Spirit Halloween brings holiday spirit to empty storefronts

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Spirit Halloween displays of decorations and costume pieces. Spirit Halloween has become a popular destination for Halloween shopping in the retail market. (Kyle Remund)

Every fall, empty storefronts across the country undergo a transformation and new Spirit Halloween locations are born.

In fact, several Twitter users have taken to the social media platform to crack jokes about their ubiquitous presence each year.

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The sudden appearances of Spirit Halloween locations is no job for Scooby Doo, the Ghostbusters or Sherlock Holmes. In fact, the answer is simple, and it can be found on Spirit Halloween’s website. In short, it’s part of a deliberate strategy to capture what the company calls “a little Halloween magic.”

“Sometimes businesses that are empty will reach out to Spirit so that they can get somebody in the spot,” local Spirit manager Maegan Dawe said.

Dawe manages the Spirit Halloween location on State Street in Provo, not far from Utah Valley Hospital.

Spirit Halloween looks for locations in shopping centers that service populations of 35,000 or more, according to their website. The company also takes a flexible approach to the size of each location, saying “no store is too large (or too small).”

The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will be spending $10.6 billion on Halloween this year, bringing the average to about $100 per person. Considering that specialty stores net 36% of retail Halloween purchases according to Statista, businesses like Spirit Halloween have a lot to gain from cashing in on that spooky holiday spirit.

Spirit Halloween internet sales in 2021 were approximately $90 million, according to ecommerceDB.

For retail employees like Megan Johnson, Spirit Halloween also provides a chance to work at a job they enjoy.

“I like Halloween, so seeing Halloween stuff is great — getting to share what I’ve done and help them feel a nice Halloween aesthetic,” Johnson said.

For customers like Gabby Parker, a junior at BYU, that Halloween aesthetic is exactly what they want.

“It’s super fun and they have fun little haunted houses.” Parker said. “And the costumes are great to look at.”

Spirit Halloween is not just about costumes; the brand also raises funds for children in need. Spirit of Children, the humanitarian arm of Spirit Halloween, has raised more than $90 million for Child Life programs at hospitals in the United States and Canada, according to the company’s website.

Whether it is for the costumes or the just habit of popping in every fall, the largest Halloween retailer in North America has certainly made an impression on Halloween lovers in America.

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