According to Debbie Easley, president of Easley’s Fun Shop in Phoenix, Ariz., sales were down slightly this Halloween due to the poor economy, which is weak in Phoenix. “[However,] accessories were much stronger this year as a result of the economy,” she said. “People were thinking: ‘I’ve got a black dress I’ll just get the witches hat. It wasn’t about what was easiest [to put together], it was about what was the most affordable.”
Plus-size costumes also continued to skyrocket. “It doesn’t matter how much plus-size merchandise I buy, it is out of here because so many of the manufacturers run small. Every year we see more and more plus, it is so awesome that there is more available on the market. A lot of the plus-size sexy costumes were so, so cute this year. The young, plus-size women would try on a costume and would buy it every time,” she said.
She named Leg Avenue as the store’s best-selling sexy costume brand, and she admires Dreamgirl, another best-seller, for its fit. “I really think all of the brands are great. We try to buy from all of them because they all have their special qualities. I like the new Delicious line, and I’ve always liked Rubie’s Secret Wishes,” she added.
Easley said she thinks a weekday Halloween is better than a weekend Halloween, which colors her expectations for 2011. “I think next year will be so much better [than this year] because everybody will dress up for work. If Halloween is the day of, people are a lot more likely to do this, and may something extra to go out in,” she said. “I think it will also be good for the bars: normally nothing happens for them on a Monday.”
And unlike many retailers, who name temporary or big-box stores as impacting sales at independent costume stores, Easley has a different idea. “I think online is hurting the brick and mortar more than 30-day stores because [Internet stores] put photos up online of models looking spectacular in costumes, and the reality is different,” she explained. “[The best way to combat them is] through customer service: If you spend a few extra minutes talking with them and helping them out they want to come back and talk to you. I always tell my staff: remember people are coming here because they are on their way to a party: run with that, play with them. [They] lose that online.”
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written by Amanda Torres Price published 2010-11-18 09:32:51
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