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Ricky’s out to conquer Halloween

Ricky’s NYC is trying to corner the market on Halloween this October with an ambitious expansion plan.

Ricky’s NYC is trying to corner the market on Halloween this October with an ambitious expansion plan.

It has opened 45 pop-up costume shops in vacant storefronts across the city — nearly double the number it had last year. It’s even experimenting with a location in New York’s “sixth borough,” on Philadelphia’s Walnut Street.

Halloween sales make up 15 to 20 percent of the family-owned chain’s nearly $50 million business, but CEO Todd Kenig calls it “gravy.”

Kenig said the temporary spaces — one at Seventh Avenue and 11th Street in Park Slope still has the old dry cleaner’s awning over it — are litmus tests for possible permanent locations. So far, they’ve led to year-round stores in Hoboken and Astoria; one is coming soon to Brooklyn’s Bergen Street and Flatbush Avenue.

By the year’s end, Ricky’s will have 28 permanent locations.

“If there’s an empty spot, why not feel it out?” Kenig said. “If we see it’s our demographic and we see it’s our customer base, we’ll open.”

The chain — which started as a pharmacy more than 20 years ago — fell into the pop-ups accidentally, Kenig said. People were flooding Ricky's for wigs, make-up and other supplies, so to take pressure off one Midtown store, they opened a Halloween shop nearby.

 
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