This year, two Halloween store chains have six temporary stores operating in the Jacksonville area. Spirit Halloween, a subsidiary of mall retailer Spencer Gifts, has four, and the Halloween City chain has two. The Associated Press reported that temporary Halloween retailers last year claimed bigger and better spaces, increasing visibility and ringing registers to $3.8 billion.
The stores open every year around Labor Day to already pent-up demand, Eric Mercado, Spirit Halloween district manager said.
“There is a very, very big following in the Jacksonville area,” he said.
Spirit Halloween ramped up its presence this year with 850 stores in the lower 48 United States and in Canada, he said. Last year, the chain had 725 stores nationwide. In its annual search for new locations, the company looks for street visibility and foot traffic – much the same things that traditional retailers look for, Mercado said.
Halloween isn’t the only holiday draw for these “pop-up” stores. Big-box toy retailer Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. is back this year with Toys ‘R’ Us Express stores, ready to catch the annual wave of Christmas shopping. Last year, the toy seller had a Toys ‘R’ Us Express near Regency Square mall. This year, it has three around town – including one in the Regency Square mall itself. The chain had a Babies ‘R’ Us and a Toys ‘R’ Us store near that mall, but closed them to consolidate into a new combined store near the St. Johns Town Center.
7628 103rd St., Suite 20
River City Marketplace, 13141 City Station Drive
Mandarin Landing Shopping Center, 10601 San Jose Blvd.
CB Square, 9317 Atlantic Blvd.
1919 Wells Road, Orange Park
– Fleming Island Shopping Center, 5000 U.S. 17
Toys ‘R’ Us Express
– River City Marketplace, 13221 City Station Drive
– Regency Square, 9501 Arlington Expressway
– St. Augustine Premium Outlets, 2700 Florida 16, St. Augustine