Outfitting the witches and gouls

Infocus

Credit Lila Aryan Photography

Rubie’s Costume Co., the largest costume wholesaler in the world, in June bought New Berlin-based BuySeasons Inc.

The companies have undertaken the integration in stride, and BuySeasons was humming right along this month in its busiest weeks of the year, ahead of Halloween.

Credit Lila Aryan Photography

BuySeasons, which also makes and distributes party décor, has about 60 warehouse employees most of the year. In September and October, when the company does about 50 percent of its business, it ramps up to about 300 workers on two-and-a-half shifts, seven days a week, said Eric Kirkhofer, chief operating officer of BuySeasons.

At the 470,000-square-foot facility on Moorland Road, BuySeasons drop ships costume orders for not only its own buycostumes.com, but also for major retailers like Target, Walmart and JCPenney.

BuySeasons’ software system ensures costumes are picked, packed and shipped as efficiently as possible. From a computer on the picking carts that tells employees to “move on” to a different shelf to an alert to forklift drivers when a product needs replenishing, the warehouse is designed to organize the chaos of filling as many as 45,000 orders per day.

“There’s so many critical jobs to making this work,” Kirkhofer said. “It’s very much a flow and if any one of those pieces falls apart, it doesn’t work.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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