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Mississippi Retailers Look to Halloween to Jump Start Sales

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 28 Oct 2011 04:51pm | comments

Retailers across Mississippi are expecting a big jump in Halloween sales this year. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that Halloween has grown into a 7-billion dollar a year industry.

A plastic ghoul at a Halloween theme store in Jackson cackles at customers looking for costumes, decorations and other Holiday supplies.

John Wood owns this store and two others in Mississippi.

He says sales are up, especially for items that help keep children and adults safe when they trick-or-treat.

"Glow arm bands, glow necklaces, glow items that they put on their purses. They can break the glow stick and have a glowing item to keep the kids safe. And have reflective tape on them," Wood said.

Candy sales also help drive the holiday spending.

Cynthia Jennings plans to trick-or-treat with her three grandchildren in Brandon, but will only let them have a small portion of their total candy haul.

"It is just way too much. We try to watch their teeth and their weight and everything. We just don't want it to get out of hand," Jennings said.

Halloween has increasingly evolved into a holiday that adults can dress up and enjoy.

A growing trend involves decorative contact lenses that Ophthalmologist Dr. Jim Brown of Starkville says can damage the wearer's eyes.

"Poor fit of anything on your eye, particularly these decorative contract lenses, can lead to poor oxygenation or infection. Ultimately scarring, or vision loss or surgery," Brown said.

17-year old Regan Barns and Parker Maloy shop for a Halloween costumes.....they say they have seen people wearing the decorative contacts.

"I have seen a girl walking in the hallway and they were orange and they scared me. I was like 'oh my god what is wrong with her eye',"

"My brother had one that turned the color of his eye white. It looked really weird except for the pupil was black."

Reporter: You know they are really dangerous?

"I don't know that, I wear contacts and that makes me really nervous,"

70-percent of Americans now celebrate Halloween....Retailers have watched that steady increase and now look to the spooky fall holiday as a starting point for the end of year shopping season.



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