Walmart begins putting out Halloween merchandise in stores in late September, with full stock by October 1st for the 2023 Halloween season. As an ecommerce expert, I analyzed Walmart’s Halloween merchandising strategy to provide sellers insights on managing inventory and profitability this season. This comprehensive guide covers everything from projected spending forecasts to clearance sale timing, with data-backed tips for Halloween retailers.
Halloween has exploded in popularity, with spending setting new records annually. The National Retail Federation predicts Halloween spending will reach $11.3-$11.7 billion in 2023, up from $10.6 billion in 2022. Decorations, candy, costumes, and parties are driving this growth. Walmart capitalizes on this demand with aisles of spooky and fun Halloween goods.
Here is an in-depth look at what you can expect this Halloween season at Walmart:
When Does Walmart Begin Selling Halloween Merchandise?
Walmart stocks shelves with Halloween costumes, decor, candy, and party supplies starting in late September. Displays begin going up and limited inventories come in.
However, October 1st is typically when Walmart has fully rolled out Halloween merchandising with all assortments in stock for the season.
This follows the timeline of other major Halloween retailers like Spirit Halloween, Party City, and Target. To capture eager early Halloween shoppers, merchandising moves ahead of October.
Does Walmart Sell Halloween Products Year-Round?
Walmart only sells Halloween items in stores during the seasonal timeframe from late September through October. Once November hits, any remaining seasonal inventory moves to clearance.
However, Walmart does offer Halloween products year-round through its website, Walmart.com. This includes costumes, decorations, party supplies, makeup, baking pans, and more.
Shoppers can browse and purchase Halloween goods online anytime, even when stores have transitioned to Christmas and winter merchandise. Having year-round access makes planning for next Halloween easier.
What Are Walmart’s Store Hours on Halloween?
On October 31st, Walmart locations typically operate regular hours for shoppers picking up last-minute Halloween necessities like candy or costume accessories.
Most 24-hour Supercenters remain open all day and night on Halloween. Stores with more limited hours usually run from 6 AM to 11 PM for the holiday.
Calling your local store ahead of time is the best way to confirm hours for Halloween night. Purchasing candy, beverages, ice, makeup, or props early in the day avoids any timing issues.
Projected Halloween Spending at Walmart for 2023
Halloween spending has increased substantially over the past several years, even with pandemic interruptions. Here is a look at overall Halloween sales trends and projections for Walmart in 2023:
|Year||Total Halloween Spending||Projected YoY Growth||Walmart Estimated Sales|
|2021||$10.14 billion||+10%||$2 billion|
|2022||$10.6 billion||+5%||$2.1 billion|
|2023||$11.3-$11.7 billion||+7-10%||$2.3-$2.4 billion|
*Data source: National Retail Federation, eMarketer
Walmart represents approximately 20% of the Halloween retail market based on its variety, popularity, and pricing. For 2023, Walmart could see up to $2.4 billion in Halloween merchandise sales if spending meets the high end of estimates.
What Does Walmart Sell for Halloween? Complete Category Breakdown
Walmart dedicates entire sections of stores to Halloween during the season. The assortment covers everything needed for Halloween costumes, decorating, baking, and parties.
Here is a breakdown of the major Halloween merchandise categories carried by Walmart:
One of the most popular Halloween purchases, Walmart stocks over 5,000 costumes for babies, kids, teens, and adults. Top costume themes include:
- Licensed character costumes based on superheroes, TV shows, movies, video games
- Vampires, zombies, skeletons, ghosts, witches, grim reaper
- Animal costumes like cats, dogs, lions, pandas, sharks
- Occupation uniforms – doctor, police officer, firefighter, nurse
- 1980s costumes – aerobics, hip hop, hair metal bands
- Inflatable costumes like dinosaurs, aliens, pizza slice
Walmart also sells Halloween costume accessories like wigs, masks, makeup, hats, weapons. Shoppers can create DIY costumes with fabric, face paint, and other accessories.
From creepy to cute, Walmart’s Halloween decor selection helps set the scene. Top-selling decor includes:
- Inflatables like huge dragons, pirates, jack-o’-lanterns, ghosts
- Realistic animatronics of witches, zombies, clowns, vampires
- Outdoor decorations – tombstones, standing props, projectors, fog machines
- Indoor decor – signs, wreaths, pillows, candles, tabletop items
- Pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, straw bales – for seasonal ambiance
- Spooky lights – string lights, projection lights, strobe lights, lanterns
- Fog juice, cobwebs, scene setters to create haunted houses
Decor starts at just a few dollars for mini props up to $200+ for large animatronics.
Candy is a huge Halloween category, with seasonal packaging and bulk options. Walmart devotes entire aisles to candy selections including:
- Major brands like Hershey, Mars, Nestle – Snickers, Reeses, M&Ms
- Halloween flavors – candy corn, gummy bats, chocolate eyeballs
- Seasonal shapes and designs on classic candies
- Party sized bags and variety packs
- Premium chocolates and candy in gift packs
Walmart also offers Halloween baking ingredients like sprinkles, food coloring, icing, and cocoa powder for cookies and cakes.
Halloween Party Supplies
Hosting a Halloween bash or scare-a-thon? Walmart provides affordable tableware, decorations, and favors.
