A few of my friends were district managers for Spirit for a while. The company has their logistics down pretty well. Everyone above store managers work year round, Store managers get laid off for 4 months or so out of the year. Store employees are just there for a week before and after the stores are open. The management for that company does a lot of the physical labor themselves.
Break down is chaos, most the people doing break down aren’t particularly motivated since it’s the end of their job, everything just gets thrown into shipping containers. The shipping containers are shipped to an empty lot. Everything gets pulled out, inventoried and divided up between containers dedicated to next years stores. They start ordering new products throughout the year to be ready for the next season.
As Halloween gets closer the company starts pursuing new short term leases to set up stores in. Everything about the operation is coming up with creative solutions to keep costs down. The total profitability isn’t great so spending a dollar more than they need to is killing anyone’s bonuses. If they can find a location with usable fixtures, great, less labor bringing in what they do have or less cost renting or buying new stuff. A lot of the training for the management is thinking out of the box and estimating labor as an expense. ie we have a week to set up, the store has no fixtures, how many employees do you need for set up, how many can you push off until we open, as you don’t want to pay anyone you don’t need earlier.