Halloween bucks economic trend

October 9, 2008 2:56:04 PM PDT
The economic crisis is hitting businesses hard. And there is a lot of concern about how it will impact holiday sales.But one holiday that may not suffer is halloween.

The National Retail Federation believes Halloween costumes and candy will do just the trick this year and treat the industry to strong sales.

"They're predicting a tough season, so this may be the only bright spot this year," Crains reporter Elisabeth Butler Cordova said.

Cordova says Halloween may carry the load for the expected sluggish holiday season.

The federation says nearly 3 percent more shoppers plan to celebrate Halloween this year compared to last. And more than 64 percent of surveyed consumers said they will celebrate.

The results are similar to six years ago. Despite a struggling economy, consumers scrounged up the money to dress up and buy goodies.

Halloween shops are one of the few retailers that are scaring up business in this economy. Halloween Adventure in the East Village is getting busier by the day. Owner Tony Bianchi expects a record year.

"It's sort of like the liquor industry," he said. "When times are bad, people drink. When times are good, people drink. The same thing with halloween. If times are bad, you'll still have a party."

The average American will spend more than $60 on a costume this year despite the economy.

Bianchi says by far, The Joker costumes are his best seller, given the success of the Dark Knight in the box office. He says political costumes are popular too, with several variations of senators John McCain and Barack Obama masks flying off shelves.

He says people are constantly asking about Sarah Palin costumes, which haven't been released yet. But people are improvising in the massive store. He adds that traditional costumes consistently do well, year in and year out.

Customers say the good thing about Halloween is that a little bit goes a long way.

"When times are going down, people want to have fun," customer Eleanor Grude said. "So they spend money probably on things that make them happy."

Buyers say it's a good way to get your mind off the failing economy.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Carolina Leid

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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