Halloween Stores Bracing For Late Rush

By Matt Rodewald

Published 10/14 2013 09:30PM

Updated 10/14 2013 10:15PM

ROCKFORD (WTVO) -- It used to be so simple.

"I've been shopping around and trying to find the right pieces for my costume," says Susie Wallin, shopping hard for an Indiana Jones outfit. "This is my third store that I've been to today."

She got what she wanted at Spirit Halloween, but it wasn't easy.

"The hard thing for me is trying to find something that's work appropriate," Wallin says. "But there's hundreds of options."

Pop up stores like Spirit Halloween and Halloween City have taken over empty retail outlets in Rockford. Inside, you'll find Stateliners spending money to get the right look, but the big push is coming.

"In the last 2 weeks, when people are really trying to cram in and get that perfect Halloween costume, that's when we plan on seeing the big numbers," says Shannon Halverson of Goodwill.

Specialty stores aren't the only ones pushing hard for Halloween dollars. Goodwill and other thrift stores are jumping into the market with both feet.

"We've just never really marketed it as much as we should," Halverson said of the company's first notable attempt to capitalize on Halloween.

Nowadays, the costume isn't enought. How your front lawn looks is just as important.

"We've got a lot fog machines, lot of skeltons, gravestones, ghouls, zombies, you name it," says Patrick O'Connor of his yard display that he says drew more than 1,000 people last Halloween.

"It's evovled into a pretty big deal for us and over the last seven, eight years it's kind of grown into a  much bigger display for an outside kind of thing."

As for the costume selection, Superhero T-shirts and classic costumes with a sexy twist were front and center. But good luck finding a Miley Cyrus costume? The much talked about MTV Video Music Awards performance that relaunched her as a pop icon happened just weeks before other costumes hit the shelves. If you make one yourself, Halverson says authenticity is a good thing.

"Those are the costumes that are going to win the Halloween contest and people know that," Halverson said.

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