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retail profiles // sexy // costume world

Costume World

Costume World - Front


Until a few years ago, costumes primarily celebrated most of their success among the young crowd. How things have changed! In today's world, people of all ages are relishing the opportunity to, if only for one night, lose themselves under the guise of a false exterior and set aside all their inhibitions. One store in Florida, Costume World, gives people that opportunity.

Costume World began 32 years ago and was mainly known as a carrier of theatrical and masquerade costumes. But because of changing trends in the industry, the company was impelled to introduce sexier fare into its collections.

"With the major manufacturers like Playboy and Dreamgirls jumping into the costume fray, Costume World was noticing a trend toward more and more sexy and fantasy-type costumes," said Marilynn Wick, founder and CEO of Costume World. "The popularity of these styles over the years have led to a whole new subset of costuming, one in which lingerie items play a major role."

Lingerie-inspired costumes certainly play a major role at Costume World. The company is reporting nearly a 100 percent growth in lingerie-inspired space in the past two years alone. Lingerie and lingerie accessories currently occupy 35 percent of the store's floor space.

With brands such as Leg Avenue, Playboy, Dreamgirls, Rubies, Franco, Underwrap and others, Costume World is attracting people from all walks of life into its doors.

"We get folks in here from age 3 months to 90 years," explained Wick.

The company's average consumer is from an upper-middle-class background, who might spend anywhere from $3.99 for an accessory, to $200 for a complete ensemble. For customers who want a costume but do not necessarily want to own it, the company also offers a full line of sexy costumes for rent.

Customers looking for the hottest styles of the season will not be disappointed. Costume World carries the popular Playboy line-inspired by the ladies of "The Girls Next Door" television show-as well as other sexy styles including nurses, pirates and fairy tales.

"Girls want to be outrageously pretty and be something they cannot be in their day to day life," said Wick.
Costume World also carries plenty of sexy styles for men, including Dracula, gladiator and various costumes involving togas.

The store regularly sends out Halloween mailers advertising store's products. There is also the company's Web site, which offers e-commerce and includes all of the Halloween activities in the area, as well as in the areas of the company's other two stores, which are in Pittsburgh and Dallas. Costume World has recently finished a redesign of its Dallas store and is in the process of doing the same at the Pittsburgh and Florida stores.

For added fun, the store offers tours of the facility and offers make-up workshops onsite.

"We want customers to view Costume World as the Neiman Marcus of costumes and to step into that luxury and service from the first visit to one of our stores," said Wick.

With its wide selection of sexy costumes and great customer service initiatives, Costume World is well on its way to establishing itself as the premier costume shop in the minds of costume seekers. For Costume World, Halloween is not simply another holiday, "It's the most fun you can have with your clothes on!"

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