Business Matters: The Big Business of Halloween
Halloween is creeping closer and the ghoul factor is on full display at Halloween Express in Maple Grove. For store manager Dustin Koble, it’s like being a kid in a … well, Halloween store.
“I was the weird kid that wore my Halloween costume all-year round,” said Koble. “It makes anyone feel like a kid when you’re getting to be someone you’re not.”
Koble turned his passion for Halloween into a career, now ordering and keeping track of costumes by the thousands for Halloween Express stores around the Twin Cities. He says the ramp up to the ghoulish holiday gets busier by the day.
“It’s like going up a flight of stairs. Every day it’s just a little bit more and a little bit more,” said Koble. Then the Saturday before Halloween arrives. “It’s almost equivalent to Black Friday. We’ll be a nut house.”
The Graying of Halloween
Halloween is still for kids, but that is changing.
“It used to be just for kids, and then it was for college-aged kids and now we get people in their 50s, 60s, 70s in here getting a costume because they’re going to a party,” said Koble. “It used to be probably about 70 percent kids, 30 percent adults. Honestly [now] adults are giving kids a run for their money.”
There’s a reason adults are giving kids a run for their money. University of Minnesota professor George John sums it up in three words.
“Parties, parties, parties,” said John.
John says Halloween is the perfect prelude to Christmas.
“It’s sort of like Super Bowl coming in fall. So think of it that way. And it’s a natural time for people to get together. It’s the start of the fall season, start of the Christmas season, so retailers have an incentive to showcase all the new stuff,” said John. “If Halloween turns out to be really good for the retailers, my guess is the Christmas season is going to be a blowout for retailers.”
According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer is expected to spend nearly $86.79 on average, up from last year’s $86.13. Total spending is expected to $9 billion, close to last year’s record of $9.1 billion.
Still a Kid Holiday Too
Sixth-grader Jackson Neighbors is getting excited for the big day. He was looking for the perfect scary clown costume at Halloween Express.
“Everything is kind of spooky and eerie I guess,” he said. “I just like how everything is mysterious.”