Q&A with Gina Nguyen, webmaster at Simply Halloween
Number of stores: 3
Locations: Santa Barbara, Oxnard and Huntington Beach, Calif.
Typical square footage: 5,000
Year opened: 1975
Ted Vayos, BODY: Describe your store.
Gina: WE ARE HALLOWEEN. At Simply Halloween, we provide our customers with the hottest styles paired with the best customer service in the industry. Our buyers select only the best that Halloween vendors have to offer every year because our customers deserve the very best. Each of our stores includes a wig bar, makeup studio and fully staffed dressing rooms so that our customers can enjoy our signature personal shopping experience.
Ted: What makes your store special?
Gina: Simply Halloween is a new breed of Halloween store that brings together not only great selection and amazing prices, but also impeccable customer service. Customers come to us because our staff is knowledgeable and to enjoy our personal shopping experience. Whatever your Halloween needs, we can help you create the perfect costume or haunt that will shock and awe. Customers enjoy our wig bar that offers high quality wigs at affordable prices and our makeup studio where you can have a make up consultant give tutorials on how to create the look you’re looking for — from glamorous stars to scary zombies.
Ted: What are you looking for in a vendor?
Gina: We source a lot of our products through local artists and vendors, which is why our stores carry such a unique variety of products. Every year we pick the best that the vendors have to offer, so we look for vendors that provide the best value and quality. Another important factor in choosing which vendors to work with is customer service. Vendors that value customer service tend to have strong product lines because they’re willing to put themselves in not only the retailers’ shoes, but also the end consumers’ shoes.
Ted: What brands are important to your store? What brands have you dropped?
Gina: Although we provide a wide selection of brands, we only carry the very best from each of the vendors we work with. Most of our clientele ask for Leg Avenue; however, our knowledgeable staff always makes sure that our customers walk away with the costume that suits and fits them best. We have dropped Roma from our list of vendors over this past year.
Ted: Describe popular trends and how they may differ between locations.
Gina: Every year, styles and trends change; however, we’ve seen a trend toward sexy costumes that leave more to the imagination. Trends absolutely vary at each location depending on the demographic. For example, our flagship store is located in Santa Barbara, the Halloween capital of the world and home to the University of California-Santa Barbara. There we see a greater trend towards sexy costumes in smaller sizes with fit being most important. On the other hand, in Oxnard — a family community — we see greater trends towards sexy styles that are flattering for women with curves, plus children’s costumes.
Ted: Describe your price points and size ranges.
Gina: Simply Halloween carries costumes, masks, wigs, accessories, decorations and more in a wide variety of price ranges. From value items to premium products designed for the stars, we carry it all to cater to our wide base of customers.
Ted: What is your typical or average customer size?
Gina: Our typical customer size ranges from small to large for women and medium to extra-large for men; however, we do carry all sizes for people of all ages and genders — including plus sizes for both men and women. We also carry all sizes for children.
Ted: What does your average customer spend per visit to your store?
Gina: Simply Halloween customers on average spend $50. Though today’s consumers tends to be more selective in their spending, we provide great value in our selection of products no matter your budget.
Ted: Describe your customer base.
Gina: Simply Halloween customers come in all shapes and sizes and range from infants to the more seasoned Halloween revelers. We cater to families, young adults and anyone who has a healthy (or unhealthy, we don’t judge) appreciation for Halloween. From haunted-house decorators to Halloween party-going revelers and trick-or-treaters, our customers come from all walks of life. No matter your budget, we will always help you find a way to have a fabulous Halloween.
Ted: Is there any other information you wish to provide?
Gina: Simply Halloween is a growing company that is affiliated with Southern California’s Halloween Bootique. As a group, we have stores up and down the coast of California and are looking for other Halloween lovers to join our family. We maintain great relationships with our vendors and work towards bringing the best products at the best prices to our customers.