Through the retail lens: Spirit Halloween’s outlook

President and CEO Steven Silverstein talks about the unique challenges of celebrating this year
Sandy Smith
NRF Contributor

As president and CEO of Spirit Halloween and its corporate owner Spencer Gifts, Steven Silverstein certainly knows “scary.” And 2020 lives up to that name. Silverstein spoke with NRF about what Spirit Halloween — which opens 1,400 stores throughout the United States each fall — sees coming for 2020.

Steven Silverstein Spirit Halloween
Steven Silverstein,
​​​​​​​President and CEO, Spirit Halloween

It has been impossible to anticipate any aspect of 2020, but best guess: How will Halloween fare?

At Spirit Halloween we believe Halloween restores hopefulness and provides an outlet for escape, something we all need now more than ever. Our fans stand by that belief as well. When a rumor went viral that Spirit Halloween would not open due to the pandemic, we received an outcry from fans hoping it wasn’t true. We quickly assured them that’d we’d be back to open our doors and keep the Halloween spirit alive. We immediately saw an outpouring of enthusiasm for Halloween celebrations across social media.

With many of our stores now open, we’re seeing encouraging initial results and are anticipating a Halloween on par with last year. With all the excitement of the season, we do foresee top items selling out quickly and encourage our fans to come early and shop often to score the latest trends.

With so many warnings about large gatherings, how do you anticipate customers will experience Halloween?

We know that Halloween will look different for many and Spirit Halloween is here to help fans find unique and safe ways to celebrate the season. We’re stocked with everything for themed video parties, decked out family dinner parties, costumed movie marathons and décor that lets all the neighbors know who loves Halloween the most on the block!

Halloween is one of the earliest major fall holidays. What do you think it will teach us about how Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and other events will look?

The magic of Halloween is transformative. We need this now more than ever. It brings sheer fun and joy for families, especially for the kids. That is the beauty of Halloween – it’s stress-free and designed to be outdoors. It’s a celebration and opportunity to transform into whoever or whatever you want to be.

We are all learning about resilience and flexibility. It teaches us that these are unprecedented challenges, but we will find innovative ways to recreate. No matter what, it will still happen in some renewed shape or form.

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