Local News

Oct 15, 2010 9:53 PM by Ariel Wesler

Local costume shop could close

After 25 years of serving the Central Coast, Costume Capers costume shop in San Luis Obispo says it could be closing down by the end of the year. The economy and larger chains have been making for some tough competition.

It's a scary time of year for this halloween store in San Luis Obispo. Costume Capers has been a staple in the community for more than two decades.

"Every local theatre company. All the high school productions. All the junior high school theatre. They all come here," said John Adams who works at the store.

The store says these empty aisles are usually filled with people. It's a season they rely on to cover costs for the rest of the year. Large Halloween superstores can more easily slash prices.

"We want to do the most for our customers, but when they're buying the bulk that they are, their profit margin is made for a one month stint and that's it," Adams said.

But Costume Capers says it offers superior customer service and expertise.

"We have a staff of local folks and people who come up from Los Angeles to lend their expertise just for this season," Adams said.

Costume Capers says in the last four years, big chain stores have cut into their profits by 50 to 60 percent, and some people said they didn't even know the mom and pop store was still around.

It moved out of downtown San Luis Obispo two years ago for retrofitting and the new location is on Parker street.

"You gotta remember where they are. You gotta ask people where they are, which makes it a little more difficult," said Karry Macdonald of Cayucos.

In the meantime, storeowners are doing whatever they can to bring in more shoppers and ease some of their Halloween fears.

The store has been using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to attract customers and offer discounts, but at this point, they're just asking for any help from the community.

The owners say if they can't stay in business, they will most likely shut down by the end of the year or when their lease expires in July.

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