Halloween Store Financial Report

Interim financial report for managers of Halloween Store:

Happy Halloween! I realize this is a bit of an early greeting, but I feel it is warranted, since the Halloween sales season officially kicked off in the middle of summer.

The company has scored a huge win this year with the bankruptcies of ToyTown and MegaSportsWarehouse. This has allowed occupation of prime store fronts in the empty shells of those former companies. In most instances, Halloween Stores will be in the same shopping complexes as Discount-Mart, drawing in the same mindless spenders to purchase similar cheaply made Chinese junk. Also, the less educated youngsters will likely pull in mom and dad to buy them colorful and shiny objects, thinking ToyTown simply changed their name.

Speaking of cheaply made crap, the company has met its goal of purchasing one-hundred percent of goods from low cost overseas manufacturers. The business has also found a legal loophole that allows the marking of all products with “Made in the USA” stickers, as long as the stickers themselves are manufactured in America.

Based on sales since the retail fronts opened August 1st, the company is on track for meeting five percent target growth for this year. This is somewhat of a disappointment, since the store opened twenty percent earlier in the season than last year. However, this information does not need to be forwarded to shareholders; I recommend the press release contain the usual “Hurray for the company, it’s meeting its profit targets” rather than create a self-fulfilling prophecy that risks lowering share prices and a loss of the segment of consumers who would refuse to shop at what they perceive as a failing retailer. Also, I recommend implementing a loss minimizing strategy this year, where the business will close up for the season the evening of Halloween to avoid the post-holiday returns.

Regarding product saturation trends: as many of you know, the envelope for what is creepy and scary is being pushed further out, to the extent the store’s most frightening rotting zombie and psycho clown costumes and yard decorations are evoking little more than laughter from first graders. Marketing has been working this issue diligently, however, field tests for envelope-pushing products have met with overwhelming negative reaction. It seems the general Halloween consumer is not ready for products depicting genuine human atrocities, such as the Hurricane Harvey Victim costume, or items based on recent popular horror movies, like the one where that woman is being physically and mentally abused for two hours for no apparent reason.

On a positive final note, store openings in early August have resulted in consumers placing Halloween décor in their yards well before the traditional “week before Halloween.” This is a double win for the business: First, the longer Joe Consumer wants to keep crappy Halloween décor in his yard rather than in storage, the higher the price stores can charge for the junk. Second, the company can begin marketing merchandise and opening stores even earlier next year, perhaps as early as July 5th. With the support of staff and employees, the business projects that within five years, it will meet the goal of turning what used to be a one week pseudo-holiday buying spree into the equivalent of a creepy Christmas retail juggernaut.

Matt Brauer
President of Surrogate Accounting Firm