As summer simmers down, the first holiday of the fall season is bringing new business enterprises to Killeen.
Americans spent $1.68 billion on adult Halloween costumes and $1.23 billion on children’s Halloween costumes in 2017, according to the Statistics Portal at statista.com.
That billion dollar industry is coming to the Central Texas corridor in the form of specialty shops that are cropping up in the skeletons of former businesses.
A Halloween City location, the first in the area, opened in Killeen Sept. 6 in the former Toys R’ Us store building, which permanently closed in June at 2500 E. Central Texas Expressway in the Cielo Vista Shopping Center, The nationwide Halloween City franchise is owned by party supply retail chain Party City, and boasts 250 Halloween pop-up locations across the country, 19 of which are in Texas, that go into business solely for the season, according to Party City representatives.
“Our pop-ups store sites were selected based on optimal locations and attractive leasing opportunities, which we were happy to pursue in Killeen,” Party City representatives said in an email. “We know that many of our customers begin to shop for these events in the early fall, and we are here to support all of their Halloween and party needs, no matter how they choose to shop.”
Halloween City sells everything from costumes for all ages to makeup, accessories, props, home décor and novelty party supplies, featuring a variety of brands and price ranges.
“We believe that Halloween isn’t just one night but rather a season-long spectacle. It’s trips to the pumpkin patch, decorating, pumpkin carving, picking the perfect costume, picking another perfect costume (just in case), more decorating, trick-or-treating, costume contests, and throwing a petrifying party,” the company said in an email.
Halloween City currently has 10 employees at the Cielo Vista location and is still hiring, according to Party City.
The location still had a ‘Now Hiring’ sign in the window as of Thursday, instructing interested applicants to text HCITY to 518-93.
Operating hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday and the store will be open through Nov. 4, according to company officials.
Halloween City isn’t the only seasonal franchise setting up shop in the area.
Spirit Halloween stores are now open in Killeen and Temple, with another location set to open in Harker Heights.
Spirit is also a nationwide franchise boasting thousands of pop-up stores across the country that open in vacant business spaces.
The store in Killeen opened at 10 a.m. Monday in the former Gander Mountain location at 701 E. Central Texas Expressway.
In Temple, the Spirit store opened in the old Steve & Barry’s location at 3111 S. 31st St., No. 6502, in the Temple Mall.
The Harker Heights location will fill a business spot next to Lane Bryant at 201 E. Central Texas Expressway, No. 1160, Harker Heights.
All Spirit stores will retain hours from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, according to the company’s website.
Spirit representatives had not responded to request for comment as of press time.