If you don’t have At Home Decor stores in your town (formerly known as Garden Ridge), imagine a Costco-sized warehouse exclusively for home goods, decorations, and furniture. It’s an overwhelming place. The store is divided into blocks for each category of thing, and some of these blocks can be both massive and super specific. There’s a “pillows” block with aisle upon aisle of just… pillows. A cushions block. A chairs block. A rugs block. And near the front: Seasonal.
A few aisles are dedicated to Christmas stuff year round, but the rest of it rotates, and with so much square footage to work with, they can afford to stock for the major holidays really early.
This is what you see near the front of the store. Greeting you right inside the entrance is that big inflatable pumpkin (hard to tell in the photo, but it’s about 6 feet around) and super tall ghost. A little further back they have more inflatables, mostly of the cartoonish variety. Some time later in August they’ll have a huge display of all kinds of different Halloween decorations assaulting you right in the front of the store as you walk in, but seeing as how it’s JULY they have the good sense to keep it on the back burner.
Moving on to the proper seasonal block, it’s mostly empty aisles as of this writing, which actually makes me excited in a weird way. Empty aisles bearing signs that read “harvest” and “Halloween” mean potential. What will be on those shelves?! I love the anticipation phase more than anything.
They actually do have quite a bit out already, in spite of the empty aisles (did I mention this place is HUGE?). For the most part there’s nothing I haven’t seen before out yet. Lots of skeletons, hanging ghosts and ghouls, plastic Jack o Lanterns, cutesy signs, a severed limb or two (or 20)… At Home’s early season prep stock dwarfs the full-on seasonal sections at Target, Wal-Mart, etc. It’s nuts.
So the seal has been broken on 2016! You could call it “cheating”, going to At Home, but whatever. This stuff doesn’t stay up year round, so it’s fair game to me. I didn’t spend too much time checking this stuff out, and I’ll definitely be back later in the season looking for anything worth buying.
Next up, Costco.