Based in America, Zagone Studios is a family-owned company with more than 45 years of experience in the costume industry and is renowned for its handmade masks. Marketing director Franco Pacini spoke to Ed Avis, executive director of the NCA (National Costume Association), about expectations for this year’s Halloween.
Ed: In your opinion, are people going to celebrate Halloween this year?
Franco: “Yes, I think people are going to celebrate Halloween this year. They’re not going to stop having a good time in one way or another. I think they’ll be cautious about how they do it and what to what degree. And if they’re not comfortable going out I think they’ll organise things with their intimate group so their family and children can experience a good Halloween.
On the other hand, I think 20-somethings have had it with staying home and they think, ‘I’m young enough to beat this if something happens to me,’ so they’re going to celebrate more normally.”
Ed: Does that mean that bricks-and-mortar costume shops will do well this Halloween?
Franco: “I think if they make the effort, they’ll win. There is a lot of pent-up demand, especially since people aren’t spending money on travel and hotels and restaurants. So I think if bricks-and-mortar stores don’t make the effort to sell Halloween this year, they’ll miss out on a great opportunity.
I know some retailers are worried about people trying on costumes and masks because of Covid, but I wouldn’t even offer that to them, because it’s not necessary anymore. People aren’t having any problem ordering masks and costumes from Amazon, so they won’t have any problem buying from a store without trying it on either.”
Ed: How important are Halloween sales to Zagone Studios?
Franco: Around 75 – 80% of our sales are from Halloween, mostly B2B trade. Our sales to small bricks-and-mortar stores have dropped off this year, but we’ve seen some new sales to customers doing online sales. They are filling that void.
Ed: What products are selling well for you this year?
Franco: “Masks related to politics are at the top of the list, because the election is so close to Halloween. Other good sellers are our character masks, such as ‘Grandma’. We expect Kong to be coming out and that should be strong as well.”
Ed: Has Covid affected Zagone Studios’ supply chain?
Franco: “No, because everything we make is done right here. There are some component pieces and some accessories that come from China and other places, but everything is manufactured here. Our latex is sourced in the US, and the fur we use and part of the wigs come out of Janesville, Wisconsin. We try our best to source locally.”
Naturally, we have been following all the right protocols for Covid safety in our own facilities. We feel good about our own health – we haven’t experienced any cases. Covid put some pressure on our ability to timely meet orders for a while, but now we’re knocking the product out.”
Zagone Studios is one of eight NCA vendor members who have supported the association’s Help Halloween Happen campaign.
To read this interview in full, please click here.