Three Scottish friends launched Morphsuits by selling spandex costumes from their homes. Now, they’re a global business turning over £40m — here’s how Amazon supported them in their international expansion.
Fraser Smeaton launched Morph Costumes with his brother Ali and their friend Gregor Lawson in 2009 after noticing how much attention one of their friends received when he went to a costume party in a full spandex outfit.
Realizing there was a gap in the market for a high-quality version of their friend’s costume, the Edinburgh, UKbased trio got to work developing six versions of the suits — and so Morphsuits was born.
Fraser said their offer to customers is simple: “We make your best times better.”
The founders didn’t initially plan to turn the business into their full-time jobs. “Morph Costumes was supposed to be a side hustle at first,” he said. “But after a year we were turning over £1m. We saw how big the Halloween industry was, particularly in the US, and never looked back.”
Now, Morph Costumes stocks nearly 1,200 different costumes — with their range expanding beyond spandex suits — and employs around 60 staff members worldwide, making them one of the world’s biggest costume companies.
Growing an international business
When sales started to boom, Fraser realized that Morphs Costumes couldn’t scale unless they started selling on Amazon and taking advantage of Fulfillment by Amazon which allows small and independent businesses to use Amazon’s logistics and fulfillment network, getting orders to customers quickly.
“If I had my own warehouse, I would have to hire 100 people and train them just for two weeks around Halloween, which obviously isn’t workable,” Fraser explains. “Amazon allows us to scale our business in a way that would be impossible without their support.”
With Morph Costumes now selling across Europe and North America, Amazon’s services have been instrumental to their international success.
“The power of Amazon and Fulfillment by Amazon is that you can lift and drop your range and content to scale your business really fast,” Fraser said.
“You can follow Amazon’s best practices to create an international business with much less hassle than if you had to build each business from scratch.”
Using Amazon Global Logistics to ship their costumes to fulfillment centers across the globe, Morphsuits helps partygoers worldwide stand out from the crowd in their unique designs.
The business now sees 85% of its total sales coming through Amazon, which Fraser attributes to the tools that help businesses scale: “Amazon takes away the hard stuff, giving us more time to focus on creating great costumes, marketing them, and growing our business.”
It’s never simple to expand internationally, but Amazon has made it so much easier for us.”
Setting the trends for Halloween and beyond
With Halloween just around the corner, it’s the busiest time of the year for Morph Costumes, selling one costume every five seconds in the month of October.
The insights that Morph Costumes get from Amazon help their designers create on-trend costumes they know people will love.
“We know what sells thanks to the amazing data tools that Amazon offers,” Fraser said. “We know what people are searching for and we can get ahead of the trends with our designers.”
But the Morph Costumes team don’t sit back and relax once Halloween is over. “After Halloween, we start selling Christmas costumes straightaway,” Fraser said. “Then there are European carnivals, followed by Easter — we stock two of the world’s best-selling Easter Bunny costumes.”
How Amazon supports future growth
Fraser sees Amazon playing a key role in Morph Costumes’ growth plans: “We’re going to continue adding more costumes to our range, as well as continuing our international expansion.”
“Following the success of selling from Canada, we’re going to move stock into a fulfillment center in Mexico so we can ship from there. Amazon will support us with its amazing logistical help, making sure we get our products to more happy customers and make their best times even better.”