Still need a costume?

If you haven’t seen the inflatable motorcyclist outside the bus stop at King and University you definitely haven’t been hanging around campus long enough. The Factory Shoe Halloween Store has become a seasonal landmark with ghouls and goblins greeting prospective buyers and pedestrians alike.

One of the store’s employees is third-year political science Liran Cohen. The Cord caught up with Cohen who happened to be working on the busiest Halloween shopping day of the year, Oct. 29th. Cohen has been working at the Halloween Store for two seasons and gave The Cord an exclusive insider look into Halloween shopping at Factory Shoe.

The Halloween shopping season typically starts in mid September and ends on Oct. 31.

According to Cohen, the most popular female costume for Laurier students this year will be Lady Gaga. For groups of girls Sailor Moon and the Spice Girls are popular group choices. For men, the most frequent requests were for Ninja Turtles and superheroes, two options that Factory Shoe did not carry. The highest selling costumes for men were “The Spartan” and “The Saw puppet”.

Out of the bag costumes are an alternative to putting together your own costume. Factory Shoe’s most popular bagged costume was “The Cabaret”, a costume for women that includes a hair feather and red dress modeled after the Moulin Rouge. The costume retails for $74.99 and is best complemented with a long cigarette holder and stockings (not included).

According to Cohen, the typical WLU Halloween shopper is either fiscally conservative or spendthrift. An easygoing student tends to be inventive with as few props as possible in order to stay on budget. Halloween devotees, however, spend upwards of $200 per costume; Halloween at WLU can be serious business.

So what does it take to work at a local costume store? The biggest requirement is creativity and an outgoing nature says Cohen, who was hired when she walked up to the store and handed the manager her resume.

Cohen sites one of her biggest pet peeves are customers that shove unfolded costumes back into their original packaging with the pictures facing inwards, making it impossible for anyone to find what they are looking for.

If you aren’t skilled in folding garments Cohen offers the following advice – let Factory Shoe handle the re-folding and repackaging.

Theft, though not a serious issue, is a concern every season. Despite many preventative measures costumes have a way of going missing. In general, however, Cohen says WLU students have been great and is impressed by their creativity and originality.

This will be the last year Factory Shoe Halloween store operates at King and University. No location has been chosen for next year’s store.

It can be said that Cohen was born to work in a Halloween store. Born on Oct. 31, Cohen will be turning 21 this Halloween, and yes, she plans to be working.

From everyone at The Cord Life section, have a Happy Halloween.