Thu, October 28, 2010
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Halloween scares up sales

2010-10-25 01:39:32 GMT2010-10-25 09:39:32 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Lady Gaga costumes are hot this year as U.S. consumers are expected to ring in $6 billion in Halloween sales.

Tis the season for goblins, ghouls and Lady Gaga.

Halloween is here, and trick or treaters are opting for some flash and sizzle this year. Gaga's racy outfits are hot at New York Costumes/Halloween Adventure in New York City.

Tony Bianchi has worked at the store for 15 years.

SOUNDBITE: TONY BIANCHI, MANAGER, NEW YORK COSTUMES/HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE (ENGLISH) SAYING:

"She's a costume star, she's flamboyant, it's like Madonna. Sexy girls costumes are a very big department."

The National Retail Federation expects the average consumer to spend $66 on the holiday this year, adding up to a $6 billion treat for retailers.

Costumes make up the bulk of it and the NRF forecasts shoppers will ante up $1.8 billion on candy.

Candy maker Hershey is already seeing a boost: the company hiked its 2010 earnings outlook this week, saying Halloween sales were off to a good start. That may be a good indicator for holiday spending.

James Russo, VP of Global Consumer Insights, The Nielsen Company:

SOUNDBITE: JAMES RUSSO, VP, GLOBAL CONSUMER INSIGHTS, THE NIELSEN COMPANY (ENGLISH) SAYING:

"It's an important time of year. It's sort of the bridge for many retailers between, manufacturers as well, between back to school and the holiday selling season."

Bianchi says it can be a scary season.

SOUNDBITE: TONY BIANCHI, MANAGER, NEW YORK COSTUMES/HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE (ENGLISH) SAYING:

"We are noticing it's a little slower in the beginning, you know but we see that all the time, and the economy affects people. You, you've got to understand, I mean, this is frivolous, you know it isn't food, or housing, you know, but it's a party and people are still going to go out to the parties."

Halloween falls on a weekend this year, which may help boost the numbers in the final hours.

In the end, it's not about numbers, but a night of mischief, free candy, and a good costume that will make everyone turn their heads.

(Reuters)

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