The official debt ceiling deadline may not be until Thursday, but last weekend the government made zombies out of thousands of small businesses around the country. The Halloween shopping season, one of the most profitable times of the year for so-called "pop-up" retailers is about to become yet another casualty of government shutdown.
Pop-up retailers are those tiny seasonal shops that fill otherwise vacant store fronts or kiosks in malls. Through their own initiative or with the help of companies like PopUpInsider, entrepreneurs all over the country set up short-term operations catering to all things Halloween. The reason is simple: Halloween means money.
In September the National Retail Federation released it's annual forecast for Halloween sales. The numbers are almost frightening:
- Americans were expected to spend $6.9 billion between costumes, candy and decorations
- 66% of adults would participate
- 21.7 million American pets were to be subjected to the humiliation of getting stuffed into a costume at a cost to their owners of more than $330 million
- $360 million was earmarked for greeting cards
- Roughly $2 billion was expected to be spent on candy with another $2 billion on decorations, second only to Christmas
- Of the $2.2 billion spent on non-pet costumes more than half was going towards adult costumers.
That last point is the most important for entrepreneurs. More than 85% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 44 expect to dress up for Halloween. Halloween costumes for grown ups are made out of all but disposable material and sold for prices anywhere from $25 to well over $100. That's before accessories, makeup and the $15 plastic handcuffs to lend a certain authenticity to your "dirty cop" outfit.
Halloween isn't the biggest top-line holiday of the year but in terms of margin not even roses on Valentine's day comes close to 158 million Americans playing dress-up on the same night.Read More »from Boo! Washington Trickery Haunts Halloween Sales