ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It may only be July, but the Halloween ‘spirit’ is already taking root around New Mexico. Even though the holiday is more than three months away, Spirit Halloween stores are already popping up throughout Albuquerque.
“We always get started early July. We as a family, operate 23 stores,” said Chris Scott, with Seasonal Magic LLC, which does business as Spirit Halloween in New Mexico. “It takes a little bit of time for us to get the business spun up.”
Scott scouts out Spirit Halloween locations all across New Mexico. He says it’s a year-round process. “We are sort of the garbage disposal of commercial real estate,” said Scott. “We are looking around the corner at every retailer that is going out of business or pop up shop that happens to become available.”
In recent years, many big box stores like K-Mart and Sears have seen locations go out of business. Those large, empty spaces with thousands of square feet are the perfect place to set up shop. Despite only being open a few months a year, Spirit Halloween says their business model is a success, only taking on temporary three-month leases or similar, short periods.
With no need to make improvements or decorate the place, they can set up quickly and tear down right after the holiday, saving unsold inventory for the next year. Last month, the Halloween franchise squashed rumors of a mass closure because of COVID-19 and instead, plan to return full-force. Scott says he’s sure people will still find a way to dress-up and celebrate.
“People, I think, more than ever, need a reason to celebrate, need a reason to get away from reality,” said Scott. “Halloween is a great way to do just that.”
With this Halloween falling on a Saturday and sparking one of six ‘full moon Halloweens’ of the 21st century, Spirit wants this to be a holiday to remember. Even though the stores are seasonal, Spirit runs an online store year-round which, they say, also helps bring in revenue.