Masks, costumes, candies, and more…
The Giggles store in LaSalle has 16 aisles full of everything you need for Halloween, be it masks, wigs creepy animatronic characters, costumes, cobwebs, balloons, candy and much, much more. The store is also popular with those looking for offbeat costumes, organizing birthday parties, drama teachers, and collectors.
“We were pretty busy during the Comiccon show in mid September,” explains store manager Sabrina Cavalieri, referring to the downtown show featuring many popular TV and cartoon characters. “People from the show were coming to our store. In fact, you can say that anyone who likes Comiccon will probably also like Giggles.”
Cavalieri flicked a switch and animatronic versions of “Freddy versus Jason” came to life, recreating the 2003 horror movie where the two main characters, Freddy and Jason, spend much of their time slashing each other with various sharp implements. Animatronic characters can move and sometimes even talk or sing. Many customers put such characters, which might cost $300, on their front yards for Halloween.
“There are a lot of items here that you can’t find in a dollar store,” continues Cavalieri. “And we also have great selection; there are about 1,000 different quality costumes available. Customers can also get good advice here, such as how to use the artificial spider webs or how to stretch them.”
The costume selection is vast, portraying characters new during the 2013 TV season as well as characters from the 1950s or older. Premium costumes, such as Storm troopers or Darth Vador (from the Star Wars science fiction trilogy) cost up to $1,000 for a very elaborate, one-size-fits-all disguise. Thor and Captain America are other premium models, but budget-conscious shoppers can also buy economy quality Storm Trooper costumes for $100; some other costumes start at $20 and clown noses sell for 99¢.
“With many of these costumes, you can see through the face masks and even drink through them,” indicating the quality involved. “And we have many wigs starting at about $10. Halloween shoppers are the bulk of our clientele.”
“Halloween is crazy around here; we go from about 20 employees during most of the year up to 60–including part-timers–during October. We also hire security leading up to the final days until Halloween and there can be lineups to get into the store.” She notes that candy is also for sale, making Giggles a one-stop Halloween store, as well as a one-stop party store.
Other non-Halloween customers include drama teachers and day camps looking for costume material. During the rest of the year, balloons are a hot item at Giggles, and balloons can become fairly fancy. Balloon “air walkers” are inflatable characters (again, often from popular TV shows), filled with helium and often life-sized. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Elmo are three of the most popular air walker characters. Sometimes they are also equipped with electronics to become airborne animatronics. “Some of our air walkers can sing and you can even teach one to sing your favorite songs,” explains Cavalieri. Balloon bouquets are offered.
“Not only kids like balloons; we just arranged doing a birthday for someone’s 100th!” Cavalieri smiled. “Oh, and we can also do cakes.”
“Some families are spending up to $300 for Halloween gear,” says Cavalieri. “While aficionados might spend $3,000 for premium, collectors’ items.” Giggles takes most credit cards (not Amex) and debit cards, as well as cash.
Store hours during October are 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday.
7143 Blvd. Newman (X Senkus)
LaSalle H8N 2K3
Satellite depots: 4822 St-Jean, Pierrefonds; 183 Hymus, Pte-Claire; 3391 des Sources, DDO; Place Vertu Mall (next to Sears), VSL