February 28, 2024

The annual sure-fire sign that summer is about to be over has begun.
I’m not talking about Labor Day now behind us, or the school year starting.
Around town, signs for Spirit Halloween and Halloween City stores have been springing up, such as the one I spotted in Oakland Mall in Troy about a week ago.
What the National Retail Federation says is now a $10 billion spending blitz on costumes and candy is upon us. The average per-person spending has more than doubled since 2005 ($48.48 per person) to last year ($102.74).
Cashing in on all that, Spirit Halloween and Halloween City flood the market, temporarily taking over vacant retail spaces for a couple of months and then leaving.
Even if the leases are extremely short term, for landlords whose space those stores occupy, some cash is better than no cash.
This year, Spirit Halloween says on its website that it has metro Detroit stores in Allen Park; Ann Arbor; Auburn Hills; Brighton; Canton Township; Center Line; Chesterfield Township; Clinton Township; Farmington Hills; Howell; Madison Heights; Novi; Roseville; Shelby Township; Sterling Heights; Taylor; Troy; Waterford Township; Wyandotte; and Ypsilanti.
Halloween City’s footprint in Michigan is five stores, in Ann Arbor, Brighton, Flint, Rochester Hills and Troy. The company declined to make a representative available for an interview or to answer questions about its real estate strategy via email.
Halloween City, whose parent company is Party City Holdco Inc. (NYSE: PRTY), said in its 2021 annual report that it had about 90 stores across the country last year operating on four- to six-month leases, typically ranging from 10,000 to 15,000 square feet.
Spirit Halloween said in an email that it tries to plop its stores into “power centers, strip centers, free-standing stores, major downtown retail locations and in major malls surrounded by a national retailer mix.”
The locations are typically open for eight to 10 weeks.
Spirit Halloween said it looks for spaces between 5,000 and 50,000 square feet — which is to say, however big, they’ll take it.
Spirit Halloween is based in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., and Halloween City is based about two hours north in East Hanover, N.J.
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