A massive new Halloween party store opened Wednesday on Skyland Boulevard as the Birmingham-based Party WOW weighs a long-term plan to open a year-round location in Tuscaloosa.

The store, called Halloween WOW, occupies the cavernous, 15,000-square foot space that used to house the Southeastern Consignment Furniture store north of the Walgreens Pharmacy and Cash Saver by Vowell's grocery store in the shopping center at 600 Skyland Boulevard.

Vic Kennison, one of the business partners responsible for bringing the store to the Druid City, said Halloween WOW will be open Wednesday through Sunday for the rest of August before shirting to a seven-day-a-week operation in September and October.

Kennison, a New Orleans native, said he has been in the retail business for almost 38 years and wants to see Party WOW come to Tuscaloosa year-round after seeing how the Halloween store fairs this season.

"People always have a reason to celebrate, for holidays, birthdays or graduations and we want to be here to make those celebrations unique, magical experiences.

Right now the store is well stocked with costumes, masks and decorations from standard spooky Halloween fare to offerings from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, video games and more. There is also a selection of large, motion-sensing animated pieces, which Kennison said will only grow as shipments delayed by the coronavirus pandemic continue to be fulfilled.

"Overall, we're only about 70 percent stocked right now," Kennison said. "More will be coming in every day."

The store also offers a unique, immersive VR experience where patrons don a virtual reality headset and sit in an egg-shaped chair on hydraulics and choose from one of more than 100 experiences, from riding rollercoasters to action-packed adventure games. Kennison said this new-to-market will cost around $5 per experience.

(Stephen Dethrage)

Halloween WOW is now hiring, Kennison said, as they look to recruit hourly salespeople and managers alike.

Check out the new store, which opened to the public Wednesday, just off Skyland Boulevard now!

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