Longview retailer discusses Halloween costume shortage, changes due to COVID-19

Longview retailer discusses Halloween costume shortage, changes due to COVID-19

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Many East Texas parents are allowing their kids to have some kind of Halloween with a small party or careful trick-or-treating, and those kids are certainly not wearing last year’s costume.

WEBXTRA: Longview retailer discusses Halloween costume shortage, changes due to COVID-19

KLTV visits a locally-owned costume shop in Longview where shipments didn’t come in like they should have, and there are new rules in place for shoppers.

Parties Plus Store Manager Brandon Stringer is always working on the stock, but there isn’t quite as much new this year. He says it goes all the way back to manufacturer’s initial shipping.

“If you can’t unload the freight from the shores to the piers and stuff like that, then it can’t be processed to the various warehouses. And if you’re not allowed to work in the warehouse because your state is shut down, or they’re limiting the number of people that can work in the warehouse, then their work slows down, which then delays it getting to the business which them delays it getting to you,” Stringer said.

He says his orders are 30-40 percent down on new stock.

Morgan Williams is a mom in search of the right costume for her daughter.

“But she’s very specific. She does not want to be the original Harley Quinn. I showed her the outfit for the original and she refuses,” Williams said.

Williams says she needs a toned-down version of the newer costume.

“They have some online that you can look at for her age, but they want like $30 for shipping to get it here in time,” Williams said.

The shelves look pretty full but it’s because:

“We’re just fortunate that we had some stock from previous years left over in order to accommodate demand for this year,” Stringer said.

And as far as a perfect fit:

“We let people try on costumes but no head wear. We don’t want anyone to try on anything that goes on the face or the head,” Stringer said.

They supply hand sanitizer.

“People put the hand sanitizer before they go in and when they come back out. And we try to leave the costumes to air out at least until the next day,” Stringer said.

And there are a few costumes in stock from movies with postponed release dates. Stringer says those may not sell. And Morgan? Well, she’s solving her costume problem the old fashioned way.

“We’re actually ending up going to make it on our own,” Williams said.

Well, sometimes you have to do it the same way those characters did, and the way we did..in the 60s.

Parties Plus does request wearing a protective mask in the store. Employees are required to. They say a supplier has contacted them saying a shipment is coming, but they advise to make your costume purchases as soon as possible.

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