The recession has had an odd sort of impact on Lexington-based Halloween Express: It's helped the headquarters of all things Halloween scare up more business.
With the bankruptcy and subsequent closure of big-box retailers like Circuit City and Linens 'n Things, the 170 or so Halloween Express stores nationwide have found themselves with a plethora of vacant retail space to occupy during their two- to three-month operation stint.
And it's prime retail space, Halloween Express owner Curtis Sigretto said.
"Our business is really predicated on getting a good spot," he said. "When we get good spots, our numbers are up."
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And he said business is up slightly nationwide.
"We've got bigger stores, bigger signs, bigger everything, and more merchandise and more people to fit in the stores," he said.
In Lexington, the company has its traditional spot in Crossroads Plaza on Nicholasville Road, as well as its warehouse store at New Circle Road between Liberty Road and Palumbo Drive. That location is open year-round.
Sigretto said the company didn't sell many new franchises for this season, likely due to the economy, but he's already sold seven stores for next year.
"It's either there's more people out of work looking for something to do, or they're feeling better about the economy," he said.
Sigretto started Halloween Express nearly two decades ago after noticing how well Halloween merchandise was selling at the Party City franchise he owned. The company began in South Carolina, but moved to Kentucky a few years later so Sigretto could partner with a factory that produced Halloween merchandise.
As for this year's hottest seller, Sigretto said Transformer and vampire costumes are popular, but "there wasn't one thing we were out of all season, which was kind of strange because it's normally like that."