Seasonal store brings benefits

Spirit Halloween and other temporary businesses rely on seasonal commercial real estate leasing and bring benefits to communities.
Spirit Halloween in Edmond utilizes a short-term lease (Photo: <a href="https://edmondbusiness.com/author/brent-fuchs/">Brent Fuchs</a>)

Here today and gone tomorrow usually sparks concern and issues in the business world. This can be especially true in Oklahoma when storms bring in quick-acting, out-of-state contractors who don’t stick around for long. But, there are a few businesses that make the most of a short-term presence.

Spirit Halloween is one such store that optimizes short-term retail and provides more benefits than concerns. The store does not go away forever; they return each year to sell costumes and decorations to a spooky-loving crowd.

This year, Spirit Halloween is open at 3325 S. Boulevard, a spot they have been in before but not in the last couple of years. Their stores are usually only open from around Labor Day until November 1st, which is just the right amount of time for costume shopping. Over 50% of sales for Edmond’s store will happen in the three days leading up to and including October 31st. “It gets busy,” says Shelbie Dahlke, manager at the Edmond location.

Spirit Halloween is typically open from around Labor Day until November 1st (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

This is Shelbie’s third year working for Spirit Halloween. She loves it and “will work here as long as they will have me.” Shelbie says the people are great and it is a good company to work for. She highlighted the “Wall of Fame,” where customers can put their signatures after donating to the Children’s Hospital. Giving back to the community is important to the organization.

Spirit’s real estate team doesn’t just look for random open buildings for their temporary stores. According to their website, they have a specific set of criteria including population density and traffic counts. Targeting a population of 35,000+ within 3-5 miles and a traffic count of at least 25,000 cars helps them focus on ideal locations. These criteria help ensure there is enough retail activity to support the cost of operating.

Three-month leases are not generally seen in the commercial real estate sector, but that’s just what Spirit is looking for. This is why existing vacant space is ideal for them and benefits the landlords who lease the space. The store is able to stock and sell items in the prime season without all the extra months of rent payments. Landlords gain by getting some income from empty storefronts and might gain traffic to other stores in the same strip mall or shopping center. After Halloween, Spirit will have a discount sale for a few days then pack up shop. “Everything including the walls will get packed up and loaded,” says Dahlke. “It’s a lot of work, but the people make it fun.”

Spirit Halloween has only one store in Edmond but lists over 1,150 total stores on their website with ten here in the OKC metro.

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About Phil Klutts

Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.

Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.