Spike in Halloween-related sales as Singaporeans get ready for the spooky season
Do not be surprised if you see throngs of “nuns” or “Barbies” and “Kens” roaming the streets this weekend. They are likely to be making a trip to a “haunted house” or heading for a costume party.
Event organisers and costume retailers in Singapore said there has been a spike in Halloween-related ticket and product sales as interest in the spooky season grows.
Ms Savita Kashyap, executive director of travel company Journeys, said Halloween is increasingly being celebrated by younger Singaporeans, who are more exposed to Westernised media from a young age.
Journeys, which specialises in heritage tours, is behind the Halloween event at Haw Par Villa – named Haw-Ror Villa 2 – that began on Friday and ends on Sunday. Pre-event ticket sales are 130 per cent higher than for the 2022 edition.
Meanwhile, Universal Studios Singapore’s annual Halloween Horror Nights event “has returned to its full, pre-pandemic glory” with more visits and strong merchandise sales, said Resorts World Sentosa’s senior vice-president and chief experience officer Chang Chee Pey.
He did not give specific numbers, but attributed the increase to the post-pandemic rise in cross-border travel, and the introduction of two horror-house attractions inspired by Canadian singer The Weeknd and Netflix series All Of Us Are Dead.
In the heartland, Halloween events are drawing thousands of residents keen to carve pumpkins and paint their faces.
Anchorpoint mall’s Pumpkin Treat event drew more than 2,000 visitors during its opening weekend of Oct 21 and 22.
People came from all over the island, some dressed in costumes, including those of superhero The Flash and famed wizard Harry Potter, said Anchorpoint’s leasing manager Alex Wong.
“Halloween culture in Singapore definitely seems to be growing year on year, with more Singaporeans being open to dressing up and having fun during the spooky season,” she said.
The mall in Queenstown is expecting more people to turn up dressed as superheroes on Saturday and Sunday, the weekend just before Halloween.
Housing estates such as Nee Soon and Joo Chiat will also be joining the weekend celebrations.
About 1,350 tickets have been sold for the Opera Estate Halloween event co-organised by residents and Residents’ Networks from the estate, more than double the 600 tickets sold in 2022.
Co-organising chairman Isaac Lum said the event has “grown from a small-scale gathering of like-minded enthusiasts to a large-scale event”. He expects more than 3,000 people to show up on Saturday evening, factoring in attendees for the non-ticketed trick-or-treat walk.
Meanwhile, organisers of the Terror-ific Halloween Night community event at Yishun Town Square are expecting 1,500 residents to turn up on Saturday.
Halloween is observed on Oct 31, the eve of All Saints’ Day, when Roman Catholics and other Christians honour saints of the Church.
Over the years, Halloween has become an occasion for dressing up, trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins.
Stores selling costumes and props are also preparing for a boom in business this weekend. They expect sales numbers in October to be higher than in the same period in 2022.
Ms Kevy Veni, business development manager at costume retail store Costumes ‘N’ Parties, told The Straits Times that sales in October have increased by 15 per cent compared with the same month in 2022.
She said the idea of dressing up is picking up rapidly among people from all walks of life.
“People love having fun in a way that is different from their normal lifestyle,” she added.
Popular costume choices include those for TV characters Wednesday Addams and Cousin Itt from Netflix series Wednesday, along with fighter pilot Maverick from Top Gun, and the nun Valak of The Conjuring, said Ms Veni.
Ms Hasyna Neo, head of the rental department at CCM Costume Rental, attributes the store’s 10 per cent growth in sales to the increasing number of events, owing to the occasion’s traction.
“We’ve seen communities and residents’ committees... using Halloween as an opportunity for neighbours to mingle,” she said.
“It’s become another reason to gather with friends and family in Singapore.”
A spokesperson for Daiso Singapore said the Halloween product listings at its stores have increased by 10 per cent in 2023, with sales figures increasing by the same amount.
Some of Daiso’s new products include costumes for children, web baskets and Halloween balloons.
FairPrice supermarkets are also stocking pumpkin-themed bags and cosmetics.
“This year, due to customer demand for more Halloween-related items, we increased our selection of products by 15 per cent to 20 per cent,” said a spokesperson for FairPrice Group.
“The products have been well received by our customers and we anticipate that interest will peak over the weekend.”