Trick or Treat on the Cheap to affect Local Traders

7th October 2009

By Amy Sutherland

Pumpkin taken from
Pumpkin taken from

The pumpkins and witches are already gracing shop windows, but will they be left on the shelf this year as the recession continues to restrict the budgets of families throughout the UK?

An assistant in one Edinburgh costume shop, who did not want to be named, reported that they had a similar stock to last year although there had been limited interest so far.  Given that there is still another three weeks until Halloween she remained ‘optimistic’ for this month’s trade.

Kay McLennan, a mother of two from Uphall, has already bought ‘bits and pieces’ from local bargain shops and believes her spending on Halloween will be on par with what she spent last year.  She spoke of her son having a homemade costume this year, but that was through his own choice.  McLennan will continue to provide goody bags for her neighbours’ children, and although she will not be ‘spending a fortune’, she will be ‘spending enough for the kids to have fun’.

These bargain stores, such as Poundland, are promoting their budget Halloween packages including Party for £10 or Dress up for £5.  There are fears these bargain prices offered by large chains will be detrimental to local costume hire shops although no spokesperson was available for comment.

Perhaps schemes encouraging people to shop locally – the Tollcross Traders Association loyalty card for instance which rewards customers for shopping and eating in the area – will help small businesses in their battle with bigger stores in the run up to Halloween.