At the close of the Halloween season, stores are left with massive quantities of leftover merchandise from the holiday, but very few shoppers are in the market for a festive November costume.
Party and costume locations, such as Party America, pack up most of what they haven’t sold after Oct. 31 and send it to a large off-site warehouse where the products stay until the following year.
Items that haven’t sold as well over a span of a few years are subject to being discounted 50-75 percent after the holiday has passed and are kept in clearance bins for a month.
“It’s a yearly pattern that most stores do,” said Shaun Pitman, store manager of Party America in Mission Viejo. “We pack up about 90 percent of what we don’t sell and the rest goes to clearance for Nov. The clearance items that don’t sell get donated to schools and other children’s organizations in the area.”
Party City in Laguna Niguel sells approximately 90 percent of their total Halloween merchandise stock, and all leftovers are stored on-site in the back of the building for resale along with the new wave of products which arrive in the fall.
When the costumes are purchased and enjoyed by individuals, they are of little use unless there’s an instance between November and September that calls for genie, cowboy, or French maid attire.
“My whole family just throws all our old costumes into a big Halloween bin in the garage,” Linda Conti, Laguna Niguel resident said. “We see what we can use in the future for Halloween or school projects for my kids. You just never know when you might have to dress up like a zombie.”
Conti was purchasing horrific props and decorations for a Texas Chainsaw Massacre-themed office party.
“I just know this stuff will be used again soon,” Conti said.The hand-me-down cycle of clothes from older to younger sibling also takes place for costumes in some families.
“I give all my old costumes to my little sister,” said Bahaur Shojeddin, 16, Laguna Niguel resident “She either wears them the next year or cuts them up to make something new. What she doesn’t use ends up in a box in the closet for whatever.”
Shojeddin later implied that her latest costume choices have been more provocative than in years passed, as is the fashion of high school girls. Perhaps her families recycling of attire may be coming to a close.