Halloween frequently fruitful for local merchants

By Emily Crowe

CNJ STAFF WRITER

ecrowe@cnjonline.com

10-29-business-of-halloween

CNJ staff photo: Emily Crowe Henry Lopez, an employee at Petsense, organizes pet Halloween costumes at the store. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend $330 million on pet costumes this year.

Holidays can mean big business for retailers, and Halloween is proving to be fruitful for businesses both locally and nationally.

According to the National Retail Federation, approximately 158 million Americans will partake in Halloween spending this year. Total spending for the holiday is expected to reach $6.9 billion, or $75 per person.

While that number is slightly lower than the $8 billion spent last year, NRF reported that higher payroll taxes, a week economy and mediocre job growth are causing consumers to budget less on Halloween.

Nonetheless, average spending on the holiday has increased 55 percent since 2005.

Locally, Clovis Wal-mart manager Susi Moore said the retailer has seen about a 5 to 10 percent increase in foot traffic thanks to the holiday.

“I think it started this past weekend,” she said. “We couldn’t even get to our Halloween section because it was so crowded.”

Moore said she expects Wal-mart will remain busy and see increased traffic up until Halloween.

Pets are also getting in on the action this year with consumers expected to spend an estimated $330 million on pet costumes, according to NRF.

Rosie Viescas, an employee at Petsense in Clovis, said the store has had steady, average business in regard to pet costumes. She said the store expects to see more people coming in closer to the actual holiday.

As for this year’s popular costumes, data released by Google showed that the top trending costume searches this year are minions from the animated movies “Despicable Me,” Miley Cyrus’ infamous MTV Video Music Awards outfit and television characters from “Breaking Bad” and “Duck Dynasty.”