Looking for a Halloween costume? The global shipping crisis might limit your options

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 3:57 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 26, 2021 at 12:50 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The global shipping crisis is causing a shortage of Halloween costumes.

In Honolulu, officials at Party City confirm some of their inventory is stuck in customs.

ON Friday morning, the Halloween aisle at the store’s Nimitz Highway location was packed with people on a mission to pick the perfect costume.

“We’re going to be cows. And we’re going to have a bag of wine as our utter,” said Sam Austin.

Tova Fagerlind was shopping with her. She added, “That’s for one night. We have a couple of costumes.”

Meanwhile, Waimanalo resident Jerica Kahele told HNN she’d spent the morning driving all over the island in search of a cheerleader costume for her daughter.

“I went to Waikele. They didn’t have so I asked them to call here before I drove here. And luckily this was they last one they had in the box,” Kahele said, as she held up the costume.

Party City Vice President of Operations Andrew Shum says problems with the supply chain have limited what they can offer this year.

“We still have a lot of supply of everything,” said Shum. “But usually we have breadth and depth to give our customers options. And this year there is a little bit of restrictions.”

Many costumes are already sold out. Despite making every effort -- restocking the shelves has been nearly impossible.

“For example, Heist, we actually ordered 100 to 200 more costumes and only a portion of the supply came in. Some of it got stuck in customs,” said Shum.

The shipping problems are forcing customers to look elsewhere for items not found in brick and mortar stores.

“It’s been difficult,” said Austin. “We’ve used Amazon for a lot of things.”

People are also using their imaginations.

“For our cow costumes we’re just going to paint black spots on it -- because we couldn’t find cow shirts anywhere,” Fagerlind said.

Some customers also reported difficulty finding costumes for younger children.

“Definitely toddler costumes are very limited,” Kahele said.

Folks are being urged to ask employees for advice.

“Because they actually have good ideas how you would make your costumes,” said Shum.

Kahele says she’s piecing together costumes for her two youngest children with whatever she can find.

“This is Thing 1 and Thing 2,” she said holding up different accessories. “I’m just kind of making it up.”

Shum says don’t wait. If you need to buy a costume the sooner you can start shopping the better.

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