Philly-area businesses embrace Halloween parades and promotions to boost marketing and sales

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When it comes to sales, the holiday season is usually the most important time of year for many small businesses. But for many in the Philadelphia area, Halloween can also be a money-making opportunity. So, with October 31 just days away, what are some small businesses doing to make this year as scary – and profitable – as ever?

Even though it’s the end of the season for Bucks Bubbles, a Doylestown-based event company that organizes foam and bubble parties (sounds like fun), owner Danny Remishevsky says it’s “always important to keep the brand name out there,” especially since this was his first season in business.

“One of the ways we like to get into the Halloween spirit is by attending local parades,” he says. “Last Sunday we were at the Upper Perkiomen Halloween Parade with our foam and glow in the dark bubbles. It was really awesome to see all the faces of the kids as we drove by.

At Piggyback Treats, a seller of healthy and sustainable pet food products, owner Jennifer Kirby says she will be attending this year’s Hound-O-Ween and Fall Fest event, scheduled for Saturday at Northern Liberties.

“The event is being held to raise funds for Street Tails Animal Rescue,” she said. “It’s still one of our favorites. We give away prizes to contest winners, sell our treats to those who visit the event and, of course, we bring one of our own dogs, dressed in our favorite tiger costume.

Although Kirby doesn’t expect the event to have a significant impact on sales, she thinks it’s important to attend to increase awareness for her business. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday or not,” she said. “If you can stand out, you’ll see an increase in sales, and during peak shopping season, you’ll be more easily seen than your competitors.”

There will be no pets at City Winery, a downtown restaurant and bar and event space. But there will be plenty of Halloween activities to entice customers, like themed drag shows, including a Hocus Pocus party and a theremin orchestra covering spooky David Lynch songs at Black Sabbath on Halloween night. (A theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the performer, so that’s pretty scary on its own, right?)

“Everyone loves a good theme,” said marketing manager Emma DeGennaro. “Just throwing a Halloween party is fun, and tapping into the cult B-movie horror audience has always been popular.”

DeGennaro, who noted that Halloween is an opportune time for his customers to take advantage of the winemaking harvest season, is also running a special wine promotion.

If you really want to put on your Michael Myers, you can throw some weapons at KickAxe Throwing in Old Town. Hanna Allison, brand manager at KickAxe’s parent company, Ginger Cos., says her Philadelphia store does “all the decorating” and is running a special promotion for people in Halloween costumes who get a beer or a drink. free soda water with their ax throwing.

KickAxe offers entertainment for all ages, including board games and food. It’s a particularly fun place for Halloween, Allison noted, because “it’s the essence of our brand. Halloween season is when people start looking for fun weekend activities and unique places with cabin vibes for happy hour.

Even non-profit organizations can join in the Halloween fun. South Street’s Retrospect Vintage, which sells 1950s-era clothing, accessories, shoes, furniture and homewares, counts Halloween as its busiest time. He finds spooky objects all year round to prepare only for this month.

“First we pull all our stock out of our basement and go wild with the decorating,” said Jenn Friberg, general manager of the store. “Then we create a Halloween-themed window – this year it was Rocky Horror Picture Show, and it is a success. We also create costumes for clients who may have trouble coming up with ideas on their own. »

Friberg’s store also offers unusual decoration options.

“We can help you with things that create spooky decor, like decorations with red and black velvet fabric, dark glass cocktail glasses, or vintage clothing that’s used, damaged, or stained to get fake blood all over the place” , she said.

Holidays like Halloween are not only a sales generator, but also a great way to market to new customers and increase your brand awareness. In the end, it all comes down to how much effort you want to put in and how much fun you want to have.

“People are always looking for something a little different or new to do, especially during the holidays,” Allison said, “so sometimes it’s as simple as a few decorations and some spooky music in the background that will capture the mood. someone’s attention and will bring it to your business.

Gene Marks is a Chartered Accountant and owner of Marks Group, a technology and financial management consultancy firm in Bala Cynwyd.

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