By Lauren Wanko
“This is my Christmas,” said Michael Hackett.
Expect there aren’t any gifts or garland, but there’s plenty of costumes though for Halloween.
“It’s extremely busy right now,” Hackett said. “We’re shipping out over 1,000 orders a day.”
The National Retail Federation indicates more than 157 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year. Total spending on the holiday is expected to reach $6.9 billion, with $950 million spent on children’s costumes and $1.2 billion spent on adult costumes.
“That is absolutely music to my ears,” Hackett said.
Rasta Imposta, a Halloween company that manufacturers and sells costumes to major retailers and small businesses says 85 percent of their business is adult male costume sales. National Account Executive Hackett says the industry has been reaping the benefits from weekend Halloweens.
“You tend to sell multiple costumes because they go to multiple parties,” Hackett said.
“Well I think it’s a great shot in the arm for retailers because it’s a precursor to the Christmas and holiday season, so it gives them a little bit of a jump start,” said Monmouth University Professor John Buzza.
The National Retail Federation indicates consumers will spend $350 million on costumes for their pets. Chi is a pile of leaves. At Paws and Anchor they specialize in creative grooming, which is why Chi has feather extensions to match his outfit and his fur is dyed too.
Paws and Anchor owner Nicole Kienlen just opened her business six months ago, but she knew to stock up on pet costumes. Customers can choose from outfits like this hula girl, taco or banana.
“People love to walk by and just go check them out,” Kienlen said. “We’re right on Main Street so a lot of people find it really fun just to stop in and check out the costumes that are right by the front window.”
“Pets are part of the family and pets are their kids, so you know, you’ll spend for Halloween for your kids, you’ll spend for any day for your pets,” Buzza said.
“I always say it’s nice to spoil the kids that never complain,” Kienlen said.
Two year old Branbles is browsing with his mom, Tess.
“I’m just looking for a little extra something. He doesn’t know he’s wearing a costume, but he knows he’s getting extra attention, so that’s a big part of it,” Tess Nielsen said.
The National Retail Federation says 20 million pet owners will dress up their pets this Halloween. Paws and Anchor expects lots of four legged friends at their costume contest and pet parade on Halloween. Some owners are opting for creative grooming, like non-toxic dog tattoos, instead of holiday outfits.
“We have an appointment booked that morning that we squeezed in because they want their dog to be a skeleton right before the party,” Kienlen said.
Whether they have four legs, or two, these party-goers look ready for Halloween.