Target pulls clown masks, Chicago costume stores unfazed

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As Halloween approaches, if you're looking for a clown mask at Target, you'll have to shop somewhere else. People dressed as clowns responsible for pranks and scares nationwide has the retail giant keeping clown masks off its shelves this Halloween.

But clown costumes are not being avoided by shoppers at all costume stores. It all depends on where you go. Some Chicago Halloween stores say their clown costumes, especially the creepy masks are big sellers this year. Others say not so much.

There is no shortage of creepy clowns at Chicago's Fantasy Costumes. A variety of masks line the walls.

Besides masks, decorations and a wrap-around-the-shoulder clown with a drink holder are all for sale, and sales are up.

"Some people stopped selling them we actually increased our stock, we always have clown costumes year round," Ray Roman, Fantasy Costumes employee, said.

Target is no longer selling clown masks. The corporation pulled all of its clown masks off the shelves and online nationwide. Target is responding to the creepy clown scares. Sightings in the Chicago area, around the country and threatening social media posts have prompted the company to take action, but don't look for Halloween and costumes stores to follow suit.

"We have no intention of pulling that or any costume from the shelves. Halloween is a holiday to be celebrated by everything in the way they see fit," Courtland Hickey, general manager of Chicago Costume, said.

While Chicago costume customers may be a curious about a creepy clown mask, they are not the big seller there.

"I'm not quite sure, I came here to find inspiration, but I'm definitely not going as a clown," Vienna Prieto, a customer, said.

And for those who do buy creepy clown masks, Chicago Costume is not worried about the masks being used to cause harm.

"I would say the vast majority of people who shop at our store are looking to go out and have a good time and party or trick-or-treat with family," Hickey said.

No one from target would give ABC 7 an on-camera interview to explain the company's decision to pull the masks off the shelves.

Meantime, Halloween stores said the big sellers this year are Suicide Squad's Harley Quinn and presidential candidate masks.
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