Costume Jewelry

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

The central philosophy of the blue ocean strategy is to create a new market by doing something no one else has done, thereby making competition irrelevant. Jalem Getz, president and chief executive officer of BuySeasons Inc., an Internet-based specialty retailer, did just that in 1999, when he started BuyCostumes.com, which sells costumes for children and adults on the Internet. Before Getz started his company, there were no other online retailers dedicated to selling costumes.

Getz has an extensive background in seasonal retail. In 1995, he helped start GMI, a series of specialty seasonal stores based in kiosks in shopping malls. Those stores carry merchandise geared toward Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter and other holidays.

"The whole idea was that we would be the gypsies of retail," Getz said. "We eventually got into Halloween and transitioned those to Christmas. The whole model was seasonal."

Getz had an idea – what if he could take the best of the niche business he was discovering in the Halloween market and sell to a limitless pool of customers? That idea eventually turned into BuyCostumes.com, at a time when Internet-based shopping was just starting to take off.

"It was a new market space, and that gave us a distinct advantage," he said. "1999 was a test to see if there was even a market. And we immediately saw an advantage. I have an idea I’ve always worked with. You can make a market or you can take a market. It’s the same as a blue ocean idea."

In six years, BuyCostumes.com has grown from a startup to nearly $30 million in sales.

Revenues have doubled almost every year the company has been in business. Getz declined to give his revenue expectations for 2006, but said they will be "significantly higher."

BuyCostumes.com is a subsidiary of BuySeasons.

In 1999, BuyCostumes.com was based in a retail store and Getz’s home. Today, the company leases about 81,000 square feet of office and warehouse space in New Berlin. The company is currently exploring sites for a new permanent home, including a site on the west side of Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley.

By creating a "virtual store" online instead of a bricks and mortar location, Getz is free of many of the constraints of traditional retail. He doesn’t need to worry about stocking shelves at different locations, his store is open 24 hours a day and he can reach customers across the globe.

Getz also saves money because he didn’t have to build new retail stores or lease space for his business.

"We created centralized distribution, with one store instead of 100 or 1,000 around the country," he said. "And we reduced the risk associated with inventory."

By treating Halloween and other costumes as fashion items, the company has made them more attractive to adult customers. And by marketing the costumes more as fashion items to be worn to adult costume parties, the company is able to charge more than a traditional Halloween seasonal store.

"The fastest growing market (in costumes) is 18 to 24 year olds, especially women," Getz said. "People are going out on Halloween. And in the young adult costumes, the guys want to look goofy, and the women want to look good."

In addition, by offering costumes made from higher-quality materials which can be worn more than once, BuyCostumes.com is able to charge more for its costumes, and because it doesn’t rely on a retail store, the company can have a limitless inventory, offering full ranges of styles and sizes.

Halloween is the busiest time for BuyCostumes.com, but it sells costumes and accessories throughout the year, including Santa costumes near Christmas and Easter Bunny costumes in the spring.

Having the store open all year also allows the company to sell costumes when major movies are opening, Getz said. Last year, "Star Wars" costumes were very popular when "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" opened, and the company will be carrying "Superman" costumes in June when that movie opens.

Getz said he’s looking for his company’s next blue ocean.

On May 2, the company will launch a new retail category of BuyCostum-es.com, which will sell party supplies. The new category is a natural expansion for BuyCostumes.com, Getz said, because of the growing popularity of "dress-up" play for kids. Many parents are holding "dress-up" birthday parties which often have specific themes.

The new site, linked off of BuyCostumes.com, will offer one-stop shopping for themed birthday parties.

"We’re launching with 2,000 products, and that’s typical of what you would find in a traditional party store," Getz said. "The biggest value is that we will allow you to customize (the number of items). We feel that’s a mini blue ocean."

Editor’s note: In this special report, Small Business Times is exploring how southeastern Wisconsin companies are enacting "Blue Ocean Strategies" to grow their businesses. See page 9 for more information.

Go Blue!

BuySeasons Inc.

Address: 5150 S. Towne Drive, New Berlin

Industry: Online specialty retailer

Leadership: Jalem Getz, president and CEO

Employees: 60 permanent, 300 to 350 seasonal

Annual Revenue: Slightly less than $30 million in 2005

Blue Ocean Strategies:

• Developed BuyCostumes.com, an online store for Halloween costumes, at a time when Internet sales were just taking off.

• By treating costumes for adults as fashion, the company is able to charge more.

• The company plans to build a large new complex in Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley.

• BuyCostumes.com is developing a new Web page that will sell party supplies, which Getz believes could be the company’s next blue ocean.

