Pop-up shop pioneer Spirit Halloween is hitting the mall as more retailers vacate

by Lauren Thomas

Halloween isn’t only a favorite time of year for kids. Many retail landlords with vacant stores also have something to look forward to.

“Because national retailers take a long time to sign leases — easily six months — tenants like Spirit Halloween tend to be a great filler in the interim,” said Ami Ziff, a director of Time Equities’ National Retail division.

Spirit Halloween, which first popped up in 1983, is considered one of America’s first “pop-up shops.” The retailer, which operates a year-round e-commerce business, has a physical retail presence for only about two months a year.

And for the past 15 years, Spirit Halloween has been expanding its physical footprint, adding roughly 50 to 100 shops throughout the U.S. and Canada per year. In 2017, Spirit will have a whopping 1,300 temporary locations across North America.

“There is always turnover in the real estate market,” CEO Steven Silverstein told CNBC about his company’s annual search for short-term leases. “This year there has been availability in quality real estate.”

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