Competing with Amazon, big-box stores takes toll on third-generation costume shop in metro Detroit

Patrick and Susan Lynch are ready for a break. After spending much of their waking lives running Lynch’s costume and theatrical shop, they have earned it.

Patrick Lynch, 57, is a third-generation owner of the Dearborn, Michigan store, which was started by his grandmother, Eleanor, in 1949. Lynch told Crain’s Business Journal his store is still doing “OK,” but not “like the old days.” In short, competing against Amazon and other big-box retailers has taken its toll.

Lynch told Annalise Frank of Crain’s the big-box retailers’ large inventory space is a tough challenge for small retailers to overcome. “Us little guys, if I buy it, I gotta hang it on my wall and keep it,” he said.

Lynch’s primary customers have been local theater and stage companies, like the Detroit Opera House, as well as individual buyers looking for a great Halloween costume. Theatrical makeup and supplies were a also big sellers. In addition to Patrick and Susan Lynch, the company employs two other people. It will close for good in June. Inventory lidquidation is underway.

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Originally posted Friday, Apr. 21, 2017

Tags: costume stores