Halloween Costumes Evolve from Plastic to Prominence
For centuries, costumes were made at home. In the mid-1900s, the HalCo and Ben Cooper designs dominated shelves of drug stores. But costuming would soon turn into a mega-industry. In 1983, a discount women’s dress shop owner in California noticed his sales declining, but in October, the costume shop across the road couldn’t keep up with demand. After the costume shop moved, owner Joseph Marver set up his own seasonal costume shop and told Vox.com, “It was the best October we ever had.” He repeated the trick in other empty mall store spaces, selling $100,000 worth of costume pieces in a month. From there, the model of seasonally leasing empty retail space and hiring temporary workers inspired other retailers to follow suit. Halloween Express followed the Spirit Halloween model. These pop-up Halloween stores are responsible for about 35% of the Halloween market, according to the National Retail Federation.