With Halloween just two weeks away, retailers throughout Baton Rouge are having to adapt to changing seasonal demands.
Party Time on Bluebonnet Boulevard saw lower demand than usual for Halloween costumes in September, says owner Donna Travis, but since Oct. 1, demand has picked up and business has been busier than usual.
“Superhero costumes are always top sellers, and so are any scary costumes and any Halloween home decor,” Travis says. “People may not be going trick-or-treating, but they are going to celebrate Halloween in small group settings.”
Other national retailers with Baton Rouge footprints are also adapting to the pandemic, albeit in different ways. Party City, which has a location in Siegen Village, is opening just 25 Halloween pop-ups this year, a 91% drop from the 275 it ran last year. Meanwhile, Spirit Halloween, which opened a pop-up store near Towne Center on Jefferson Highway, is offering delivery through Instacart and selling themed face masks and bags on a stick so trick-or-treaters can collect candy from an arm’s length away.
Across the U.S., costume shops, party stores and seasonal pop-ups that rely on Halloween for the bulk of their profits say they’re bracing for a steep drop-off in sales that could tip them into insolvency, the Washington Post reports. Halloween spending is expected to fall 8%, to $8.05 billion, with costume sales accounting for much of the decline, according to the National Retail Federation.
With grown-up celebrations—costume parties, block parties and holiday bar crawls—largely on hold this year because of the pandemic, early sales have mostly been confined to lawn decorations and children’s costumes. Shop owners tell the Post that the shift is impacting their bottom lines: Adult costumes and accessories, which can easily add up to more than $100, typically bring in the majority of their seasonal revenue and profits.