The "spirit" in Spirit Halloween doesn't refer to ghosts, and other secrets of the bizarre seasonal store

According the National Retail Federation, US shoppers will spend $10 billion on Halloween crap this year. A big chunk of that will go into the coffers of Spirit Halloween, operators of more than 1400 pop-up shops in the US and Canada. The Hustle informs me of how little I know about these ubiquitous holiday stores that give a few months of life support to perpetually dying malls and shuttered retail outlets from August to October. For example, since 1999, Spirit Halloween has been owned by none other than stalwart gag gift chain Spencer Gifts. But that was 16 years after Joe Marver did a magical working that brought Spirit into this dimension. From The Hustle:

In 1983, the entrepreneur owned a women's clothing store in California, per Vox. A neighboring costume store did very well during Halloween — and when that store shut down, Marver pivoted his own business to costumes.

The "Spirit" name was pure coincidence. Marver wasn't inspired by Halloween ghosts, but by the name of his shuttered store (Spirit Women's Discount Apparel).

That first year, Spirit Halloween made $100k in 30 days.

(via NextDraft)

image: Michael Rivera – Spirit Halloween in former Pier 1 store, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia (CC BY-SA 4.0)