Halloween Makes Retailers Happy

RENO, NV - “It is our black Friday,” says Christopher Thompson with Savers on Kietzke Lane in Reno.

It's not often you hear Halloween described in Christmas terms, but retailers say the holiday ranks second only to Christmas when it comes to sales.

This year it's estimated to generate $6.8 billion.

At Savers, Thompson has been put in charge of the Halloween section. He says they started in September to capture the wave of events even before the holiday was near.

“Yeah, the burners, they came in; they were our first wave. They started picking things up, and then we had 2 crawls and those really started clearing us out. We lost all of our blood during the zombie crawl, and right now we are getting the last shoppers who are just grabbing and getting an item,” says Thompson.

You could call it the perfect storm locally where major events along with Halloween have become an adult as well as child's holiday.

Michelle Calhoun is dressed as a "Day of the Dead" character at Party America.

She's an employee who has been wearing costumes every day for the last two weeks.

“I think its just the idea that you can be whoever you want to be even if it's for only one night of the year,” says Calhoun

Calhoun says the most popular costumes this year are zombies and pirates; little girls, she says, want to be princesses.

Consider costumes, makeup, masks, party favors, and Halloween-themed glasses, plates, and napkins; you can see why this holiday makes up 20% of Party America's annual business.

It's estimated 150 million families nationwide will participate, in some way, in Halloween activities this year. That's down from last year, when 170 million families took part in the festivities.