(Filed Under wholesale Costume News). Ted Vayos, associate publisher of BODY, interviewed several Halloween costume retailers about their experiences in the market this past season. According to most, sales were better this year than those in the recent past. A number of store interviews will appear in this series over the next few weeks.
The Party Shop
Ted Vayos: How did your Halloween go this year?
Amal Soni of The Party Shop: It was very good. One location was 11% and the other was up close to 30%. It was nice for change. I definitely think the old days are over. There are too many people in the temp store business but we did really well considering. If you build a store targeting the lower end market you will do well in this industry. We cut back from 6 stores to three this year and focused on the bottom line. We have two full time and only one temp store this year. We cut back on all the new licenses we brought in to the store. I did not buy everything straight across the board like in the past but focused on what I knew will do well for my business. I used two crazy coupons to drive my business, aiming lower than ever before. Our coupons offered $60.00 off $100.00 purchase. We moved our goal down by 50K for the temp store and built it to make money. We purchased less new inventory. I bought at close out nine and a half thousand costumes. These were $40 to $60 costumes sold at $19.99! We are ending our season with 25% carry over inventory. We usually aim for 30% but one store did very well.
Ted Vayos: How did sexy costumes sell this year?
Amal Soni: Leg Avenue and Amscan petticoats and tutus did really well this year! Wow! The sexy costumes category did okay. We bought a little less sexy than last year. Our sexy accessories just took off like a rocket! We did the whole Leg Avenue program. It sold really well for us! The medium entry level Leg Avenue Disney Costumes did very well too. Our customer is not the high end I should have purchased more of the entry level price points. I mainly stick to Leg Avenue we do not buy Dreamgirl or any of the other sexy costume companies. One year I put up a test of Leg Avenue against Dreamgirl and Leg Avenue out sold Dreamgirl two to one. I have to put my money were it makes sense. Some of the key styles from Leg Avenue included the ninja, their full cat suits and the cougar. Hats did well I didn’t have enough this year. The Leg Avenue hats moved really well, even their most expensive $30 hats still sold. Sexy super heroes is a staple and still a very strong category for us. Our main supplier for this category is Rubies. The new Smiffy’s wigs in the new packaging was phenomenal.
Ted Vayos: Who gave you the best buying advice for this season?
Amal Soni: All of them will try and sell you everything they make, I buy what I know will work for us.
Ted Vayos: Who was your key suppliers this season for sexy costumes?
Amal Soni: Leg Avenue by far 70% the balance is made up of Rubies and a few other companies.
Ted Vayos: What did not sell well this year?
Amal Soni: We had a lot of teen carry over a mix of California Costume, Rubies and some Leg Ave. I ended up buying more of the Leg Avenue Neon Monsters than we needed this season. It did not sell as well as last year. We stopped carrying Ellie and Pleaser shoes three years ago, we are still trying to sell the old stock at 50% off, next year I will probably give them away just to get rid of them.
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