A temporary store for a spooky season
The Spirit Halloween in Okemos takes over the empty Younkers department store in Meridian Mall from late August to early November, providing local residents like Robin Garrett and her family an opportunity to find costumes for her neighborhood’s socially-distanced trick-or-treating.
Despite the curtailed Halloween plan, Garrett’s daughters were excited about the costumes they bought at Spirit Halloween.
“I like it, the girls like it,” Garrett said. “We always go there, you’ll find us looking around.”
In an article by the National Retail Federation, Spirit Halloween CEO Steven Silverstein said that even though Halloween looks different this year, a majority of the 1,300 stores nationwide are still open.
Spirit Halloween has received criticism for its business model, and some wonder how they’ve survived this long. A New York Times article said its unique strategy of taking over temporary leases has earned the company more than enough money to sustain itself and likely will this year despite the pandemic.
A lifetime of Halloween spirit
Local resident Jaycie Ebright doesn’t get caught up in the criticism of the costume chain store, focusing on the yearly tradition of shopping at Meridian Mall Spirit Halloween.
“Spooky season is my favorite,” Ebright said. “My friend and I come to this store every single year to get in the Halloween spirit, so I hope people can celebrate.”
Ebright said she and her friend could spend hours in Spirit Halloween and probably have spent many hours shopping there over the years.
Catering to all members of the community
Meridian Township has a diverse demographic, and Spirit Halloween caters to more than one group. Families like Garrett and her children shop at Spirit Halloween for costumes, but they are not the only ones who need them.
Michigan State University senior Maria Paluzzi said she went to Spirit Halloween for accessories to complete her costume.
“I think Spirit Halloween is a positive in the community,” Paluzzi said. “Even though they seem to quickly pop-up every year, they are useful for all things Halloween.”