By Christiane Cordero

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The world’s biggest seller of Halloween costumes is based in Minnesota, and it’s struggling to find workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

WCCO-TV visited HalloweenCostumes.com at its North Mankato headquarters last year, when the company was having trouble hiring seasonal workers due to low unemployment.

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Now a year later, unemployment has more than doubled, but the company is struggling to find workers willing to operate in a warehouse as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Meanwhile, company officials insist that they are doing everything they can to keep workers safe — such as investing in infrared scanners and mountains of cleaning supplies. HalloweenCostumes.com is part of Fun.com.

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While finding workers has proved difficult, sales were up 15% last month. According to chief operations officer Dallas Clarksean, the spike in sales was mostly driven by children’s costumes.

“I think that moms and dads know no matter what that kids are going to celebrate [Halloween], right?” Clarksean said. “Kids are going to dress up.”

There are concerns heading into October, the month which accounts for about 50% of the company’s sales. With a smaller workforce, it’s unclear if the warehouse will be able to handle the yearly flood of last-minute orders.

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To get more job candidates in the door, HalloweenCostumes.com has expanded its search beyond the Mankato area, boosted hourly pay, offered daily meal vouchers, and even offered hotel rooms for potential full-time workers.

Christiane Cordero