Halloween sales were expected to reach record highs in 2012, but that was before Hurricane Sandy disrupted the holiday for millions. The National Confectioners Association predicted $2.4 billion in seasonal sales prior to the storm.
The Associated Press reports batteries, bottled water and other emergency supplies sold quickly at stores in Hurricane Sandy’s path. Candy, however, may not have been as much of a priority.
While many of those purchases have already been made, Sandy arrived during a time when many customers make last-minute shopping trips to drugstores for Halloween supplies. Hurricane preparations could have boosted revenue for the chains, but a scaled-down Halloween would hurt sales, Raymond James analyst John Ransom said in a note to clients.
Many towns in Connecticut have asked its residents to postpone Halloween for a week as widespread outages remain throughout the state. Pushing the holiday back could weaken sales even more if fewer people celebrate.
Prior to Hurricane Sandy’s arrival, a survey from the National Retail Federation predicted that 170 million people will spend a total of $8 billion. Both are highs in the ten-year history of the survey.