BILOXI -- Coast businesses are seeing customers going batty for costumes, pumpkins, candy and fall decorations, although nationally the economy is expected to cut into Halloween sales this year.
A National Retail Federation survey shows consumers are expected to spend an average of $56.31 this year, down $10 from 2008. Halloween has become a $4.75 billion industry, in part because 66 percent of adults will dress up for Halloween compared to 25 percent in 1980.
Nearly half of consumers say they’ll buy less candy, but fewer than 20 percent said they’ll skimp on costumes by making their own or wearing the same costume as last year.
By mid-September, adults and children started shopping for their costumes at Josette’s on Howard Avenue in Biloxi.
Jacob Locklar said business is as brisk as usual.
“We’re doing better this year with rentals because we’re letting people have them for the whole month of October,” said Locklar.
He can’t say which is their strangest rental costume.
“We have a lot of weird ones,” he said.
“A large part of our business is Halloween,” said Tex Locklar, whose wife, Josette, started the business in Pascagoula around 1971.
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