Tricks and treats at temporary costume shops

SANDUSKY Goblins, spooks and witches, oh my! Halloween is just one month away and the
Janet
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

Goblins, spooks and witches, oh my!

Halloween is just one month away and there are several options in the area for residents to find and put together the perfect costume.

This year two temporary Halloween stores have set up shop locally. They carry everything from full-packaged costumes to wigs, masks and accessories.

Spirit Halloween Superstore opened in late August in Perkins Plaza next door to Big Lots. Halloween U.S.A. opened last week in an empty storefront outside the Sandusky Mall, next to Express Oil Change.

These two stores, along with other area stores, are planning to cash in on this year's Halloween craze.

According to the National Retail Federation's forecast, consumers are expected to spend $5.07 billion on Halloween items this year. The agency's research shows the average person is planning to spend $64.82 on the holiday compared to $59.06 a year ago.

So far that prophesy has come true. Halloween enthusiasts have flocked to the two temporary stores in the few weeks they've been open.

"People were knocking on the door before we even opened," said Richard Buathier, the assistant manager at Spirit Halloween. "People love Halloween."

Adrienne Gibbs, 24, of Huron, thought she had narrowed down her costume ideas for Halloween until she walked into Halloween USA on Monday evening. Once inside, she was bombarded with new ideas and potential costumes.

"I just like dressing up," said Gibbs about the holiday.

Marikate Timmons, 27, of Sandusky, said she had "no clue" what she would dress up as this year. She went to Halloween USA to get some ideas for a costume.

"I love that you can be something completely different for at least one night," Timmons said. "It's whatever catches my eye this year."

Timmons said she was willing to spend between $50 to $100 on a costume if it was one "that will last."

Esther White, 26, 0f Sandusky, said she is always excited whenever Halloween is just around the corner.

"It's way more fun," she said.

White goes all out for the holiday, decorating the outside as well as the inside of her house. She also throws a Halloween party every year.

"It's nice that there's variety," said White about the two Halloween shops in the area. "They're fun to come in and look at. It gives ideas."

Buathier said silly costumes, such as baby costumes, are popular among adults this year at Spirit Halloween. Super hero costumes, Transformer costumes and Power Ranger costumes are the most popular among the kids.

"It's whatever movie came out this summer," he said.

This year, more people are purchasing fully-packaged costumes while picking up small accessories to complement the outfit. Packaged costumes at Spirit Halloween range between $19.99 and $119.99.

Wigs run between $5.99 and $19.99.

Items may also be purchased online at spirithalloween.com if it is unavailable in the store, Buathier said.

There are about 2,000 to 3,000 costumes, accessories and decorations inside the spacious store.

"It gives them a chance to dress up and act silly," Buathier said about the holiday. "They get to act out of their everyday normal life. It gives them a chance to relieve some stress ... just have fun."

Buathier suggests people looking for costumes come earlier rather than later to get the best selection of costumes.

People who come later may miss out on some of the good stuff, he said.

Halloween USA in the midst of receiving more supplies and costumes. The spacious shop is separated into aisles with pegboards filled with costumes, masks, wigs and other accessories.

Store manager Tracy Nickles said the store receives weekly shipments of items, and suggests customers check back in for items that may not have been available. The store currently has stocked more than 1,000 costumes and accessories.

"We're excited about it though," Nickles said. "The kids love it."

Packaged costumes at Halloween USA range between $7.99 and $49.99. Wigs range between $9.99 and $24.99.

The store is scheduled to close in early November.

Anybody working with a budget can put together a costume with the items available at the store.

"Even if they already have a costume and they just want to update it," Nickles said.