The costumes range in size from extra-small to large, so every furry friend can fit—canine, feline or otherwise. “We have customers who dress up their gerbils and bunnies in costumes,” Gaby says.
For tiny pets—or pets who simply don’t wish to play dress-up—Walmart also offers a line of Halloween accessories, such as capes, tutus and head pieces. Starting at just $2.47, these items are inexpensive, easy ways to include your pet in the spooky festivities without getting them too spooked. Plus, many of the accessories can be reused throughout the year.
If buying Halloween costumes for pets sounds like a dream job, “you’re absolutely right,” Gaby laughs. Seven years ago, she began her Walmart career as a fine jewelry buyer for Walmart U.S. While the transition from jewelry to pet accessories might seem like a dramatic shift, Gaby says the two departments are actually more similar than you’d think.
“Both sets of customers are buying things for their loved ones,” she says. “The customers are putting a lot of trust in you, whether they’re buying a bracelet or a dog costume.”
In her current role, Gaby and her team are responsible for merchandizing most of what customers see in the pet aisles: water and food bowls, dog and cat toys, collars, leashes, harnesses, grooming tools and obviously, apparel. They pick their products based on trends and shopping data, as well as feedback from customers and associates.
It also helps to test the products first-hand. This year, Gaby is dressing up her two French bulldogs, Rocco and Rosie, as a taco and a burrito. She’s still debating what to put on her Boston terrier, Einstein—also known as “our little gentleman.”
Ultimately, Gaby reminds us, “There are so many reasons to put your dog in a sombrero!”