- Plates, cups, napkins, tablecloths with Halloween motifs
- Banners, balloons, streamers, gift wrap, goody bags
- Signs, garlands, centerpieces, floral arrangements
- Invites, cards, thank you notes, gift tags
- Scene setters and wall decorations
- Foggers, ice, beverages, plasticware
This makes party planning easy and budget-friendly.
Toys, Books, Movies
Get in the Halloween spirit with:
- Kids Halloween books featuring spooky stories, jokes, coloring, and more
- Halloween movies from family-friendly to thrilling horror
- Video games with Halloween themes and characters
- Halloween toys – plush figures, playsets, novelty toys like slime
- Modelling clay, arts and crafts, project kits
Complete your Halloween look with makeup and beauty items.
- Halloween cosmetics – colored eyeliners, eye shadows, lipstick
- Face paint, fake blood, vampire teeth, costume lenses
- Face gems, glitter, hair color sprays and chalk
- Nail polish, press-on nails, nail art
- Tattoo sleeves, wigs, lashes, costume adhesive
Pet Costumes & Accessories
Even furry friends can get in on the Halloween fun with pet-friendly finds.
- Pet costumes in all sizes – pumpkins, sharks, unicorns, dinosaurs
- Accessories like witch hats, capes, devil horns for pets
- Halloween pet toys, collars, leashes, and treats
- Pet bedding and apparel with Halloween motifs
Deck out your home with scary or fall-themed home goods.
- Outdoor furniture & accents – doormats, flags, wind chimes, pillows
- Tableware – plates, mugs, servers with Halloween motifs
- Blankets, pillows & throws with pumpkins, bats, black cats
- Towels, shower curtains, rugs with Halloween designs
- Statues, vases, tabletop pieces like skulls or mausoleums
- String lights, lamp shades, candles for seasonal ambiance
This overview covers the extensive variety of Halloween products stocked annually at Walmart to excite and delight customers. Analyzing historical sales data is key for retailers making inventory decisions by category.
When Should You Shop Walmart for the Best Selection and Deals?
The prime times to shop Walmart’s Halloween selection are:
September or Early October – Shop early for the best selection before popular costumes, animatronics, candy, and decorations sell out. Retailers receive incrementally larger shipments leading up to October. Consider buying any must-have items in September/early October since inventory can become sparse closer to Halloween.
1-2 Weeks Before Halloween – Seek out discounts on select Halloween merchandise about 10 days prior. Look for candy, packaged costumes, and smaller decor on sale as Walmart makes room for Christmas inventory.
Day After Halloween Sales – For the biggest savings, shop November 1st and throughout the month. Walmart deeply discounts leftover Halloween merchandise by 50-75% off or more. Snag costumes, decorations, candy, and baking/party supplies to use for next year. This is the optimal time if you have flexibility and storage space.
Watch for Online Sales – Walmart‘s website offers deals and “rollback” sales on Halloween gear as the season progresses. Signing up for website alerts provides notice of online-only savings.
Timing your Walmart Halloween shopping strategically can maximize selection and savings on all your Halloween needs and wants.
Common Questions About Walmart‘s Halloween Merchandise
Why Was Halloween Inventory Low the Past Few Years?
The COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted global supply chains and manufacturing in 2020-2021. This led to lower inventory across many categories, including Halloween merchandise.
For 2023, most experts project supply and distribution networks will operate closer to normal capacity leading up to Halloween. Shelves should be fully stocked at Walmart and other retailers.
How Does Walmart’s Selection and Prices Compare?
Here’s how Walmart stacks up to other major Halloween shopping destinations:
General Merchandise Retailers (Target, Amazon, Kohls) – Walmart has the largest selection of Halloween products amongst general merchandisers and competitive everyday low prices.
Party Stores (Party City, Spirit Halloween) – These specialty retailers will have a wider variety but often higher pricing, especially ontrend costumes and animatronics.
Grocery (Kroger, Safeway) – Far more limited seasonal selection focused on smaller decor items and party goods.
Pharmacies (CVS, Rite Aid) – Very narrow Halloween offerings mostly focused on candy, gift bags, and smaller accessories.
Home Improvement (Home Depot, Lowe‘s) – Primarily outdoor decorations like inflatables and tombstones, but lacking indoor, costumes, etc.
Overall, Walmart’s Halloween assortment provides shoppers outstanding variety and value across all seasonal categories. No other single retailer can match Walmart in Halloween one-stop shopping convenience and pricing.
When Does Walmart Begin Selling Christmas Holiday Items?
Walmart usually begins setting out Christmas decor and merchandise while still running Halloween promotions and sales. Many Christmas products will arrive in stores in October, with more rolling out around November 1st once Halloween clears out.
Shoppers can expect to see holiday home decor, trees, lights, gifts, candy, and more vying for shelf space as Halloween inventory dwindles in late October. Walmart and other retailers aim to capitalize on early Christmas shopping demand.
So if Halloween isn’t your thing, Walmart will begin stocking Christmas goods long before December with trees, gifts, candy, and more.
Walmart provides the perfect Halloween shopping headquarters based on its unmatched breadth and depth of spooky and spirited merchandise. Take advantage of the full selection by shopping early fall for the costumes, home decor, party supplies, candy, and accessories to make your Halloween complete.
Look for the best deals in the days leading up to Halloween and especially on November 1st clearance sales to save big. With projections for high consumer participation, plan your Halloween fun and frights around Walmart’s enormous array of items for ghosts and ghouls of all ages.