E.V. retailers celebrate weekend Halloween - East Valley Tribune: Business

E.V. retailers celebrate weekend Halloween

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Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:00 pm

You’re likely to see a few Marios, Luigis and vampires Halloween night.

And don’t be surprised if you receive more than a few Halloween party invitations.

Retailers are celebrating Halloween falling on a weekend for a second year in a row as Sunday’s pending spooky night approaches.

“We think a lot of people will have parties this weekend,” said JoEllen Lynn, public affairs director for Fry’s Food Stores in the Valley. “There’s everything from the backyard party to preparing for trick-or-treaters.”

Julie Staszkow, owner of a Once Upon a Child store in Gilbert, said people were asking before Labor Day when costumes would be out. The store sells gently used items for children, from infants to youths.

“I put my costumes out Labor Day and I get a huge response consistently, even after Halloween,” she said. “We’ve been on the increase each year, steadily.”

This week, the store put all costumes on sale for half-price, and Staszkow said she’s seen a lot of foot traffic.

Spirit, the Halloween store that pops up this time of year in vacant storefronts, added six locations in the state, bringing the total to 32 in the Valley, Tucson, Prescott and Flagstaff, according to district manager Diane Decocq.

Decocq said Nintendo and “Toy Story” characters are popular with children this year. Adults are vying for “couples” costumes, such as his-and-hers pirate outfits or costumes from the ’80s, she said.

The “Twilight” movies and vampire-related television series are making vampires a popular choice, Decocq said.

Preparing to drop off merchandise at one of her stores Tuesday, she said Halloween is more of a last-minute occasion, with a lot of people coming in to get costumes just a week to 10 days before the big event.

But the “fanatics” came in weeks ago to get the gravestones, skeletons and other items to decorate.

And don’t forget the candy, Fry’s Lynn said.

“Candy is very popular. Once the weather changes, people are stocking up more,” she said. “I think with Halloween being on a weekend, people will celebrate more.”

They’re also stocking up on baked goods for parties and kids’ classrooms, she said, noting that pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, customized cupcakes and candy apples are big sellers.

A consumer survey showed adults planned to spend more on costumes, candy, decorations and greeting cards this year for Halloween compared with last year.

Nearly all of the adults who planned to celebrate Halloween said they would buy more candy this year, according to a BIG Research Consumer and Actions Survey conducted in September.

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