Spirit Halloween gobbles up Long Island retail vacancies

The annual deployment of Spirit Halloween stores has commenced, many of which will be haunted by the ghosts of retail locations’ past lives.

The seasonal retailer is set to open a record 1,500 stores across North America ahead of spooky season, Newsday reported. Last year, the Spencer’s Gifts subsidiary opened 1,457 pop-up stores.

While Spirit keeps much of its business practices close to its vampire vest, the retailer has little issue reincarnating properties buried by departures and closures. 

The dynamics of the retail market increasingly adhere to the positives of a pop-up store, something Spirit has mastered. Landlords previously opposed to all the hoops that come with a temporary tenant have started to recognize these tenants are better than no tenants at all, willing to offer favorable leases to keep pop-ups coming back for more.

Some of these landlords benefit from the consistency offered by Spirit, which seems to only grow in size each year, despite falling off the map for multiple months. A spokesperson for the company told the publication that its “great relationships with landlords” is a key ingredient to the spell it casts over the retail landscape every year.

Among the retailer’s record load of stores planned for this year are 13 locations on Long Island, where retail vacancy rates at shopping centers have risen in recent years up to 5.9 percent in Nassau County and 10.2 percent in Suffolk County in 2023. The nationwide vacancy rate in the second quarter was 10.2 percent, according to Moody’s Analytics.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s trip to the graveyard is one development that aids Spirit’s zombie-like revival of shuttered stores. 

In Bohemia, a 42,000-square-foot store has opened in Sayville Plaza where the home goods retailer once stood, prior to leaving ahead of the company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. In Massapequa, a 6,300-square-foot pop-up is replacing Harmon Face Values, a chain that was owned by Bed Bath & Beyond.

Other defunct brands provide the vacancies needed for Spirit to petrify shopping centers. Two of this year’s Spirit stores on Long Island will be in spaces formerly occupied by Modell’s Sporting Goods, each location coming in at 17,000 square feet. Relocations also provide a less ghoulish supplementing of space, such as moves by the Steinway Piano Gallery and Old Navy.

Holden Walter-Warner

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