Costume Business Out of Time, Closing Doors After 30 Years

Step In Time in Laguna Niguel will close by year-end due to slow sales, and online competition, says owner.

Halloween will be bittersweet this year for Dena Prim, who owns Step In Time Costume Shop and Rentals in Laguna Niguel. 

After 30 years, she says she will be closing her shop located at 27635 Forbes Road, Suite F, because of a slow economy and online competition.

“So many people are buying costumes online and at these pop-up stores that come just in time for Halloween. I don’t know of any other holiday where these pop-up stores pop up,” she said. “I can’t compete.”

Prim has been in the Three Flags Center for more than 10 years and prior to the current location, she was in the Delta Building for 20 years. 

The shop has carried all things costume related from pirates and aliens to a two-headed horse from day one.

Her customers have included area schools, clients in New York, those dressing up for a costume party, and even corporate executives.

“I’d say in the past year, my business has declined by 30 percent,” she said. “There are at least five pop-up Halloween stores in the area I am competing with right now.” 

The two-floor store with about 2,000 square feet also carries buttons, notions, fabrics and trims for those who want to make their own costumes.

Currently, all packaged adult, children's, and pet costumes through Oct. 24 are 30 percent off. In addition, all rentals are for sale including wigs, props and more. From Oct. 25-31, they will be 40 percent off. From  Nov. 1-9 everything must go and will be marked down 50 percent. From Nov. 10-30, all remaining items will be 65 percent off.

As for this year's the top three costumes: are pirates, superheroes and Renaissance, Prim said.

“We have thousands of costumes to choose from; at last count, I had something like 1,600 costumes," Prim said. 

She began her career in the performing arts field, which later led to lighting design, and then designing costumes for the drama department at Saddleback Community College.

In 1995, she created some designs for the Comic-Con masquerade, and also designs for many local impersonators.

“It’s definitely been fun, and I will miss it," she said. “I may sell online at some point in the near future.”





Close my retail store at the end of this year, after serving the Laguna Niguel area for more than 30 years.

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