Halloween pop-up shops are haunting Glendale again, packing in customers for superhero suits, fake blood and more, but the city's real estate resurgence means there are fewer locations for the temporary businesses.
Two years ago, Glendale-based Halloween Time Superstore had four locations in the city, manager Patrick Abe said Thursday, but this year and last, that's down to one on Central Avenue.
“There's lots of new construction [in Glendale], and there's just not the same amount of available space,” Abe said.
The Spirit Halloween Superstore also has one location in Glendale, on Brand Boulevard.
Sharon Mann Garrett, principal economic development officer for the city, said that although the city doesn't keep numbers on Halloween pop-up shops, there has been a noticeable decline, as the city has fewer vacant storefronts to house to the spooky retailers.
“I don't have any official numbers but there are fewer this year,” she said. “It is an indication that our retail vacancy is improving a lot.”
Garrett said that in previous years, a Halloween store might have entered the vacant space on Brand that housed Borders, but that is now a Marshalls clothing store.
Garrett said that although the city doesn't track the store's economic impact, it does support them coming to Glendale and bringing shoppers into the city.
“We do know that we're a city that a lot of people in the creative industries live in, and they are people who love to celebrate Halloween,” she said. “We also think it's a good sneak peak at our retail.”
Garrett said the city also appreciates that the stores are low-impact on the spaces they rent, without extensive construction, and enable landlords in the city to earn money from underutilized property.
Abe said that sales do appear to be improving this year, especially on items that only cost one to two dollars, as the economy improves from the recession, and that top sellers are superhero costumes, “sexy” costumes for women and AMC television show “Breaking Bad” costumes.
The store, which opened in August, will remain open until November.
Abe said that customers are coming in looking for specific styles they have found on the Internet.
“People are not amazed anymore, they come in here and they know exactly what they want,” he said.
Keisha Davis, 24, of Los Angeles, said the Halloween Time Superstore was just the closest place to get her costume supplies.
“It's kind of nuts, but they have everything,” she said. “I'm probably going to be a witch.”