November 09, 2018
Halloween has come to an end. These words don’t mean a tremendous amount to most people. But for those of us at the Stagecoach, they bring forth a bundle of emotion. Halloween is something that we prepare for long before the average person begins to think about the holiday.
In January we begin our ordering process by combing through dozens of catalogs, analyzing data from the previous year, and looking at new movies and trends in the industry. It takes products from over two dozen different companies to complete our Halloween selection and we put in many long hours figuring it all out. As you can imagine, it isn’t easy to predict what items will be popular ten months in the future. We look back to as many as three or four years to see what items were popular in the past. We must also look at upcoming movies, the political landscape, and national trends in order to determine what products to carry. Sometimes, it simply comes down to our own intuition as well as your requests and suggestions. Every year we keep a running list of products that people like you request. This has helped us bring in customer favorites, such as The Purge masks and inflatable T-Rex costumes.
Once we place our orders in January, we immediately start receiving shipments. The vast majority of these items must be stored for the next eight months, simply because most people aren’t interested in, say, a gorilla costume in the month of March. Product slowly arrives throughout the year until July, when we suddenly see a large upswing in shipments. The reason for this is that it normally takes this long to manufacture and receive any new items. Once the summer arrives we officially start planning for Halloween. If you don’t already know, we actually transform half of our floor space for Halloween. Doing this quickly and efficiently takes a great deal of planning and preparation. In September we begin the transformation and are typically finished in about a week. All of this occurs during open hours while we still help customers. It is quite the undertaking.
Once everything is ready, traffic slowly increases as Halloween draws nearer. If you have ever stopped by during the last ten days of October, you may know that it can get pretty crazy. Towards the end, we work ten to twelve hours every day, often in crazy costumes and makeup. It is an exhausting, but joyous time that I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I must mention our incredible team. This is a group of people who are put through the wringer during October. They work long hours and always step up when we’re in a bind. For example, an employee who worked for us in the past drove all the way from his home in North Platte numerous times in October to help us. Another would go to work every day at her other profession at 4 am. She would work eight hours there and then come to help us out until 9 pm. These people do this not because they have to but because they truly love being here. Every one of these people is incredibly hard working and we could not pull this off without them. I want to thank each one of you.
When we say the words, “Halloween has come to an end” it brings relief and sadness. Relief because it means that we can finally rest. However, it is incredibly sad when it is all said and done. It is the culmination of months of hard work and planning. Despite how tiring it all is, we have so much fun. The season allows us to be very creative and we love seeing people’s ideas come to life. We get the opportunity to see others who are truly passionate about Halloween. This includes makeup artists, die-hard scary movie fans, and many others. We sincerely love each and every one of you. Obviously, we could not do this without our wonderful community. Whether you love Halloween or not, your continued support means the world to us. When the season of scares draws near again, we’ll be here.
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November 15, 2021