Local News

Halloween A Treat For Retailers

Posted October 14, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Costumes and party favors have helped make Halloween a billion dollar business. For retailers, Halloween has become Christmas in October, with or without the candy.

Last year, retailers spent $157 million on Halloween advertising. Frank McNeil says his costume shop relies on Halloween to survive.

Purchases at McNeil's store pick up by almost fifty percent around Halloween. McNeil says this year is no exception.

"The pirate costume's always popular around Halloween time. And of course you've got your Batman that's out. And you've got all your medieval stuff that's out," McNeil says.

McNeil says the Clintons are still a popular pair. "His popularity is still high so his mask and his wife's mask are one of the highest goers." McNeil says presidents are popular every year.

Americans will spend one billion dollars on Halloween decorations, parties, costumes and candy this year. The spending is second only to the Christmas season.

Local discount stores are packed. "This counter is very popular," Sandra Williams, a discount store employee, says. "I've got a barbecue, Superman, witch costumes selling real well. The candy is gone as soon as it hits the shelf by sweet-lovers like me," Williams says.

And of course, there's the pumpkin.

Sonya Flanigan says her daughter is ready to pick the plumpest of the patch. "There's no way that she'd go into the store and look around without getting the pumpkins first."