GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As Halloween has grown through the years to become an important retail season, the offerings have also expanded to include costumes and accessories for pets. This growing category means that not only do kids have more choices, but so does the family dog, according to Liwanag Ojala, vice president of e-commerce for Meijer.
"Halloween may be just one day a year, but everyone spends October thinking about the perfect costume, treats and decor for the whole family, so why shouldn't we include our dogs," Ojala said. "Whether customers are looking for costumes in extended sizes like plus or tall, or trying to turn their pet into T-Rex or Katy Perry, Meijer is making it easy to step up their Halloween game and stay on budget."
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer has aggressively expanded its Halloween selection, increasing costume offerings for pets, adults and kids. Thanks to a wide in-store selection and 4,000 new costumes and accessories added to its online selection at Meijer.com, Meijer now has more than 500 decor items and more than 10,000 costumes and accessories –makeup, nail polish, false lashes, wigs, masks – to help complete any look.
While 150 million Americans are expected to celebrate the holiday this year, consumers are expected to collectively spend more than $330 million on pet costumes this Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation. Not only are more people purchasing Halloween costumes for their dogs but experts say they're spending much more per costume, with a rise of 40 percent in overall spending since 2010.
As a destination for pet owners seeking the perfect costume for their furry companion, Meijer offers the widest variety – more than 80 pet costumes – available at Meijer.com. By shopping the more than 10,000 Halloween items on Meijer.com, consumers can take advantage of free standard shipping on purchases of $59 or more through Oct. 21 and many other savings opportunities in-store through the mPerks digital coupons program.
In addition to being a resource for finding a T-Rex costume for Fido, Meijer is partnering with Purina to celebrate creative pet lovers by giving away $10,500 in Meijer gift cards through the Meijer 2013 Halloween Pet Costume Sweepstakes. Customers have a chance to win one of more than 100 Meijer gift cards by submitting a photo of their pet in a Halloween costume. The first 100 customers to submit their photo will win a $100 Meijer gift card and a grand prize winner, selected by Meijer, will win a $500 gift card. The contest runs through Oct. 31, 2013. To enter, go to http://www.meijer.com/content/content.jsp?pageName=purina and follow the online instructions.
Other key trends during this Halloween season include:
- All pumpkins purchased at Meijer are locally grown: The retailer purchases pumpkins – large Jack-O-Lanterns and small pie pumpkins – from growers in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.
- Popular characters make scream-worthy costume choices: While Captain Jack Sparrow, Iron Man and Princess Leia still rate as top costume trends, zombies, vampires and other scary characters are inspiring more ghoulish Halloween costume choices.
- More friends and families are going as a group: Whether Steampunks, a Box of Crayons or a Barrel of Monkeys, friends and families are always the center of attention attending Halloween parties in group-themed costumes.
- Classic candies still rule but food allergies drive new niche: Bite-sized chocolate and hard candies are expected to be top sellers, but candy manufacturers are also responding to growing demand for nut-free goodies with a wider variety of candies safe for children with food allergies.
- Investment costumes have life for years to come: Meijer has found that many shoppers want high-quality "investment" costumes they can reuse for future Halloween celebrations or themed events and conferences. Meijer has the largest assortment of replica movie and theatre costumes online with enough capes, armor, jackets, dresses and robes to keep customers in-character for years to come.
The only thing to be afraid of is waiting too long to start shopping. While 70 percent of its Halloween business happens the final week of October, Ojala says that many miss out not only on sales, but also on their favorite costume due to the last-minute rush of shoppers.
About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 203 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As a pioneer of the "one-stop shopping" concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings. Additional information on Meijer and the ability to shop for more can be found at www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.
Joe Hirschmugl, 616-791-3943