toys. Going all-out for Halloween is a great way to bring these customers to their local independent garden center. So while you’re getting ready for the winter holidays, try these Halloween tips to keep business ticking over in the meantime.
Let’s begin with the most obvious: pumpkins. Not just carving-sized pumpkins, but pumpkins of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Those big, heavy ones. Little ones for apartment patios. Small pumpkins and gourds for table centerpieces. Colorful pumpkin displays for the front lawn. Not only are pumpkins a Halloween staple, but they are a popular decorative item for lovers of autumn who may not be big on Halloween itself.
From daisies to poppies, there are lots of fall-colored flowers that will keep customers coming back in autumn. And for those who really get into Halloween, there are also dark flowers with equally dark names, such as Mourning Widow, Queen of the Night, Voodoo Lily, and Black Dragon, that can make up a Halloween section. Or you can give your existing stock a spooky flavor: BOO!-gonias, perhaps, or everybody’s favorite houseplant, the Monstera Mash. Halloween-themed flower arrangements in pumpkins, skulls, woven baskets, or other seasonally themed containers will show your customers that you’re in the spirit.
For a more out-of-the-box approach, play Frankenstein this Halloween and bring dead flowers back to life. Dried-out, faded flowers have a haunting beauty appropriate for the season. And dead plants, and their planters, can be painted in Halloween colors and enjoy a second life as Halloween décor.
Show customers that the garden center isn’t just for spring and summer. Make it the place where they can shop local for seasonal decorations—not just Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Halloween, too.
But not just any decorations will do. Keep it in line with your other offerings. Halloween flags, wooden signs, scarecrows, pumpkin-shaped pottery are all items customers would like to see in their own Halloween-themed garden. Wreaths, centerpieces, and other indoor decorations are things to consider, as well: the same types of merchandise Christmas shoppers like to see, but in Halloween form. And if you sell branded merchandise such as t-shirts and hats, why not create some Halloween-themed apparel?
In addition to decorating your store, get your website and social media accounts into the Halloween spirit. Update your website with Halloween-themed colors. Post spooky content on social media. Show off your seasonal products. Let your customers know you’re as ready for spooky season as they are!
The period between the end of summer and the beginning of the holiday shopping season doesn’t have to mean a slowdown in business for independent garden centers. Try out some of these ideas and let us know how they worked for you!
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