Halloween costumes ‘official’ shortage, says nonprofit

The Halloween & Costume Association has declared an “official costume shortage” for this year’s celebration.

The non-profit organization attributes the lack of costumes this year to global supply issues linked to the pandemic, which has plagued many industries.

The global supply chain has been rocked by a host of problems, with factories closing due to COVID-19 outbreaks, a lack of containers to ship items, backups at ports and warehouses and a shortage of truckers .

While big retailers like Walmart and Target have the power to buy their own containers, use air freight, and take other steps to make sure they get inventory, smaller retailers are at the mercy. from their suppliers, who increasingly suspend delivery guarantees and sometimes do not communicate. at all.

“The fact that costume and decoration sales have increased by 20 to 25%, coupled with supply issues related to the pandemic, has resulted in empty shelves across the country,” Gregor Lawson, president of Halloween & Costume Association and co-founder of MorphCostumes said in a press release. “We expect a full sale this year as well as an industry-wide Halloween record.”

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The HCA advises consumers to buy a suit immediately to avoid disappointment.

According to the nonprofit, the National Retail Federation predicts consumers will spend a record $ 10.14 billion on Halloween-related items this year, although the HCA is forecasting a spending of $ 11 billion.

While the pandemic is still a concern, outdoor activities like trick-or-treating have been given the green light from Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, and Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers. for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts, however, advise people to keep disinfectant and masks on hand and continue to avoid crowded and poorly ventilated spaces.

Last year, Halloween came as the number of cases climbed to around 81,000 per day across the country at the start of what turned out to be a deadly winter wave. Many parades, parties and haunted houses have been canceled due to the ban on large gatherings and fears the celebrations could spread the coronavirus. Others have moved forward but with pandemic wrinkles and, at times, a nod to the nation’s penchant for turning to fear for entertainment in times of turmoil.

A new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 35% of Americans plan to hand out candy this Halloween, up from 42% before the 2019 pandemic – but still above the 25% mark seen in another NORC survey in 2020.

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Meanwhile, 16% said they plan to take their kids with treats, up from 25% in 2019 and 12% last year.

Among costume sets, Classics remain the top sellers this year with Google search trends showing witches, rabbits and dinosaurs leading the way. More contemporary outfits inspired by Netflix’s South Korean smash “Squid Game” and “WandaVision,” the hit Marvel series, are also popular, McMillan said. There are even a few hot deals, like a couples costume that consists of a vaccine and a syringe, she said.

Some trends have changed since last year, with fewer people choosing first responders and superhero costumes and more leaning towards pop culture and nostalgia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.

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