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The Life and Death of the Great American Halloween Pop-Up Store

What can the vicissitudes of a very nichey (and spooky) industry teach us about the economic recovery?
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Dan Ox/Flickr

A hearty "congrats" to the Halloween real estate agents out there, who—after nearly a year of scrambling—are hopefully on their well-deserved vacations. It's boom time for the Halloween Industrial Complex, which, according to the National Retail Federation, will generate $7.4 billion this year. And some of that money will surely be spent inside Halloween pop-ups, those temporary Halloween stores that materialize in your local strip mall around September and vanish by sometime in mid-November. (Like ghosts, some might say.) But for the real estate agents who hammer out the deals that create such stores, this is downtime. Happy Holidays, indeed.

How, exactly, do those Halloween superstores end up where they are? And what can they tell us about the inside workings of the nation's recovering economy? A lot, it turns out.