My wife mentioned earlier today that she received an email advertising Halloween costumes. Is it that time of the year already?

Since we live in the middle of nowhere, we have to plan ahead for everything. When we lived closer to civilization, I was always amazed at all of the Halloween stores that would popup inside vacant stores during the early fall. I always wondered how they worked. I finally got around to figuring it out:

The first Spirit Halloween Store opened in 1983 and last year there were almost 700 of them in 48 states. They open around Labor Day weekend and closes in early November.

Many of their stores are consignment operations. Spirit ships in merchandise and takes a percentage of the sales. What doesn’t sale is shipped back, prepaid to Spirit at the end of the season.

The consignment operator negotiates his own lease with the landlord, purchases all fixtures and supplies. He operates under the Spirit name and complies with our basic merchandising and marketing philosophies. Spirit will supply the operator with the best assortment of Halloween merchandise in the industry. Spirit will furnish the operator with POS terminals to ring sales and replenish merchandise during the season.

The consignment operator controls his own expenses and pays only for what he sell.