Real estate zombies: shuttered stores return to life for Halloween

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Real estate zombies: shuttered stores return to life for Halloween.

PARAMUS, N.J. PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) — Like something out of a horror tale, an abandoned store in this northern New Jersey city has come back to life, as a Halloween retailer.Some of the most popular costumes are expected to be based on the reptilian superheroes after the 2014 release of the film “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” according to Steven Silverstein, CEO of Spirit Halloween, a chain of more than 1,150 pop-up stores devoted to costumes and decor for the holiday. For those with gorier tastes, Halloween fare also includes bloodied zombies and ghouls and characters from slasher movie classics like “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Friday the 13th.”

Pop-up stores have been around for decades, but the trend got a big boost when retailers got the idea of short-term rentals for holidays like Halloween and Christmas. Spirit has 28 stores within 50 miles of Boston, according to its website. ‘‘We are equivalent to an army operation in terms of the way we mobilize and move products,’’ says Steven Silverstein, chief executive of the Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey-based company. Spirit Halloween was launched in 1983, as the holiday’s focus was evolving from children and trick-or-treating to parties for people of all ages, Silverstein says. Trucks start arriving, and the locations go from bare walls and floors to racks and shelves bursting with costumes, accessories, props and home decor.

Estimates of what consumers spend on Halloween vary widely, running as high as $11.4 billion on costumes, decorations and candy in 2014, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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