(Filed Under wholesale Costume News). Competition and a tough economy hurt Halloween 2013 for Display and Costume Supply according to this interview with Claire Weiss. BODY associate publisher conducted the discussion and many others in our continuing series on the costume business.
VAYOS: How did your Halloween go this year?
WEISS: It was down a little bit from all the competition and people are paying attention to what they are spending these days. We have three stores and two had Spirit Halloween stores right next to them this year. The internet people looking up prices and things on their phones hurt our early sales. I was expecting sales to be up since this was the first time in years we did not have rain. We were also out of a lot of things after Halloween day and were not prepared for the Friday and Saturday shopping that followed for weekend parties. We also had a mark down area this season after buying close outs from a competitor that could not open their temporary store this year.
VAYOS: How did sexy costumes sell this year?
WEISS: It hit its peak. It was slightly down. I noticed people are not buying the sexy stuff for their kids anymore. Parents are saying no to their 13 year olds. Its also cold here in the winter.
VAYOS: What were your top suppliers and styles?
WEISS: We have a great Renaissance dress from Leg Avenue. A 60 year old lady that works here wore it in the store as well as a 30 year old. They both looked so great in it. We sold out of it. It looks amazing on everybody. We also did well with the Disney Tinker Belle costume from Leg Avenue. One of our girls wore it all the time in the store. The Music Legs School Girl skirts, frisky French Maids, Santa and Elf costumes did very well for us. I think their quality is very good. We had already purchased from many companies before we saw what Music Legs had at Houston last year. I will probably buy a lot more of their merchandise this year. We almost sold as many Dreamgirl as we did Leg Avenue this year. They are really good to deal with as a supplier. They are well made, we never had a zipper break, only one zipper broke with Leg Avenue this year. No issues at all. We do a lot business with Rubie’s mostly because of the licenses. We have a few of their sexier things. Their Super girl and female Star Trek did well for us. These where well made this year. We did very well with our accessory sections. We did really well with Rubie’s pet costumes this year. There is a pet grooming center near by and that category sold really well for us this year.
VAYOS: What didn’t sell well or problems did you have this season?
WEISS: Most of our licenses are for boys. We buy less licenses for girls. This year Monster High did well. Licensing for men’s did better than woman’s. For example, I sold out of three fourths of men’s adult Mutant Ninja Turtles and only a third of the ladies costumes. I also never got the Klingon masks from Rubie’s and know they would have sold. The problem with Rubie’s is if I order it in January it is probably something I’m not going to get until the following year. For example, we did the Minions costume but, never got the boys. We could have sold a lot more.
We also had a lot of trouble with morph suits. Multiple problems with zippers, missing fingers, holes, seams etc. Shoes did not do well for us this year. Pleaser is our main supplier. The white Gogo and pirate boots are our top sellers. It was much slower than usual so I do not need to reorder anything to get through to the end of this year. Our sales on ostrich feathers also dropped this year. We had someone stealing them so the feathers were moved behind the counter this year and that impacted their sales. We are having more theft then usual. It seems to be increasing.
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