SWLA bucks national trend, Halloween spending up

by Brandon Richards

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The National Retail Federation expects Halloween spending to fall this year, as the economy remains stagnant.

The NRF expects the average adult to spend just $56.31 on halloween-related items this year, a drop of about 15-20 percent, or ten dollars,  from last year.

But Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana seem to be bucking that trend.

Lake Charles Spirit Halloween owner Jason Draper says Lake Charles Halloween costume sales are up.

"I have read the national federation's report and I kinda laughed at it," Draper said. "Because in Lake Charles, we are actually up about seven percent."

Draper says spending per customer is also up. Customers are spending an average of a dollar more on their Halloween items this year than they did last year.

"I been here for three years and sales haven't been better then they are this year. It's great for us," Draper said.

Draper attributes the strong, local Halloween sales to the state of the local economy. Unlike most of the country, Southwest Louisiana's economy has stayed relatively strong. He also says Halloween sales are strong when the holiday falls on the weekend, as it does this year.

Draper says he notices two trends this season. More consumers are piecing together Halloween costumes as a way to save money and more are paying with cash rather than a credit card.

Retailers expect roughly half of their total sales this Halloween season to happen this week, since the last seven days of this holiday are usually the strongest, as shoppers rush in to get last-minute Halloween gear.

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