It’s officially the holiday season as Halloween approaches and fall leaves dot the landscape.
The recession? It doesn’t seem to matter, as the National Retail Federation predicts that a record 170 million Americans will spend close to $8 billion this year on the candy and costume fest, buying decorations, costumes for their kids and pets, candy and all the other accoutrements necessary for what was once called All Hallow’s Eve.
Party@Display & Costume recently relocated to 6000 E. Sammamish Parkway SE in Issaquah. The store has been family owned since 1962, with their flagship store in Seattle and a third store in Everett. Owners Dallas and Susie Carleton took the business over from Susie’s parents and their three grown children will carry on the tradition.
Unlike some of the Halloween stores that pop-up during the Halloween season, Party@Display & Costume is a year round, all event store.
“October is our biggest month of the year,” said Melissa Nguon, the company’s marketing and advertising representative.
Nguon said the displays change with each holiday season, but Halloween is their busiest season.
Shelly Huffman of Issaquah had already purchased a costume for her daughter, Lucy, who will be Ariel, the little mermaid. Huffman said they also needed a little costume for her new baby, and candy. However, with Lucy’s birthday coming up she was also shopping for birthday party items, which the store has plenty of.
Back in the costume department, the most popular outfits continue to be Harry Potter characters, even though the book series has wrapped up. Super heroes, particularly The Avengers are big with the 5- to 7-year-old crowd, Morph suits — spandex body suits in a variety of themes are popular with adults, and little girls still like to be princesses.
Store manager Tracie Compton said Steampunk was big, too. Steampunk? It is a genre that includes elements of science fiction, fantasy, alternative history, horror and speculative fiction that includes elements using steam power.
Kim Sampadian of Renton was on a mission at Party@Display & Costume. The entire family is going to dress up as Scooby-Doo characters. Her 7-year-old daughter will be Velma, and Sampadian said she plans to be either Scooby or Daphne, while her husband may be Fred or Scooby.
“Shaggy will be played by an uncle, so there’s not much to do because he looks like him already,” she said.
Sampadian passed on the adult Scooby costume because it was $70, but so far she has spent about $75 on Halloween. She plans to spend more, because she plans to make dolls for her daughter to match the Scooby-Doo theme, plus she is hosting a harvest party at her daughter’s school. That’s not all. She made pumpkin spice play-dough for 120 kids. And no, the kids did not eat it.
Both Huffman and Sampadian plan to take their children on traditional trick-or-treating.
The ghoul-ish stuff is still available, of course. There is an entire Zombie section with such delights as a bag of limbs and severed arms. Goth, cowboy themes, witches and clowns are all represented. Let your imagination run wild.