How Vacant Storefronts Rise From The Dead As Halloween Costume Stores | WBEZ
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Curious City

How Vacant Chicago Storefronts Rise From The Dead As Halloween Costume Stores

Each fall, dozens of vacant storefronts transform into temporary havens for Halloween costumes and decorations. Then, as the calendar turns to November, they are gone as quickly as they arrived.

These spooky shops prompted Halloween fanatic Rosemary Anguiano to ask: What’s the business model like behind Halloween pop-up stores?

Curious City sat down with Courtland Hickey, general manager of Chicago Costume Company, to talk about the tricks (and treats) of running a Halloween pop-up store out of a former downtown LensCrafters.

More about our questioner

Last year, Rosemary and her boyfriend dressed up as Bob and Linda from the TV show Bob’s Burgers. (Courtesy Rosemary Anguiano)

Rosemary Anguiano, a marketing coordinator at Acceleration Academies, says she visits these pop-up stores every year to browse — if not buy — something for Halloween.

What did Rosemary find most surprising about these temporary stores? She says it’s “mind boggling” that some retailers pay tens of thousands of dollars a month to sell their costumes and decorations.

Last year, Rosemary and her boyfriend dressed up as Bob and Linda from the TV show Bob’s Burgers. This year, they’re keeping up with the Bob’s Burgers theme and dressing up as members of the One Eyed Snakes motorcycle gang.

Susie An is a reporter at WBEZ. You can follow her on Twitter at @soosieon.

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