Savers/Value Village Says: Vampires, Budgets and Family Bonding Top 2009 Halloween Trends

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Hot Halloween Content: thrift store chain offers endless new and used costumes, plus online how-to make-up videos, DIY home décor projects and more

Halloween is on a Saturday this year, which typically equates to more people dressing up, more parties and multiple costume purchases

This Halloween, pop culture will continue to drive popular costume picks, while shoppers also look for ways to pinch pennies amid economic concerns, according to the sixth annual Halloween survey* by secondhand retailer Savers and Value Village thrift stores, which operates more than 220 stores throughout North America. Nearly half of respondents (47%) cited they plan to watch their budget and spend less due to the state of the economy, with 83% planning to spend $30 or less on their costumes. However, because Halloween falls on a weekend this year, seasonal sales are expected to remain strong as more people than ever gear up to celebrate.

"Halloween is on a Saturday this year, which typically equates to more people dressing up, more parties and multiple costume purchases," said Sheri Marzolf, vice president of marketing for Savers and Value Village. "People still want to celebrate this year. We're seeing a trend of shoppers doing this by getting back to basics, including throwing the classic family neighborhood Halloween party, as well as creating costumes from scratch or secondhand items."

Savers and Value Village thrift stores have been a leading Halloween retailer for more than 55 years, offering shoppers endless aisles of secondhand pieces, as well as brand new accessories and costumes in all price ranges, from basic to deluxe, brought in for the season. In addition, special Costume Consultants are found in each store to help shoppers easily find the perfect look. Online, http://www.savers.com and http://www.valuevillage.com also offers a complete Halloween resource, including hundreds of costume ideas, how-to costume make-up videos for popular looks, and dozens of instructional downloads for chic do-it-yourself home décor projects.

Complete Halloween trends noted by the retailer include:

Hollywood Rules: as always, pop culture and entertainment will remain the biggest seasonal influence. Costume tributes to the King of Pop are expected to roam the streets en masse, while "Twilight" themed looks ranked as the top movie costume (44%) among survey respondents. Vampires were closely followed by Marvel Comic characters (31%), then Star Trek (17%) and Transformers (7%).

Family and Couple Themes: with a social movement underway toward more family bonding time, retailers are responding by offering full collections of family themed costumes. Top picks include pirate family clans, and flapper and gangster looks rank high among couples.

Classic Costumes: with a nod to homemade costumes of yesteryear, staple Halloween looks will be back in abundance. "Classic" was cited as the costume category survey takers were most likely to wear (34%), followed by Halloween's notorious "Scary/Gothic" looks (30%).

Green Get-ups: the trend of taking a green costume approach is still going strong. Almost half of respondents cited it was "extremely important" to them to be environmentally friendly through purchasing as well as recycling used costumes. A majority of respondents also plan to use secondhand items in their costumes, paired with new accessories to complete the look (60%).

For shoppers faced with pulling together last-minute Halloween looks, Savers and Value Village suggests these creative and timely concoctions using everyday thrift finds:

Roller Derby Diva: this emerging sport is a costume cinch. Pick up a random collection of tough and sassy clothing, then pair with a helmet and temporary tattoos. For shoes, attach cardboard wheels the base of boots and tie criss-crossing laces up the legs.

Dancing Delights: for couples, find a sparkling dress for her and some well-fitted slacks and slick top for him. Attach a number to your back and carry "10" scorecards to complete the ballroom dancer look.

Olympic Medalist: with winter Olympics around the corner, gear up in your favorite outdoor sportswear and equipment - preferably in patriotic colors. Fashion a medal out of an old CD, gold spray print and colorful ribbon, and carry a bouquet of faux flowers traditionally presented to the winners.

Zombie: make it a thriller night with ripped khaki trousers, a classic white button up and splattered fake blood. Add tousled hair and some white face make-up to finish the look, easily done for under $10.

Regardless of what they wear, after Halloween all shoppers are urged to donate their costumes back to Savers and Value Village to support local non-profits the thrift chain aligns with. Savers/Value Village store locations, hours and additional Halloween inspiration are available at http://www.savers.com or http://www.valuevillage.com.

About Savers/Value Village
Founded in 1954, Savers, Inc. is a privately held for-profit international thrift store chain with more than 200 locations in the United States, Canada and Australia. In Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and most Canadian provinces, the store is known as Value Village; it is known as Village des Valeurs in Quebec. The company benefits more than 128 local non-profit organizations by purchasing and reselling donated items. The result has been more than one billion dollars directly paid to non-profit organizations. The company employs more than 11,000 people in 24 states, 10 Canadian provinces and Australia. Visit http://www.savers.com or http://www.valuevillage.com for more information.

*Online survey of 1,437 respondents living in the U.S. and Canada, conducted by Savers, Inc. in September 2009.

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Kaitlin Goodall
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