Economic downturn does not appear to slow Halloween shoppers

By TARYN FITSIK

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. — With the Halloween holiday just days away, businesses are crunching the numbers, to see if this year's sales are on target.

The National Retail Federation released a survey Tuesday that says the average person plans on spending a little more than $56.00 on Halloween this year, a number that's down more than $66.00 from last year.

However, in the Capital Region, the economy has not taken a toll on consumer spending, with many Halloween shops seeing a boost in business.

Lois Myers, owner of Halloween Hall in Ballston Spa, has been in business for 28 years.  Myers says despite the economy, sales are right where she wants them to be.

“It's been about the same as last year, and I feel we're going to come in where I projected,” says Myers.

The same goes for The Costumer, located on Central Avenue in Colonie, where the Halloween season is proving to be a good one.

“We've been very blessed this year in particular,” says Eric Zenner, The Costumer's Director of Purchasing.  “Business has been very good for us all year.”

Today The Costumer was filled with shoppers of all ages, looking to either buy or accessorize their costume, and save some cash at the same time.

“Halloween costumes can be very expensive, especially if you buy the pre-packaged kind,” says Candace Waldee of Guilderland.  “So we are trying to piece together ours from stuff we have or stuff we can find at the thrift stores.”

While Waldee is shopping for her three kids' costumes, she admits going the un-traditional route can pay off.

“I think a lot of people are looking in their attics or their basements to see what they can dig up from years past or hand-me-downs,” says Waldee.

But no matter where costume hunters are looking to complete their look, they admit Halloween is the one holiday where you can make an exception to the rule.

 “It's your kids and it's the holidays,” says Waldee.  “Sometimes you just say 'It's okay. This one time I'll just splurge a little bit'.”

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