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People plan a thriftier, more homemade Halloween

[ 2009-10-30 14:01]     字号 [] [] []  
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The frightful economy is scaring many people into a thriftier, more homemade Halloween.

The frightful economy is scaring many people into a thriftier, more homemade Halloween.

Nearly one-third of consumers say the economy is affecting their Halloween spending, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. Of those shoppers, 88% plan to spend less. NRF says total sales are expected to drop from an estimated $5.77 billion in 2008 to $4.75 billion this year.

"Many people will take the less-expensive road and either design their own costume or use last year's," says federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis. The retail group expects spending on all things Halloween will drop 15%, to $56.31, per person.

"There's a do-it-yourself trend," says Kit Yarrow, consumer psychologist and co-author of Gen BuY. She says even young adults, who've cut spending less than other age groups, are scouring thrift stores. Yarrow's wearing a dirndl dress, a relic from her college days waitressing in a German restaurant.

Other signs of change:

•Twice as many people searched for homemade costume ideas as last year, says Conal Byrne about traffic on his website, HowStuffWorks.com.

"It's both the recession and environmentalism coming to a head," Byrne says, adding more people want to reuse their stuff. He says one of his sons will wear a homemade pirate costume and the other, a thrift store dinosaur.

•Costume swaps are gaining ground. At the public library in Plainfield, Ind., twice as many families participated as last year, says Amy Sieferman of the Hendricks County Solid Waste Management District, which organized the swap to lower the number of costumes in landfills.

•Thrift and craft stores report brisk sales. At the O Joy! Kids Consignment shop in Oak Park, Ill., about 20% more customers swapped or bought costumes than last year, says co-owner Andrea Mounadi. At Michaels, an arts and crafts retailer, half of customers are making all or part of their costumes, slightly more than last year, says Executive Vice President Philo Pappas. "People are using tons of duct tape," he says.

Even costume retailers that report higher sales see changes in buying habits. "Consumers are being more cautious and taking more time to make their purchases," says Brad Butler, CEO of HalloweenExpress.com, which offered more coupons this year.

"People are shopping in their closets. We all have things that make great costumes," says Jodi Helmer, author of The Green Year.


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