What a Girl Wants
The economy may be down, but bachelorettes still party. What they buy and what kind of partying they do, however, depends to a great extent on where they’re located.
Party & Paper Retailer asked party stores all over the country what they see that’s new, what’s tried and true and what their bachelorette customers buy.
“At the Halloween Show in Houston, I saw that Eldorado has a new line of bachelorette items and novelties that are R-rated instead of being X-rated, and that really caught my eye. I tend to sell more of the harder core stuff, and it sells well, but for someone who has a family store and doesn’t want to offend any of their other customers, it’s a cute line. For me, the best selling bachelorette items year in and year out are anything with male parts.”
Card & Party Giant, Chicago
“Here in Hawaii, bachelorette parties aren’t real big. Most girls just go to a bar and drink and have a good time. I carry the bachelorette kit from Hallmark and I finally sold one the other day, but I don’t even sell a lot of decorations for bachelorette parties. If I had naughty stuff I’d probably sell a lot of that, like the cookie cutters and the Jell-O molds, but I don’t carry that kind of thing. I don’t even sell a lot of wedding stuff because weddings here are so large — usually 500 people or more — and they usually do something luau style.”
Orchid Isle Party Supplies, Volcano, Hawaii
“I don’t have a lot of bachelorette sales, so I don’t carry a whole lot. I do keep tiaras and boas, because the girls will have the bride-to-be wear a little tiara with a veil on it, and she has to wear it all over town.”
Party Express, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
“What’s selling for us is hilarious stuff, like 'My Willy' cake pans, cookie cutters and games. I think bachelorettes are doing more home parties and games at home.”
Partycraft, Anchorage, Alaska
“I see some new paper goods coming along, but they’re the same X-rated style that we’ve been carrying. What we sell season after season is a pinata of a man’s parts. Customers also like a tiara with wiggling men’s parts on it. There’s a wand that matches it that sells all the time, too.”
Brenner’s Party Store, Saugus, Mass.
“We’re expanding our bachelorette items and picking up new products from whatever our vendors are offering. That category becomes a little risque for a family party store like ours, so in some cases it’s difficult for us to stock some of what people are looking for. For instance, we fill balloons that people buy elsewhere that we wouldn’t sell and we aren’t sure we should be filling. But it’s a nice category in the store that certainly brings in some dollars, and it’s a mixed bag of customers.
The people who come in for bachelorette parties are just looking to have a good time. Many times they’re just looking for a little wearable that the bride-to-be can wear for the evening — maybe a button that says 'bride-to-be' or a silly baseball hat with a veil — just to designate her as someone special. We also have tiaras and sashes and other hats in that category.
Other times it’s someone coming in and looking for things for a very risque party. But generally we don’t carry anything that I would characterize as R-rated, and certainly not X-rated, because we’re a family party store and we’ve always tried to maintain that image.”
The Party Store, Lexington, Ky.
“This past year I added Table Toppings for several categories, including bachelorettes; they’re little cards that you draw, and each one has a question on it that gets everyone talking about the same thing. I also sell a lot of Glam Girl items from Kikkerland. They started with tweezers and now they have nail files and manicure scissors and a manicure set. People match them up to their hair color and they have little faces on them.
We also sell a lot of sound cards for bachelorettes (as well as for everyone else). Young people don’t send cards the way older people do, but they do send cards with sounds.”
Ideal Stationers, Novato, Calif.
“We’re not seeing anything really new for bachelorettes, but we continue to sell a lot of lingerie. We also carry some boas, because the brides always like to dress up and be special.”
Chadwick’s of London, San Francisco
“Bachelorettes like sashes, and we have a lot of jewelry of men’s parts. They also buy a lot of invitations.”
Party Pro, Las Vegas
“Our bachelorette customers buy a lot of sashes and tiaras with veils in the back. We also have a feather boa in black and pink, and a lot of them like to buy that.”
Zurchers, Salt Lake City, Utah