Archive for Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Local Halloween shop isn’t spooked by haunting economy

The economy's been haunting people all across the country. But local Halloween shops say they're not so spooked.

October 21, 2008


Vanessa Rials spent some time Tuesday trying to find the perfect Halloween costume and she said it didn't matter how much it cost.

"Once you get the outfit and then all the accessories, you're probably going to wind up spending about $50," said Rials, Kansas University sophomore from Lawrence. "At least."

While some shoppers may be keeping an eye out for bargains, Halloween shops aren't afraid to snatch up people's dollars. Anxious and uncertain shoppers are looking at Halloween as an opportunity to escape the uncertainties of daily life, retailers said.

"There might be some people a little bit timid, but it's a once a year thing," said Kyle Billings, owner of Fun & Games, 1601 W. 23rd St. "It's something they're doing for themselves, so they might just go all out just because they haven't been able to do that for anything else."

Americans are expected to spend more than ever on Halloween this year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. The average person plans to spend $66.54 on the holiday, up from $64.82 last year, the study found.

The NRF said Americans are expected to spend $2.1 billion on costumes, $1.77 billion on candy, $1.58 billion on decorations and $320 million on greeting cards this Halloween.

Billings and customers at his store said people may be spending more since Halloween falls on a Friday night this year.

"If it was during the week, I probably wouldn't do anything except hand out candy and maybe get some cat ears," said Jessica Garcia, Lawrence Halloween shopper. "Since it is on the weekend, I plan on going out and doing whatever."

No matter what the reason, retailers are happy the economy isn't expected to scare people away from enjoying and spending money on next week's spooky holiday.


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