Halloween Season Scary For Oklahoma Retailers

Saturday, October 10th 2009, 6:42 pm
By: News On 6

By Jon Jordan, News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The scary economy is haunting Halloween retailers with poor sales, but one store believes it has conjured up a magic potion.

According to the National Retail Federation, over two-thirds of Americans plan to spend less on Halloween this year, which is another indication that while the economy is showing signs of recovery, it still have a long way to go.

Rick Debrosky and his girlfriend are getting a jump start on Halloween. However, Debrosky said while he is looking for a good costume, he's also looking for good prices.

"Halloween is fun and all but I don't want to spend a lot, especially with this bad economy," Debrosky said.

The bad economy appears to be scaring a lot of consumers away from Halloween stores. At Spirit Halloween on 12th and Alameda in Norman sales are down.

"Our projections are about 7 percent lower than we thought they would be," said Nicole Colson, Spirit Halloween store manager.

Decreased sales are a likely problem for Halloween retailers around the country where this year its predicted shoppers will be looking to spend $60 dollars less on Halloween.

A likely reason Spirit Halloween, the largest seasonal Halloween retailer in America, is pushing to have a Halloweekend, a celebration of Halloween on the last Saturday in October every year.

Spirit Halloween released a statement regarding their recipe for more holiday sales: "Halloween-related retail sales are as much as 30 percent higher when Halloween falls on the weekend versus a weekday. Halloweekend could mark a turning point in global economic recovery."

But until Halloweekend becomes a reality, stores are just trying to stay optimistic.

"We're hoping to make up for it in the last two weeks in October. We have the biggest selection of anyone in town," Colson said.

Supporters of a set annual Halloweekend have been marching on Capitol Hill, and there has also been growing support for the idea on Facebook.