Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017 - 105
Rubie's Pet Shop Boutique
one of the top sellers this year," Beige
says. "We have that costume for any
size dog, though it typically looks
good on medium to large dogs."
Stars Wars costumes are also
known to sell like hotcakes.
"The AT-AT Walker costume
is a big one," he adds. "And
Yoda looks great on a small dog."
Other iconic characters in Rubie's
2017-2018 line-up include Batman,
Superman, Supergirl, Iron Man, Kylo
Ren, Black Panther, Princess Leia
and Harley Quinn. "We actually
have more sizes for pet costumes
than we do for children's costumes," Beige says. "We go
from extra small for toy poodles to triple X for Great
Danes or mastiffs."
A tech- and text-savvy
group, millennials are known to accessorize their pets and post their
photos on social media outlets - all year long. Pet costumes are no longer solely a Halloween tradition. The company sells pet costumes for holidays that include Christmas,
Hanukkah, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day and
New Year's Eve.
Millennials seem to be
spending more time
interacting with their
pets much like a parent would with a child.
Party hats for first birthdays and sombreros for Cinco De
Mayo are a must. Then there's an Elvis costume that looks
especially good on a hound dog at any time of year.
Not to be forgotten, May 4 is a very important date for
Stars Wars fans (May the Fourth Be With You), who apparently want to rejoice with their pets. "Stars Wars Yoda and
Ewok costumes look especially adorable on cats," Beige says.
It takes about a year for a licensed costume
to go from the design phase to the time
it arrives on store shelves. Rubie's licensing agreements with movie studios and
media companies dictate a general description of what the costume should
"But that's as far as it goes," Beige says.
"We have to come up with the proper way to
adapt it for pets. We go through many different
designs before we choose one. Then we have to
get the sketch approved by the licensor and
then we come back with prototypes. Finally,
the packaging has to be approved by the licensor or studio."
Because the process is lengthy, it's important for Rubie's to stay ahead of the
game when it comes to fashion and
entertainment. "We follow movies,
TV shows and we even keep on eye on
what's hot on Netflix," Beige says. "And
our people have good relationships
with the movie studios."
For example, through its relationship with the studios, Rubie's knows that Marvel's Infinity War is expected to be a huge hit next year and it's
started on costume designs. "That's going to be big," Beige
says. "You've got so many superheroes in one movie. It's got
all the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, Doctor Strange, Spiderman and the Guardians of the Galaxy. There are four different franchises in one film."
Rubie's has been
family-owned and operated
for more than 65
years. Its products
and masquerade costumes
sold, including national retail
chains, toy stores,
online stores, variety stores and other specialty retailers
throughout the United
States, Canada, Europe,
Mexico, South America, Australia and