Tuscaloosa's Spirit Halloween store, a longtime fixture next to the McFarland Mall on Skyland Boulevard, has found a new home for 2020 in the spot formerly occupied by Sears in the University Mall.

Signs announcing the store's location were hanging on the mall's exterior Thursday morning, and staff members there was busy stocking the site ahead of a Sept. 15 opening date.

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Spirit Halloween opened in San Fransisco more than 30 years ago and now operates 1,300 storefronts in all 50 U.S. states and Canada.

Sears announced in 2017 that it would close its store in the mall after almost 40 years of operation there. The site has been vacant since.

Calls to the Spirit Halloween corporate office were not returned Thursday, and University Mall management declined to comment on the new tenant, saying only that Sears still leases that space and has sublet it to the costume superstore.

A store locator on the Spirit Halloween website says their Bessemer location is already open for the season, a Hoover store will open Friday and the Tuscaloosa location is planned to open next Tuesday.

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