BUDGET COSTUMES WISELY
Save time and money on your spooky Halloween getup with some handy tips and tricks
Shopping for Halloween costumes doesn’t have to be scary. This year, shoppers can find more ways to save time and money.
Discounters such as Walmart are expanding their costume offerings and creating designated sections where customers can find more of their Halloween needs in one place.
And Party City and others are either revamping their apps or launching new ones to make shopping easier.
And of course, pop-up shop pioneer Spirit Halloween, the largest Halloween store franchise, is a reliable option.
It now has about 1,400 temporary locations in the U.S. and Canada, with more of a presence in the malls.
“More retailers are getting into the game,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry adviser at NPD Group, a market research firm. “Stores are creating broader assortments. And you can get an instant costume from start to finish.”
Halloween costumes are a big business for retailers. Americans are expected to spend US$9 billion on Halloween, slightly down from the US$9.1 billion spent last year, according to a survey by retail trade group the National Retail Federation.
The 2018 spending estimate includes US$3.2 billion on costumes, according to the survey. Goodwill says Halloween is its biggest season in terms of sales. Updated Canadian-specific Halloween spending data has been tougher to find, but according to Marvin Ryder of the DeGroote School of Business in Hamilton, Halloween spending in Canada has been estimated to go past the $1 billion mark, based on the continuing popularity of the Oct. 31 celebration. Following are some tips:
Walmart.ca has pulled together Halloween items into one destination: its Halloween Store for costumes, decor and makeup in one section.
And last year, Target launched a Halloween destination called Hyde & Eek where customers can find Halloween decor and costumes all in one place. It added candy to the shop this year. It also increased its costume assortment by nearly 30 per cent (Target items can be shipped to Canada via target.com).
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEW APPS
Stores are revamping their apps or adding new ones to make it easier to shop for Halloween costumes — and to share. Party City launched a new app called Spookify that lets customers virtually try on their costumes and makeup.
SHOP LATE OR SHOP EARLY
If you don’t need to get the hottest costume of the season, it’s best to shop right before Halloween to get the best deals of the season.
Discounts can be up to 50 per cent. But as NPD’s Cohen says, “Truly the best time is right after Halloween and store it for next year.”
That’s when costume prices are slashed by 75 per cent.
USE WHAT YOU HAVE OR BUY USED
Go to your closet and you’ll most likely find leftovers from past Halloweens — such as a witch’s hat or a feather from a flapper’s costume. Or turn your regular clothes into costumes.
Shoppers should also turn to thrift stores like Goodwill, which offers both used and new Halloween costumes. Goodwill’s website has a special page devoted to Halloween.
The site offers makeup tutorials and shows how shoppers can create a costume with up to three items from the thrift chain. Shoppers can purchase a costume in its entirety including wig, shoes, and headbands for an average price of $30, according to Lauren Lawson-Zilai, a Goodwill spokeswoman.
You don’t have to have the skills of Martha Stewart to make your own costume.
Get ideas from Pinterest or Etsy, or go to the online sites such as Michaels.