As pressure from online shopping mounts, small-business owners continue to look for ways to drive customers into stores.
Sometimes retail landlords take the initiative and create events to benefit an entire shopping center. That’s what is happening today at the West Shore Plaza in Lemoyne.
Camp Hill-based Smith Land & Improvement Corp., owner of the 22-store retail center, is hosting its first-ever free community trick-or-treat evening, which it is calling Wicked Spooky Party, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Halloween event builds on the company’s community engagement events in support of small-business owners.
Smith Land CEO Richard Jordan II, who frequently shoots Facebook Live videos to promote the center and its retailers, was one of the leading voices in getting Gov. Tom Wolf last year to declare November as Small Business Month in Pennsylvania. Small Business Month goes beyond the national one-day awareness campaign known as Small Business Saturday.
“This is a giveback to the community,” Jordan said of the Halloween event. But on the back end, he’s also hoping that getting people to come out with kids and pets for trick-or-treat night will translate into new business for the center’s retailers.
Halloween is the second-biggest holiday for consumer spending, according to the National Retail Federation. Christmas is No. 1.
An estimated $8.4 billion was spent last year on Halloween and that number could grow to $9.1 billion this year.
If you go
The Wicked Spooky Party will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Children are invited to stroll store-to-store collecting candy, treats and small prizes. Families and pets are encouraged to dress up to participate in a Halloween costume contest, where prizes will be awarded.
Nancy Ryan of BOB 94.9 will be broadcasting live from the event and will also serve as featured costume contest judge.
The West Shore Plaza also will participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project to raise awareness of food allergies and promote inclusion for trick-or-treaters during the Halloween season. Non-food treats will be handed out at participating stores.
The West Shore Plaza is located at 1200 Market St. in Lemoyne