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Magic Makers plans to consolidate operations

Apr. 09, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Buying a costume might not be at the top of everyone's priority list in early April, but Magic Makers Costumes has been changing some shoppers' minds with a rare sale it's having.

Every single item in the store is on sale right now, with the goal of getting rid of enough excess inventory to create space to move its dry-cleaning, laundry and sewing operations from the building next door into the main building at 545 4th Ave.

Owners Ken Epperly and Ken Fox own both buildings, and their business is alive and well. However, they'd like to retire in about five years and think now is a good time to do some remodeling, seal off doorways between the two buildings and get Magic Makers entirely under one roof so that the buildings stand independently of each other. It should be easier to sell that way, Epperly said.

The other building has 12 apartments on the upper floors, which are managed by Pancake Realty.

"We had to buy the apartment building to buy this building," Epperly said.

Aside from helping them sell off their property more quickly when the time comes, remodeling "should help us control our inventory," Epperly said. "You've heard it said that a fish will grow into the size of its tank? We did."

Magic Makers has a lot of excess following a slow Halloween season in 2012, he said. Following its strongest Halloween in 2011, it had a rough 2012, likely because of all the economic "doom and gloom" that was discussed during the presidential election, Epperly said.

The business rents and sells costumes of all types, as well as selling makeup, dance apparel and shoes and more. Ballet shoes, tutus, wigs, hats, mustaches, zombie-like appendages, cuddly infant costumes and adult character costumes and sassy costumes -- all on sale.

Magic Makers hired a company out of Arizona to come in and help it organize its first massive sale, in which every item in the store is anywhere from 25 to 75 percent off.

"(The consultant) said if we're going to do a real clearance sale, do a real clearance sale. Don't hold back," Epperly said.

He said he never was a believer in sales, but may change his mind.

"I never thought a sale would work because if you don't want a gorilla suit, you're not going to buy one just because it's on sale," he said.

But since the store started putting sale tickets on items last week, he's started to think differently.

"People are walking through and carrying piles of stuff to the counter," he said.

He said he's not sure how long the sale will last, perhaps a few weeks or perhaps longer.

If enough is cleared by summer, remodeling will begin then. Otherwise, it will have to wait until after Halloween season.