LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A family-owned costume shop in Lakewood is pleading for the community to shop local this Halloween, as they try to survive the impacts of the pandemic.
"Disguises" is one of the largest costume stores in Colorado, yet is struggling to make ends meet as a result of COVID-19.
“I’d say 'Disguises' in particular has been tremendously impacted by the pandemic,” owner Todd Belanger told Denver7.
Thought the store is a Halloween heaven of sorts, with 60,000 items in stock, they do a lot of business in the non-October months as well.
“About half of our business is school theater,” Belanger said. “So when the pandemic started in the spring we lost the vast majority of that.”
Half of the store’s yearly revenue was wiped out, according to the owner.
“We haven’t been able to pay our full rent for going on six months now,” he said.
Put in a scary spot, now the family-owned shop is fully dependent on Halloween sales.
“It’s extremely important this year to support local business,” Belanger said.
The store put their plea out on social media, asking those who haven’t bought their costumes yet to help them survive:
"Rather than going to a big box store, ordering from Amazon, or buying from Spirit, help your community by doing your Halloween shopping at Disguises. We are your friends, your neighbors and have served our community since 1992. Only with your support can we continue to be here for you for years to come. This Halloween may make or break us so we hope to see you here," a Disguises Facebook Post read, in part.
“The big guys, Amazon, Walmart, even Spirit - they have the resources to weather something like this, but many small business just don’t,” Belanger said.
The store is offering a discount coupon through their Facebook page to try to drive in additional business, hoping that will help them get past the break even point.