Spirit Halloween thrives on memes

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The Future. Spirit Halloween is rising again as we enter spooky season, with stores popping up in more than 1,500 locations this year, generating 40,000 seasonal jobs — both records for the company. Buoyed by memes that have turned the brand into an unlikely cool kid, Spirit Halloween may have the rare chance to expand from retail into haunted house experiences —  the company has already proven it has ambitions in entertainment.

Pop-up power
How does Spirit Halloween, which is just open for two months, continue to grow after 40 years in operation? Memes.

  • Memes of the Spirit Halloween banner taking over vacant department stores and of fake, hilarious costumes have taken the internet by storm every fall since around 2019.
  • Instead of shunning the memes, the company has embraced them, letting them be what every company wants — free, viral, grassroots marketing.
  • This approach has made the brand a Halloween staple that never overstays its welcome — just as people get tired of the memes, the holiday hits, and the stores close up shop… waiting to be revived the following September.

With the National Retail Federation estimating Halloween spending will hit a record $12.2 billion this season, Spirit Halloween may ride those memes all the way to the bank. And landlords have a lot to be happy about as well — the company reanimates dead spaces that typically don’t bring in any revenue.

With so much goodwill, Spirit Halloween may have cast a spell to make an even bigger brand extension next year… something that could scare traditional year-round retailers for the remainder of the calendar.


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