Business Overview

While there is a greater demand for costumes during the Halloween season, many consumers have a need for costumes throughout the year. A costume business offers its customers costumes, wigs, and makeup for special events, theater performances, holidays, and festivals. Successful shops offer a combination of items available for rental and purchase, depending upon the needs of their customers.

Who is this business right for?

This business is best suited for individuals who are creative and passionate about the entertainment industry. Due to the nature of this business, owners should enjoy working with people. Many customers will enter your store feeling self-conscious; your passion for putting together costumes should be infectious, helping ease their apprehension.

What happens during a typical day at a costume rental business?

Many consider the costume industry a seasonal business. If you build a proper marketing strategy, however, there are a number of ways to minimize downtime and ensure a profitable business year round. A typical day will look something like this:

  • Check and answer emails and phone messages
  • Set up and attend meetings with clients who need assistance putting outfits together for a special event
  • Checking in and inspecting returned costumes
  • Cleaning returned costumes before re-stocking on shelf
  • Placing orders to replenish inventory
  • Researching the latest trends

Additionally, there are a number of administrative duties you’ll be tasked with. As revenue increases, consider hiring a trusted team member to handle the day-to-day office tasks.

What is the target market?

Most consumers have the need to shop for a costume at least once a year. The bulk of your business, however, will come from specific niches, such as: theater groups, schools, churches, and musicians. These are often very tight knit communities, so establishing a positive reputation with these groups will help your business achieve success.

How does a costume rental business make money?

Shops generate revenue through the sale and rental of costume items. Shop owners set rental prices, which vary from item to item. In addition to the rental fee, customers put down a deposit in case the item is lost or damaged. For sale item profits vary depending upon wholesale cost; shop around and build relationships with wholesalers to minimize inventory costs.

What is the growth potential for a costume rental business?

Just the Halloween retail and rental industry alone is worth over $7 billion annually, and is still rising. Stocking inventory that caters to niches previously mentioned will help achieve your business goals. Some costume shop owners prefer to remain small, limiting their service to members of their community, while others strive for a multi-million dollar business. With commitment and a strong business plan, your shop has the potential to grow on a national level.