April 14, 2006, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

Costume Jewelry

BuySeasons was Ready When Internet Shopping Took Off

By Eric Decker, of SBT

 The central philosophy of the blue ocean strategy is to create a new market by doing something no one else has done, thereby making competition irrelevant. Jalem Getz, president and chief executive officer of BuySeasons Inc., an Internet-based specialty retailer, did just that in 1999, when he started BuyCostumes.com, which sells costumes for children and adults on the Internet. Before Getz started his company, there were no other online retailers dedicated to selling costumes.

Getz has an extensive background in seasonal retail. In 1995, he helped start GMI, a series of specialty seasonal stores based in kiosks in shopping malls. Those stores carry merchandise geared toward Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter and other holidays.

"The whole idea was that we would be the gypsies of retail," Getz said. "We eventually got into Halloween and transitioned those to Christmas. The whole model was seasonal."

Getz had an idea – what if he could take the best of the niche business he was discovering in the Halloween market and sell to a limitless pool of customers? That idea eventually turned into BuyCostumes.com, at a time when Internet-based shopping was just starting to take off.

"It was a new market space, and that gave us a distinct advantage," he said. "1999 was a test to see if there was even a market. And we immediately saw an advantage. I have an idea I’ve always worked with. You can make a market or you can take a market. It’s the same as a blue ocean idea."

In six years, BuyCostumes.com has grown from a startup to nearly $30 million in sales.

Revenues have doubled almost every year the company has been in business. Getz declined to give his revenue expectations for 2006, but said they will be "significantly higher."

BuyCostumes.com is a subsidiary of BuySeasons.

In 1999, BuyCostumes.com was based in a retail store and Getz’s home. Today, the company leases about 81,000 square feet of office and warehouse space in New Berlin. The company is currently exploring sites for a new permanent home, including a site on the west side of Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley.

By creating a "virtual store" online instead of a bricks and mortar location, Getz is free of many of the constraints of traditional retail. He doesn’t need to worry about stocking shelves at different locations, his store is open 24 hours a day and he can reach customers across the globe.

Getz also saves money because he didn’t have to build new retail stores or lease space for his business.

"We created centralized distribution, with one store instead of 100 or 1,000 around the country," he said. "And we reduced the risk associated with inventory."

By treating Halloween and other costumes as fashion items, the company has made them more attractive to adult customers. And by marketing the costumes more as fashion items to be worn to adult costume parties, the company is able to charge more than a traditional Halloween seasonal store.

"The fastest growing market (in costumes) is 18 to 24 year olds, especially women," Getz said. "People are going out on Halloween. And in the young adult costumes, the guys want to look goofy, and the women want to look good."

In addition, by offering costumes made from higher-quality materials which can be worn more than once, BuyCostumes.com is able to charge more for its costumes, and because it doesn’t rely on a retail store, the company can have a limitless inventory, offering full ranges of styles and sizes.

Halloween is the busiest time for BuyCostumes.com, but it sells costumes and accessories throughout the year, including Santa costumes near Christmas and Easter Bunny costumes in the spring.

Having the store open all year also allows the company to sell costumes when major movies are opening, Getz said. Last year, "Star Wars" costumes were very popular when "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" opened, and the company will be carrying "Superman" costumes in June when that movie opens.

Getz said he’s looking for his company’s next blue ocean.

On May 2, the company will launch a new retail category of BuyCostum-es.com, which will sell party supplies. The new category is a natural expansion for BuyCostumes.com, Getz said, because of the growing popularity of "dress-up" play for kids. Many parents are holding "dress-up" birthday parties which often have specific themes.

The new site, linked off of BuyCostumes.com, will offer one-stop shopping for themed birthday parties.

"We’re launching with 2,000 products, and that’s typical of what you would find in a traditional party store," Getz said. "The biggest value is that we will allow you to customize (the number of items). We feel that’s a mini blue ocean."

Editor’s note: In this special report, Small Business Times is exploring how southeastern Wisconsin companies are enacting "Blue Ocean Strategies" to grow their businesses. See page 9 for more information.

Go Blue!

BuySeasons Inc.

Address: 5150 S. Towne Drive, New Berlin

Industry: Online specialty retailer

Leadership: Jalem Getz, president and CEO

Employees: 60 permanent, 300 to 350 seasonal

Annual Revenue: Slightly less than $30 million in 2005

Blue Ocean Strategies:

• Developed BuyCostumes.com, an online store for Halloween costumes, at a time when Internet sales were just taking off.

• By treating costumes for adults as fashion, the company is able to charge more.

• The company plans to build a large new complex in Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley.

• BuyCostumes.com is developing a new Web page that will sell party supplies, which Getz believes could be the company’s next blue ocean.

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