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Easley's Magic/Costume store closes.

Posted: January 3rd, 2019, 1:56 am
by Diego
I just saw that Easley's magic/costume business, that was started in Phoenix, Arizona,
announced they are closing their doors by the end of 2018.

Started by magician Bert Easley 72 years ago, as a magic shop inside the downtown bus station, it expanded to its location
on McDowell Road...just a few blocks from the fairgrounds where the State Fair was held each year.

I met Bert Easley there, while performing with Pete Kortes' side show at the Fair, and told him how I saw him perform at the P.C.A.M. convention in Oakland a few years earlier. (He did a great "drunk act", as the tipsy magician) He said that show was his, "Swan Song", at the end of a long career.

The next year we were back at the Fair and his son Herb was running the store. Herb later brought his family see the show with my invitation and they enjoyed the show, Herb incredulously watching magician, Fred "Manipolo" Harris perform, while intoxicated, (started celebrating the end of the season early).

Like other magic shops, they began emphasizing the sale of costumes and related merchandise, as well as magic and novelties...the costumes being the money makers.

Four generations of Easley's have worked in their store, and it was a sad, but confident move to close the store now, citing online competition among other factors. They will continue to do business via their website.

Re: Easley's Magic/Costume store closes.

Posted: January 6th, 2019, 3:17 pm
by Diego
On a poignant and reality note, Bert Easley's granddaughter, responding to those asking why "their decision" to close their store,
she responded, "When any of you bought something online, knowing we had the same item in our store, and could have
bought it from us, you made that decision for us."

Re: Easley's Magic/Costume store closes.

Posted: January 6th, 2019, 4:12 pm
by Richard Kaufman
It's a pity they didn't keep up with the times, which demand that they have a vibrant online store as well as a physical store.

Re: Easley's Magic/Costume store closes.

Posted: January 6th, 2019, 5:04 pm
by Diego
They did and will continue their online store. Among the factors they said contributing to the store's closing was online competition. So while they were using the web, perhaps to keep a profit margin, keeping a retail store location open, as well as an online store, was no longer viable. (speculation on my part)

I ran her quote as the reality of business today. People say they "love" the mom and pop store on the corner, but drive a few miles by it, to go to Walmart.

They may have (tried to) keep up with the times, but the reality of a customer loyalty base, abandoning them, for the bottom line, worked against them despite their efforts.
Again, I don't know, just sad to see another magic store that I and others remember, closing it's doors.

Re: Easley's Magic/Costume store closes.

Posted: January 6th, 2019, 5:10 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Yes, sad. One of many unintended consequences of the internet.