Business Overview

A Halloween costume shop is typically a pop-up business that temporarily occupies somewhere like a vacant store in a local mall. It is typically open for a month or two before Halloween and typically closes soon after, taking advantage of the holiday shopping while it is hot. It is possible to continue to sell merchandise from home, however, for people who need costumes during different times of the year, such as “cosplayers.”

Who is this business right for?

Perhaps the biggest requirement for running a Halloween costume shop is a love of Halloween and dressing up. This lets you not only relate to your customers better when you interact, but to also anticipate what their needs will be in terms of what costumes to offer, what accessories (such as makeup and props) to offer, and so on. The business is also good for those who are already experienced with selling things via consignment and/or online via sites like Etsy and eBay, which will allow you to make extra profit during Halloween and continue making profit after.

What happens during a typical day at a halloween costume shop?

The daily activities of a Halloween costume store are more or less akin to the daily activities of a busy retail store. This means time is spent receiving shipments, stocking shelves, making shelves look presentable during downtime, and performing inventory as needed. And, of course, there is a lot of interaction with customers, both on the sales floor and as they checkout. More than other retail stores, you may get questions about “special orders” for things you don't have on stock, and your business will only get busier (and all of the activities above more frenetic) the closer you get to Halloween.

What is the target market?

The retail nature of this job means that the most preferred clients will always be those who know exactly what they want. These are customers with a specific costume vision, and they are likelier to both spend more on the costume and be polite and thorough in their interactions. Beyond the Halloween season itself, your best online customers will be those who are into “cosplay,” as there are sci-fi, fantasy, and anime conventions throughout the year and around the world which encourage visitors to dress as their favorite characters.

How does a halloween costume shop make money?

Not surprisingly, a Halloween costume shop primarily makes money by selling Halloween costumes. Your store may also diversify its offerings by including costume accessories, candy, trick-or-treating baskets, and any other paraphernalia you deem appropriate to the season.

What is the growth potential for a halloween costume shop?

Unfortunately, the nature of a pop-up, seasonal store is that it doesn't really have any growth potential. While it is possible to sell some of your costumes online throughout the year, the major retail aspect of this business only thrives one or two months out of the year.