Halloween stores encourage customers to buy supplies early


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Halloween is making a comeback. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director said in an interview that trick-or-treating would be OK in 2021 as long as it takes place outside, and stores like Party City are encouraging people to stop by before everything sells out.

The National Retail Federation expects consumers to spend a record $10.4 billion on Halloween in 2021, but it has been a slow start.

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KHON2 met two Kailua women at Party City in Honolulu who said they love Halloween and start prepping months in advance. They said usually shelves of Halloween merchandise should start to empty out by now.

“Even the things that you hang up in your house, that shelf was empty,” Lynelle Lopez, a Kailua resident, explained about the fully stocked shelves at Party City. “And that wall with the costumes would be sold out.”

“This year with restrictions opening up, we think the excitement is going to continue, and I think we’re going to see more excitement for Halloween,” said Andrew Shum, Party City of Hawaii vice president of corporate operations.

He said Michael Myers animatronics are already sold out and that the big items this year are light-up slasher masks, as well as Fortnite, video games, television and movie items.

Health officials also wanted to remind people that costume masks are not a substitute for a cloth face mask covering.

Shum said shipping is slower in 2021 as well.

“Fog machines, we’re hoping — knock on wood — this week they’re coming, but in previous years they would have been here a month ago,” Shum explained.

He said people should not wait to shop until the last minute because it will lead to long lines and social distancing issues.

“The next two weeks is golden time,” he said. “A lot of stuff is already here, and this is the time to have the best options and fewer lines.”

Lt. Gov. Josh Green believes the state will be in a much better place for keiki to enjoy trick-or-treating for this upcoming Halloween.

“We should be in a good spot, especially because it’s outdoors, but we’ll recommend masks — I suppose — not just Halloween masks, but also maybe a surgical mask or something to keep kids safe,” he said.

Although the Kailua women did not get many trick-or-treaters in 2020. They said they have safety in mind while passing out candy this year.

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“Pre-bagged everything, individual bags of candy, hand sanitizer and alcohol sprays on the table,” Lopez said.

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