Experts predict scary numbers for Halloween retail

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A national trade group predicts Halloween sales will be scary. The National Retail Federation predicts about a 15 percent drop in sales compared to last year, but local retailers are seeing a boost in business.

At Spirit Halloween, managers say customers are lining up to get costumes, makeup, and accessories. The most popular costumes are Star Wars, Batman, vampires and flappers. However, they say customers are still keeping an eye on their wallets.

"At the same time people come in and ask us, I have this much money to spend, what can you do for me? We take them around and help them with in their limit, and it has worked out great," said Spirit Halloween Manager Jenna Mestijian.

Customers said they are looking forward to the holiday and don't want to cutback because of the holiday.

"It's a lot of fun. It's a lot of great memories," said parent Tammie Williams, "I had a lot of great memories dressing up, and I want my kids to do it too."

UAB Retail Expert Mickey Gee said it will be hard to predict sales this year because the holiday falls on a weekend.

"We could have a final push on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the holiday," said Gee, "These numbers may not come in as low as they are being predicted."

Consumers are expected to spend an average of $56.31 on Halloween this year, compared to $66.54 last year.