Hit During Halloween, Costume and Candy Stores Hope For Holiday Bounce

Video: Remika Remika Rajkitkul

Just how much business did Halloween Adventure lose when Sandy forced it to close during its busiest season?

Tony Bianchi, 67, who has managed the store for over 15 years, told The Local, “We’ve lost at least half a million dollars, and that’s putting it conservatively.”

Still, with SantaCon scheduled for Dec. 15, the store is hoping a horde of drunken Clauses will take some of the coal out of its stocking.

The massive costume and makeup store, located at 104 Fourth Avenue, closed its doors at 5 p.m. on Oct. 28 so that staffers could get home before the subway shutdown. The next day, it lost power for five days.

Mr. Bianchi considered opening and using headlamps to navigate inside but, ultimately he decided it would have been too dangerous. The subsequent closure, he said, created a “financial mess.”

“It’s sort of like FAO Schwartz or Macy’s being closed on Christmas,” he said.

Lauren Carol Smith Watch a video about Halloween Adventure.

The store, which wasn’t damaged, tried to utilize its business-interrupted insurance plan, but because its insurance company deemed that it had closed due to a flood, it was unable to collect.

Meanwhile, employees who requested Disaster Unemployment Insurance were denied because they hadn’t missed a full week of work, Mr. Bianchi said.

“It was a technicality,” he added despairingly. A representative at the State Department of Labor said applications were considered on a case-by-case basis.

But with holiday-party season kicking into high gear, sales are starting to rise and all that surplus stock is starting to move out the door. “You have to understand, there was a huge loss of business there,” said Mr. Bianchi, “but we’ll pull in business for SantaCon.”

Halloween Adventure isn’t the only shop that experienced the financial equivalent of a razor in the apple. Economy Candy, the long-running candy store at 108 Rivington Street, was closed for a week after Sandy left it without power. Ilene Cohen, who owns the store with her husband Jerry, said that while she didn’t have exact numbers, they lost a lot of business during that time.

“It was a bad week, to close for Halloween,” she said.

For more about Economy Candy, check out the video above.