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Making a Scene

Making a Scene

Props, wearables could be on the rise for New Year’s Eve

The glitz and glamour of the Roaring ‘20s will likely be a popular theme for New Year’s Eve parties again this year. So, keep that party going, old sport.

In addition to black, gold and silver tableware and decorations associated with the era, party planners might opt for wearables and other props that make for great photo opportunities for social media sharing.

Party & Paper Retailer caught up with Valerie Federici, ecommerce specialist for Grasslands Road, a division of Amscan Inc., and Dawn Kirschner, Unique Industries’ director of marketing and new product development, to find out what we may see when folks start buying for their New Year’s Eve celebrations.

PPR: What was the big trend for this past New Year’s Eve?

Federici: While party décor and tableware continue to be strong contenders, wearables have become a huge aspect of our New Year’s collections. In our digital world, where photos are shared instantly with family and friends, consumers look for items to make their experience unique. As a result, fun props and accessories that add an extra flair to photos have exploded on the market. We’ve added new Photo Prop and Craft Kits to our 2015 collection. They are just perfect for adding a personal touch to New Year’s photos.

PPR: Any thoughts on what will be big come December? 

Kirschner: Silver and gold are the colors for this New Year’s season. Retailers should make sure they are stocked up on both of these solid colors — with paper plates, napkins, cutlery, table covers and hanging tissue items like fans, honeycomb balls, puff décor and lanterns. These will coordinate nicely with all of their New Year’s tableware and accessories and at the end of the season can go right back into their solid color program if they have any inventory remaining.

Federici: 1920s Art Deco parties inspired by “The Great Gatsby” have been a strong theme for New Year’s. We’ve incorporated new foiled, flapper fringe party hats and feathered headbands to our wearable collection that we expect to do very well. Black-, silver- and gold-themed tableware and décor also support this up-and-coming sophisticated trend.

PPR: How did party kits do last year?

Federici: We find that it is important to cater to various demographics by offering products for every budget. Kits will continue to be a strong component by not only offering lots of quantity for value prices, but as an added bonus, kits make it easy to develop a cohesive party theme. It’s a super easy way for consumers to shop — it’s everything you need in one box.

PPR: Any new products or trends you feel especially good strong about for this year’s buying season?

Federici: Black, gold and silver, as well as jewel-toned brights, are must-have palettes for both wearable and tableware and décor. Foil, glitter and specialty treatments rock for this glitzy celebration. … Champagne-inspired Confetti Celebration Ensemble is a festive choice for the black and metallic color palette. For an extra pop of color, our jewel-toned 2016 Value Pack of Foil Swirl Decorations are sure to make a splash. Having a New Year’s masquerade ball? Our lace Happy New Year masks have the intricate details to complete any top-notch holiday outfit.

PPR: What are you hearing from retailers on what they need more of?

Federici: New Year’s is a more sophisticated celebration, and many consumers will splurge on premium drinkware to add a touch of elegance without all of the cleanup. Metallic-trimmed champagne flutes are fantastic for a midnight toast. We also offer variety of cocktail glasses and fancy tumblers in all hues to go with any ensemble. With today’s value driven consumer, going out for overpriced prix fixe New Year’s parties is a bit passé. Instead, people are hosting their own celebrations, perhaps with a fun theme to have the same excitement of going out, while still being able to enjoy the company of family and friends at home. Sales opportunities for New Year’s will continue to grow along the ongoing trend of home entertaining.

PPR: Any advice for retailers on promoting or merchandising their NYE products?

Kirschner: Party planners don’t typically get serious about buying their decorations until the week before New Year’s, with sales increasing the closer you get to the New Year. It is important for retailer to be prepared for this short season and have product displayed and ready to go right before Christmas.

— By Zeke Jennings | Managing Editor
Photo of Boston International's Midnight Ensemble

Originally posted Monday, Jul. 6, 2015