Halloween Spending Down, but Spirit Still High

(KCEN) – In a frightening economy, Halloween spending can be a little scary. According to the National Retail Federation nine out of ten people will spend less this Halloween, but the spooky season will be anything but a bust.

Every year millions of families flock to costume stores, hoping to find that perfect outfit. The NRF estimates people will spend about $2.6 billion on costumes alone, and believe it or not another $330-million costumes for their beloved pet.

"It can be quite expensive. I'm looking at 30 plus dollars for each costume. So I'll probably spend between $100 and $150," Bre Banka said while browsing the costumes for her three sons.

And while many are cutting back on Halloween shopping, stores like Waco's Spirit Halloween isn't noticing smaller costume customer crowds.

"I'll see people come in and buy thousands of dollars in just one sale," Spirit Halloween sales associate Chance Sanders said. "It's all about having fun and enjoying getting to dress up, and being something else."

Sanders says their most popular costumes this year include Despicable Me outfits, Ninja Turtles and the usual super heroes.

And while many buy the super hero costumes, Sanders says many customers walk out of the store a different kind of hero.

"Last year we raised $4-million throughout our 1,000 stores nationwide, and since we started in 2007 we've raised over $11-million and 100% of it goes to children's hospitals," he said.

The stores take donations for their ‘Spirit of Children'. That money then goes to making hospitals less scary by bringing the Halloween party to terminally ill children having to stay in the hospital during the season.

So whether you're cutting corners by creating cheaper costumes, or maybe going all out and spending big, or just making a simple donation … the Halloween spirit is here to stay in Central Texas.  


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