Halloween season doesn't frighten retailers

Thursday, October 23rd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Christmas is the number 1 retail-spending holiday in America. You may be a little spooked to discover what is number 2.

News on 6 consumer reporter Rick Wells tell us we spend frightening amounts of money on Halloween.

Karrie Shust: "We set it out the first day of fall." If there were a competition for Halloween decorations, the families in one Tulsa neighborhood should be in it. Shust: "They have a spider and a pumpkin they have vampire and Frankenstein and the witch we have the whole family.”

Karrie Shust says this has been going on for several years and it's getting better and better. She says the more they've decorated the more kids have trick or treated. Shust: "The parents are relieved enough to let their kids come to the door and knock."

She says the best time to shop for stuff to add for next year is at the end of the season sales, and sales are great at Ehrles Party Supply. Floyd Hannah: "It's the largest season of the year for party supply stores."

Not only that Halloween is the second largest retail holiday, second only to Christmas. Nationwide, it's a $7-billion holiday, $2-billion in candy sales alone. It hasn't always been.

Floyd Hannah says 20 years ago sales were pretty limited. "Back then you'd sell witch outfits and Count Dracula and maybe a clown and some hats."

Movie spin-offs and toy makers have created many more costume opportunities.

Zack Shust didn't tell us what he will be for Halloween. He did show us the pumpkin he decorated and gave us a tour of his yard. On Halloween night if you know where to enter.

Beware of the really scary stuff and follow the signs, you'll eventually reach the candy distribution center. "It's just fun and we have a good time, come and trick or treat."

Whether spooked by the economy or frightened by the situation in Iraq the National Retail Federation says Halloween consumers will spend a little less this year than last.

Coincidentally, the folks at Ehrles Party Supply tell us sales seem to be better this year than either of the last two.