(Filed Under wholesale Costume News). Erin and Courtland Hickey of Chicago Costume Company told BODY associate publisher Ted Vayos that Halloween 2013 was “noting special,” in this installment of our ongoing series on the costume market.
VAYOS: How did your Halloween go this year?
HICKEYS: It was middle of the road, nothing special. We are always pushing the envelope. It’s a year round holiday, it takes a lot of work but, if we don’t do the work someone else will. We are doing what people want us to do. The cycle is so short to plan. This Thursday Halloween threw us off a little bit. We don’t do the deep discounts to compete against Party City and Spirit. I am a little cautious about the race to the bottom. It will make it harder to get back to were we were a few years ago. Technology has changed the market place.
VAYOS: How did sexy costumes sell this year?
HICKEYS: They have reached their plateau in this business or maybe on their way down. We have female shoppers who are upset by the over exposure of the sexy costumes. Leg Avenue did a good job extending the costume length at or below the knee, many of the sexy costumes coming out of California are too short for our customer. There is a big desire for something that has longer sleeves in this category.
VAYOS: What were your top suppliers?
HICKEYS: Definitely Leg Avenue costumes like their zippered black wet-look cat suits, S.W.A.T., dirty cops even their licensed Pocahontas sold really well. Cats suits were our bread and butter and their accessory program. People could design their own unique costume using Leg Avenues body suits and accessories. We also did really well with Lip Service. We did well with their skeletons and day of the dead costume called ‘Bone Appetite.’ Rubie’s super hero costumes are still a good seller for us. We buy no Delicious, no Secret Wishes but, we like their rental costumes a lot. Those do well for us. California Costume did really well for us this year. They were a really bright spot in the industry. Rick is such a personable guy one of the better sales people in the industry. Almost 100% of the items we order, they are packed properly. We brought in a little from Dreamgirl this year and some Forum Novelties, they offered a good price on generic categories and some Fun World woman’s costumes but they were not sexy.
VAYOS: What did not sell well this year?
HICKEYS: Kids is only 1% of our total sales. We scaled also back on Rubie’s Costumes. We are buying around a third of what we were ordered from them in the past. We didn’t buy any bad licenses. They only delivered around 85% of the shipment for Halloween. I was also unhappy with the way they packed the merchandise. Other companies like California costumes did a much better job.
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