Costume Boutique continues to succeed

By: Randy Cooray

Canadians have finished their Thanksgiving leftovers and are now looking ahead to upcoming events like Halloween and the Christmas season. While the ‘season of giving’ can put a rather large dent in the wallet, those with a creative side will also “shell out” with no holds barred, for Hallowe’en.

While some costumes can be designed with old clothing or random household items, more elaborate costumes are purchased in boutiques where ‘the scariest time of the year’ is depended upon to generate the bulk of their revenue.

Malabar Limited has been in operation since 1923, and has seen a broad wave of trends during over 70-plus years of operation. They provide a slew of ideas for people in search of the perfect costume, including: A game show host, a flight attendant, a diva from the 1960s, and hundreds more.

“We get calls all the time from sets and movies. We also do clothing for weddings, if people are planning a baroque or Victorian theme,” says Marketing assistant, Shayla Duval, who says her company sees a lot of revenue from theatrical productions, the Pride Parade and more. “We have been around for so long that a large variety of people know about us.”

With Malabar’s long history, the organization has overcome hardships such as the most recent economic downturn. Duval mentions that, even still, they only focus on advertising during their busiest time of the year.

“We only do (print) advertising publicly during the Halloween season, and in some of the campus newspapers (collegiate-level),” says Duval, who mentioned Malabar’s recent involvement with Facebook and Twitter earlier this month. “Other than that, we send general postcards and email blasts to everyone on our mailing lists.”

Despite the customer allegiance that bigger box stores draw, Duval says that Malabar offers more viable options to customers.

“We have the rental side, consisting of theatrical-quality costumes. This is what we focus on; we offer a lot of expert advice. It’s not like these costumes are available at regular stores, and no one else specializes in this area. Halloween is big thing for us."

Malabar has locations in Toronto and Ottawa. For more information, log on to

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Randy Cooray has been on both sides of the media spectrum working in the Public Relations field after five years in Journalism. From one-on-one interviews with professional athletes, to collaborating on breaking news stories. Randy is now a part of the corporate communications industry.

By Adam

October 22, 2010