I’m not ashamed of my age nor to admit that I miss the old stores like K-Mart, F.W. Woolworth Co., and Toys ‘R Us during Halloweentime. K-Mart and Woolworth’s were like one-stop shopping. They had everything.
Up until their demise in the early 90s, I was weekly shopper. In fact, I used to work at the mall and went Woolworth’s every day during my lunch hour. They had some cool Halloween ads too.
Once the center in American lives, most of these department stores no longer exist.
Selling cheap Halloween costumes became big business in the 60s through the 70s and 80s. Most were made of highly flammable plastic. They tore easily and it was hard to see through the little eye holes. These days, costumes like that would get canceled before they were even loaded onto the truck, but they’re considered vintage Halloween antiques now. A rare, unopened, or one in pristine condition could be worth quite a lot of money.
Osco Drug Store is still in business. I believe it’s part of Albertsons/CVS family now. Do you see those candy bar prices? Those were full candy bars too!
A few years ago, Tucson.com dug up old print ads from the 1920s through 1960s to prove that Halloween has always been a big celebration in Tucson. There were far too many to post here, so go check them out by clicking the picture below.
I find it funny that people complain about the overcommercialization of Halloween, but these vintage ads prove stores have been cashing in on the Halloween craze since the 1920s.