August 24, 2009
Inflatable store going up at Regency Mall
A new store is coming to Regency Mall, located where the late, unlamented ChiChi's restaurant was. Don't get too excited, because it will only be here a couple of months.
The "building" is a giant inflatable pumpkin balloon. Inside you'll find Halloweeen costumes and other items for that singular holiday. Owner John Majdoch was unloading the "structure" this morning -- there is a steel superstructure around the perimeter. Once inflated, the balloon will be 100 ft. around and have about 8,000 sq. ft. of selling space.
"There are only two of these in the world," Majdoch told us; he designed the structure himself and had it made in Florida; think of those "indoor" golf domes. This one was at the State Fair for three years, and at I-94 and Route 50 in Bristol, but this is its first attempt to scare up business at a mall.
Halloween Express -- the Racine store used to be located in the old Kohl's supermarket on Durand and Lathrop -- is Majdoch's sole support. He has nine retail outlets -- only two of them are balloons -- and works all year to deal with 100 vendors and obtain the 10,000 products he'll sell, starting Sept. 1.
"I work at this all year," he says, "but I have only two months of income."
As you'd expect, the balloon will be deflated and hauled away at the end of the selling season.