What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us

Retail gets into the Halloween spirit

Eve Troeh Oct 27, 2010

Retail gets into the Halloween spirit

Eve Troeh Oct 27, 2010


JEREMY HOBSON: Just a few shopping days left until Halloween. And I don’t have a costume yet. I could spend $365,000 on the original Darth Vader costume. Or maybe not.

But as Marketplace’s Eve Troeh reports, we’re all going to spending a bit more this Halloween.

Eve Troeh: Consumers may be spooked about the overall economy, but Halloween sales are expected to grow 4 percent this year. That’s got retailers thinking…

“It’s alive!”

More stores want in on the Halloween act. At Los Angeles boutique Matrushka, designer Laura Howe added homemade costumes to the custom party dresses in her display window.

Laura Howe: It’s really pulled people into the store.

The costumes sold out, so she and partner Gina Rogers are making more.

TROEH: Let’s see, six pink things sticking out of a black and white cow dress. So those would be …

HOWE: The utters.

Prices range from $30 to $60. Big retailers Target and Victoria’s Secret have designer costumes, too. Those go up to $200.

Costumes may seem frivolous when money is tight. But retail analyst Wendy Liebmann says Halloween is a recession-friendly holiday.

WENDY LEIBMAN: Cheap thrills, absolutely. And everybody happy for a moment, inexpensively.

Unlike those other holidays around the corner, Halloween doesn’t come with plane tickets, gifts, or fancy meals to worry about.

I’m Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.