MANKATO – Katie Resch’s job makes her make some strange remarks.

“These are by far the best teeth we have,” said Resch to a woman who bought a werewolf costume.

“She just said it was a killer clown and I told her I needed more information,” she said casually to one of her employees who was trying to resolve a customer request about the costume inventory.

As the regional manager of Halloween Express, which opened a new 15,000-square-foot facility at 1400 Madison Avenue this year, Resch was so busy on Sunday afternoon that she barely had time to talk.

After running the business for a decade, she was quick to solve problems, jumping back and forth between an interview and closing the sale at the checkout.

“There are four of us on the road, but unfortunately I’m the only cashier today,” said Resch. “This year it’s harder to find help with anything that’s going on.

“But it’s really fun. The employees all get a discount, they get a free costume. “

The vast majority of the store’s sales occur in the two weeks leading up to October 31st. Resch said she works 80-90 hours a week for most of the month until the store closes for the season on November 2nd.

Although she could not say how much turnover her business brings in, the manager estimates that the number of customers visited in the second half of October will be in the hundreds of thousands.

American consumers are expected to spend a record $ 10.14 billion on Halloween this year, an increase of $ 2 billion from the pandemic-suppressed 2020 holiday, according to National Retail Federation projects.

Because of the pent-up demand for costumes and decorations, Resch ordered more goods this year.

“There are many reasons why people didn’t dress up last year, and this year when everything is sort of – a little – back to normal, a lot more people want to buy costumes.”



American consumers are expected to spend a record $ 10.14 billion on Halloween this year, an increase of $ 2 billion from the 2020 pandemic-weakened holiday, according to National Retail Federation projects.


The new Halloween Express location, one of five in Minnesota, opened in the first week of September this year. Costumes and decorations are now sold in a large warehouse next to Joann Fabrics and Craft after the retailer operated from the former Mexican Village building for several years.

The company has traded a tightly packed, bubbly design for a ton of space that encourages social distancing and comfortable browsing, she said. The new setup is ideal for the crowd that Resch has been watching.

Ordering new costumes, their favorite part of the gig, requires retailers to keep an eye on trends in children. Cowboy hats sold unusually high last year due to a TikTok trend, she said.

Popular items this year include the Michael Myers costume that emerged from the newly released film “Halloween Kills”; the Scream mask, before a new version debuted in January 2022; and, predictably, a plague doctor mask and coat.

“We ordered a few with the plague mask and they sold immediately. So we ordered more and they were sold immediately. It’s exciting to find something that customers really like, ”said Resch.

Since consumer tastes change every year with the movies and online trends, she likes to hire workers who enjoy Halloween and the pop culture that goes with it.

“Most of the staff working here this year are Halloween lovers,” she added. “They’re a lot younger so they’re really excited about which is amazing. I have the feeling that you lose your enthusiasm as you get older. “

While businesses like hers drive the energy of Halloween, she admits that focusing her job on the holidays has changed her view of it.

“I love Halloween, but if you work 90 hours a week you can’t enjoy it as much as you used to,” she said.

“No,” added Resch quickly, “it’s really fun to see how everyone gets away with smiling faces and the children who are really looking forward to being cats on Halloween.”

But after November 2nd? “I personally take a break.”

Brynn Lundy, a freshman at Minnesota State University, was one of three employees who worked alongside Resch Sunday. Part of their job is to stand near a table in the store’s locker room and take the costumes out of their suitcases for customers to try on.

Set in early October, this is her first year working in a Halloween shop. She will work about 10 hours a week until November 2nd and then find another job, she said.

“I needed a job and they were guaranteed to hire me right away,” Lundy said of Halloween Express.

She likes the vacation, she said, but part of what makes this role more interesting than others is that she can watch people come out of locker rooms like ninja turtles or edgy Minecraft characters.

At least 50 people were in the store at one point on Sunday afternoon.



Halloween 2

Spencer Schlong, a newcomer to Mankato East, said he doesn’t usually dress up for Halloween but is leaving this year because his little brother Easton picked out a Jason costume for him.


One customer, 14-year-old Spencer Schlong, said he hadn’t dressed up for Halloween in the past few years. But on Sunday the Mankato East newcomer was holding a costume that his younger brother Easton (5 years old) had handpicked.

“He wanted me to dress up with him. It’s Jason, ”said Spencer, referring to the villain of the horror franchise“ Friday the 13th ”. Easton and Kaci, his two year old sister, dress up as two children from The Incredibles.

For him “Friday the 13th” is “scary but not that scary”. He has friends who like horror movies, so the only person he tries to scare or trickle into is his sister.