A Year Without Santa? Severe Shortage Could Ruin the Holidays
We've all seen the signs in almost every business around Shreveport. "Now Hiring" The labor shortage has affected seemingly every business across every business sector, from the fast food industry, retail, and construction... but now, it's even affecting.... Santa Claus??
According to Clausnet.com, the labor shortage has even crept into the availability of being able to have Jolly Ol' Saint Nick at your local Christmas party. Many businesses annually hire Santa Claus during the Christmas season, including malls, shopping centers, and businesses that want a little holiday visibility. One of the most famous is probably Bass Pro Shops with Santas in all their stores from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.
Santa is Big Business
I was fortunate to land a "Bass Pro gig" for a few years, before Bass Pro corporate changed their policies, and my work schedule changed. And you might not realize it, but the "Santa Industry" is actually big business. Not only are there Santa's for Hire, but there are all kinds of cottage industries associated with the Santa business.
There are Santa schools to learn how to properly dress and use make-up. (I never have used make-up) how to deal with children, and more importantly, parents, even accounting and business tips.
Most professional Santas don't order a "Santa Suit" from Amazon, or pick one up at your local costume shop. A good Santa suit is usually going to be made to measure, and are not cheap. But they don't look cheap either.
There are also companies that make the nice, wide leather belts, while another makes specialized buckles. There are companies that provide special balms and oils for your white Santa beard that makes you smell like peppermint, fresh baked cookies, or even a Christmas tree. (No self-respecting, professional Santa would ever strap on a fake beard) You can even find specialized boots designed with "Santa logos." A professional Santa could have anywhere from $800-$1,500 or more in just one nice suit.
Why is There a Santa Shortage?
But there have been many changes over the past couple of years that's contributed to the shortage of Santas. And of course, one of the biggest factors has been the effect of COVID, or more accurately, the nation's response to it. Companies didn't want to expose themselves to the risk of exposure to, or from their Santa, or from the kids. Even Bass Pro wasn't immune to the effect. For the past few years, children had to stand in front of a large plexiglass barrier between them and Santa.... which is just sad.
Because of the shortage of jolly, fat men willing to 'suit up,' current Santas are charging exorbitant rates, between $200- up to $500 per hour. Of course markets determine what rates can be charged. Great work if you can get it.
Where Can You Find Santa Claus in Shreveport Area?
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