In a city devoted to commercial self-sustainability, several Evanston business owners are concerned seasonal Halloween stores do not contribute enough to the local economy.
National franchise Spirit Halloween opened at 1700 Maple Ave. last month. It is currently the only entirely Halloween-themed business in Evanston, with its nearest competitors located in Morton Grove and Skokie.
Though there are no Evanston small businesses dedicated specifically to selling Halloween costumes and decorations, some local store owners have expressed wariness of Spirit Halloween.
Avis Behling, manager of Affordable Portables furniture store, 924 Davis St., said she doesn’t mind the seasonal store, but doubts it helps boost the local economy.
“They always seem like carnivals,” Behling said. “They just open and then they close. I think they just go for the least expensive, largest empty space available. I don’t know if they have much of a stake (in the community) at problem.”
Chinsky said the Chamber of Commerce hasn’t discussed how to reach out to seasonal Halloween stores because the organization primarily serves “people who invest in the Evanston.”
Although other Evanston businesses haven’t sought to include Spirit Halloween in collective marketing efforts, Palmas said other stores in the Chicago metropolitan area have worked alongside local businesses to increase sales for everyone.
“We do cross-promotion type things,” Palmas said. “I mean, it would be a good thing for us and for