It’s almost Halloween, which means everyone you know is probably posting adorable photos from the pumpkin patch. But folks looking for pumpkins to carve before the trick-or-treaters arrive may not be able to find the orange gourds at Home Depot locations in hurricane-ravaged Texas and Florida this season, as the retailer says it’s cutting back on pumpkin sales to let some stores focus on storm recovery.
The company — which usually sells about 1.5 million pumpkins per season — says it won’t be stocking as many of the seasonal gourds in areas that were hit by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
“Although we are selling pumpkins in Florida and Texas, we are confirming that there are select stores that won’t be carrying pumpkins this year,” a Home Depot spokesman explained to CNBC. “This will allow those stores to focus on storm recovery and products to help homeowners with rebuilding.”
It makes sense: If you’ve lost your home or it’s been severely damaged, decorating for Halloween may not be at the top of your list of things to do.
“When you have a natural disaster, it changes everybody’s priorities,” a retail analyst with America’s Research Group in Orlando explained to CNBC.
However some may seek to escape their daily worries with a bit of festive fun: Customers stymied by their search for pumpkins at Home Depot can try Lowe’s, which confirmed to CNBC that it’s carrying pumpkins at all stores in Texas and Florida to make sure impacted families could still have the chance to celebrate Halloween and “experience a sense of normalcy.”
Due to what appears to be lower demand in some areas hit by storms, others could possibly find cheaper pumpkins if they do hit the patch, as growers in the Southeast have plenty to sell: One Virginia grower who usually sells to Home Depot and other big names told CNBC that he cut prices a bit to get rid of unsold inventory, though he did end up finding buyers elsewhere in the Southeast as well.