Halloween store says pandemic fears haven’t slowed business

Halloween businesses and the pandemic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Although small businesses across Alabama are struggling since the start of the pandemic, one small business owner said the Halloween season is bringing her business back to life.

Wicked Halloween owner Robyn Hoglan said she was scared of how the pandemic would impact her store in Fultondale, but now more customers are coming than before.

“This year we are on record to have our best year ever,” Hoglan said. “The people who love Halloween are going to find a way to celebrate no matter what.”

Hoglan said business is up 40%, something that surprised her.

“I was very concerned about moving in to this season," Hoglan said. “It would have hurt us tremendously if we had not seen so much excitement for Halloween this year.”

Hoglan said she thinks the increase is from pandemic fatigue.

“People are just ready to have some fun, get out of the house, get back to what they consider to be normal," Hoglan said. “We have a single use dressing room and we do disinfect every costume that someone tries on or doesn’t purchase. We also put all our masks on the wall where people cant reach them. They have to ask for them."

Hoglan said she brought in about 30 percent more inventory because the holiday falls on a weekend. She said costume masks are popular this year.

“We felt like masks would be a big trend and it has proven to be true," Hoglan said.

Hoglan said it makes her happy that her business can help give people a chance to celebrate a holiday tradition.

“You should see the faces of children that come in here,” Hoglan said. "They are just so excited and they have their costume on half the time before they are even out the door. The children are probably the most confused by the coronavirus pandemic right now, so they are the ones who are the most excited to have that normalcy of Halloween and dressing up like they always used to.”

Hoglan said Wicked Halloween is open until November 1 this year, but she plans on opening an online shop to sell costumes year round.

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