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Josette’s sees its last Halloween in business

After providing costumes for theater groups and generations of Halloween shoppers, Josette's Costume Shop in Biloxi is closing its doors.
Updated: Oct. 24, 2019 at 5:21 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - After providing costumes for theater groups and generations of Halloween shoppers, Josette's Costume Shop in Biloxi is closing its doors.

It’s been an emotional time for the owners of the family business that opened in 1972. There is plenty of merchandise on hand, and a lot of people are rushing in to get Halloween costumes for Josette’s final year in business. Crystal Locklar and her husband Jacob are regretfully shutting the doors of Josette’s Costume Shop after Jacob’s parents Tex and Josette opened the business in 1972.

“We have done everything we can think of to try and save this business. This wasn’t a decision we arrived at lightly. We’ve considered it over probably the last five years. The bottom line is we just can’t compete with the internet,” said Crystal Locklar.

Online shopping has been the dagger in the heart for Josette’s.

The costume shop has been an institution on the Gulf Coast with Halloween costume shoppers, Mardi Gras Krewes and theater groups. People have relied on the shop for years, and it’s sad to see it all come to an end.

“I’m very sad to hear that it’s closing. My mother brought me here. I brought my children, and I was hoping to bring my grandchildren,” customer Jennifer Krueger said.

Halloween sales right now are brisk with the Locklars offering deep discounts on merchandise. Plenty of inventory remains in stock, and the doors will stay open until Thanksgiving. Then the Locklars will decide what to do with all the costumes and fabric left.

The buildings on the corner of Howard Ave and Caillavet Street are under contract with a closing set for the end of the year. The Locklars said they can’t reveal who the buyer is.

It’ll be the end of a Gulf Coast tradition, and long-time costumers will miss this iconic place.

“I’m sad. We’re losing coastal history. I’ve shopped here forever,” said long-time customer Sheila Ward.

The owners of Josette’s have been on an emotional roller coaster over the closing, but the realization has set in.

“A lot of people come in and say we’re sad to see you go and of course we’re sad. At this point, we’ve accepted it, and it’s time for us to move on,” said Crystal Locklar.

The Locklars are trying to unload existing inventory, so everything in the store is 75% off. After closing to the public by Thanksgiving, they will look at ways to sell what remains.

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