Strong Halloween sales expected despite slow economy

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Halloween retailers across Region 8 said the sluggish economy isn't hurting sales. Spirit Halloween in Jonesboro said business has been steady since opening its doors.

"Good enough, you know, it seems to be, we'll see at the end of the season but it takes a certain amount of people in the community before we can come to town and there's just the right amount," said Dave Mendelsohn.

Mendelsohn is Consignment Operator of Spirit Halloween in Jonesboro, North Little Rock and Fayetteville. He said the store in Jonesboro has performed well.

"Arkansas is my region and I've just been looking for markets that are ready for Halloween and it just seemed like one. Not a lot of options here," said Mendelsohn.

While the holiday shopping season hasn't yet vanished, Mendelsohn said he expects strong costume sales.

"We sell them all throughout but traditionally the last few weeks is when most people wait to come get their costume and it turns into a frenzy," said Mendelsohn.

According to IBIS World, adult costume sales have risen 50% over the last four years. Total sales are expected to exceed $6-billion in 2009.

Mendelsohn said Spirit Halloween has benefitted from strong sales. The company owns 750 stores across the United States.

"Everything Halloween. We're the largest Halloween retailer in the world that's just strictly Halloween. Lots of costumes, lots of decor, party goods and makeup," said Mendelsohn. "Décor mostly, obviously. Its early season stuff is what always sells first so a lot of decor, that's why we're kind of empty and reconfiguring now, going to the costume phase."

Mendelsohn said Halloween shoppers buck tough economic times because they want to get away from stressors. Halloween sales typically do well in a slow economy.

"A total, maybe 38 to 40 people. We have an active staff of about 23-25, and this time of the year, we can't work them hard enough," said Mendelsohn.

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