Seasonal “Spirit” just in time for Halloween


Photo by Kelli Burell

Seasonal spirit stores offer everything you need for Halloween.

October can be a stressful month for students. Luckily, the convenient arrival of Halloween supplies stores can decrease those stress levels. By visiting our local Spirit Halloween store, I was able to uncover the mystery surrounding how these stores pop-up just in time.

Michelle Willey, manager of Spirit Halloween at the Crossroads shopping center near Target, explained the process behind why and how the stores appear to pop-up out of nowhere just in time for the Halloween season.

”It’s basically our zone manager who figures out a location for us, and then they go to the district manager, and then basically the district manager comes to us,” Willey said.

The zone managers are Spirit employees in charge of scouting out potential Spirit store locations. According to Willey, their job is to find the location, and ask the district manager for permission to open a Spirit store in that spot.

Willey also added that the Spirit employees are not the ones who choose the location of their stores. The decisions are entirely up to the zone managers.

Willey shared about the employment process, and answered questions of how long one works for Spirit if hired. She informed me that employees are only hired seasonally, and, at the longest, work from July to November.

Spirit Halloween stores have been providing customers with all their Halloween must-haves since 1983, over thirty years. The company was bought by Spencer Gifts, LLC in 1999, and since then the stores have dramatically increased from 63 locations to over 1,100 throughout the United States and Canada, according to the Spirit Halloween website.

Because of the drastic rise in store locations and revenue, Spirit has decided to give back to its community. Since 2001, the company has hosted a special, on-going event to help benefit children’s hospitals across the country.

“It’s called Spirit of Children;100% of the donations are donated to CHOC Children’s Hospital,” Willey said.

Spirit collects donations at its location, then gives all the money donated to local children’s hospitals.

The Spirit Halloween store found at the Crossroads location in Irvine gives its donations to CHOC, whereas other locations give to the children’s hospitals in their area.

“Actually on Wednesday of next week [10/14] we’re going to CHOC hospital, and we’re going to get to see and interact with the kids, so we’re really looking forward to that,” Willey said.

These stores provide a fabulous array of Halloween items, from costumes to makeup to decor. Unlike other local retailers that may carry some Halloween costumes, by only being open seasonally, Spirit stores are able to completely meet their customer’s Halloween needs.