Can ‘boo-bags’ save Halloween?
The retail world is anticipating a difficult Halloween season with fears of the novel coronavirus and mandates to social distance limiting both trick-or-treating for kids and parties for adults. Retailers, grocers and brands have, however, begun exploring creative strategies that could save the holiday.
Boo bags are a fairly new tradition that had been catching on before the novel coronavirus pandemic and some retailers and brands now see them as a source of hope for this year’s Halloween. A boo bag is a bag filled with candy and other Halloween-related items that one family leaves on the doorstep of another, accompanied by a note indicating that the recipient has been “booed” and must pass it along by “booing” other houses. Since there is no face-to-face contact required between boo-er and boo-ee when dropping off or picking up a boo bag, it limits the possibility of the transmission of the novel coronavirus.
Regional Midwest grocer Meijer has made the boo bag a central part of its Halloween strategy. The retailer has put up a “You’ve Been Booed” website featuring creative ideas for making boo bags and item lists shoppable via the store’s home delivery and curbside pickup services. Meijer has also posted two printable signs, one giving the instructions for “booing” to accompany the dropped-off boo bag and one to hang in the window indicating that a house has already been “booed” and does not need another bag.
CVS has also gotten involved in the concept, partnering with Hershey’s to deliver one million boo bags available for purchase through the drugstore chain’s locations and free with a pharmacy purchase, according to CNN. Target has engaged in a similar effort, giving away boo bag starter kits with its curbside pickup orders.
Betting on boo bags isn’t the only way retailers intend to help customers celebrate Halloween.
Lowe’s, for instance, is launching a curbside trick-or-treating event at all of its locations nationwide. Families can reserve a spot online, then drive by and pick up a free pumpkin and candy on one of the last two Thursdays in October.
- Meijer Expects “You’ve Been Booed” Trend to Peak as Families Seek Socially-Distant Ways to Embrace Halloween – Meijer/PR Newswire
- create a family fun you’ve been booed bag – Meijer
- CVS and other stores want to help you safely trick-or-treat – CNN
- Trick-or-Treating Isn’t Cancelled This Year — Thanks to Lowe’s Curbside Events Nationwide – Lowe’s/PRNewswire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think promoting boo bags, holding curbside trick-or-treating events and employing other creative Halloween-themed strategies will enable retailers to have a successful Halloween? What would you suggest for retailers that usually depend on business pegged to trick-or-treating to salvage the holiday?