'It’s a very spooky business': Halloween store owners optimistic about sales amid pandemic, CDC guidelines

Posted at 9:49 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 23:40:26-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Bayers are ready for Halloween.

“Oh my gosh, this is our favorite time of the year,” said Jacob Bayer.

This year’s plans are looking a little different in the middle of the pandemic.

“We are going to dress up and do our own thing if we have to,” said Blair Bayer.

Even though big costume parties are canceled and health officials are recommending parents to re-think trick-or-treating, Halloween store owners say people are still in the spirit.

“They are doing trunk-or-treats, they are doing drive-thru trick-or-treats; they are spending it virtually, also,” said D. Nachnani.

He owns Harygul’s Halloween Superstores. Nachnani says when the virus first hit, he was forced to rethink his business model.

We beefed up our online presence. We beefed up our corporate sales so we can celebrate it with companies,” he adds.

On the other side of town, Cathy DeBolt had to make changes as well.

“We cut back on a lot of our buying,” said the owner of Echoes of Time.

The store offers costume sales and rentals. DeBolt says sales are down about 50%, but there is still traffic in her store.

“I think people are going to dress up no matter what,” she adds.

As people are figuring out their outfit for Halloween, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reminding people not to use costume masks as a replacement for your face mask or cloth face covering. They also say, “Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.”

Business owners say they are optimistic about sales this weekend.

“This should be a huge Halloween for us. Anytime it falls on a Saturday, it increases your business,” said DeBolt.

“I can assure you it will get busier from now to Halloween day,” adds Nachnani.

So, if you’re up for it, grab the colored wigs, an outfit and remember to social distance.

Related: How to safely celebrate Halloween in Hampton Roads

For more information on the Halloween guidelines, click here.

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