Spirit Halloween Now Open in Gaithersburg and Rockville, Coming Soon to Burtonsville

by Patrick Herron

Spirit is now open in Gaithersburg (Rio) at the former Charming Charlies, located at 101 Boardwalk Place and in Rockville at the former Pier One, located at 12137 Rockville Pike (Pike Center). The location in Burtonsville at the Former Fashion Bug, located at 15791 Columbia Pike, is expected to open soon. During the Halloween season, Spirit operates over 1,400 store locations in North America. The Spirit Halloween website is open year-round, offering its in-store products online. The stores are usually open for 30 or 60 days prior to Halloween.

Joe Marver created the Spirit Halloween business model, a pop-up store catering to Halloween revelers. Starting with his first pop-up location in the Castro Valley Mall in 1984, he grew Spirit Halloween to 60 seasonal stores nationwide before it was acquired in 1999. His approach to short-term leases, locations, and the stocking of widely varied merchandise was novel in the Halloween retail sector.

Today, the Spirit Halloween network of pop-up stores is bigger than any other specialty retailer in the category, with new ownership expanding Marver’s original concept to more than 1,100 locations across North America. Spirit Halloween serves a Halloween consumer market estimated at $8.4 billion dollars yearly, according to the National Retail Federation. Despite online shopping creating challenges for brick and mortar stores, Spirit thrives with in person purchases-possibly due to its relatively lower overhead with seasonal rentals of the physical spaces


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