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Party Line: Making Spirits Bright

Now that you’ve (hopefully) recovered from fall festivities filled with food and family, it’s time to put away the turkeys and bring out the reindeer, as the holiday season is here. While most retailers put healthy sales at the top of their wish lists, it’s usually anyone’s guess as to what shoppers will do with their cash.

However, the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2012 holiday forecast predicts that holiday sales this year will increase 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion. This is higher than the 10-year-average holiday sales increase of 3.5 percent, and actual holiday sales in 2011 grew 5.6 percent.

“This is the most optimistic forecast NRF has released since the recession,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “In spite of the uncertainties that exist in our economy and among consumers, we believe we’ll see solid holiday sales growth this year and overall we are optimistic that retailer promotions will hit the right chord with holiday shoppers.”

Of course party stores don’t necessarily sell those consumer goods that nobody really needs but simply wants — new electronics, clothes, jewelry — but instead sell those things they need to make their celebrations complete — decorations, paper goods, balloon décor and small gifts. The key, as mentioned above, is to “hit the right chord” with your shoppers.

Create excitement and promotions that will bring in both the bargain hunters and impulse shoppers, appeal to both the “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holiday” crowds and above all else, exude an attitude of gratitude that can do nothing but spread cheer and confidence to every consumer you meet.

And to help get your new year started off on the right foot, this issue includes our annual trend report — what should be on your radar for 2013, along with our 2013 Party Product Licensing List — your comprehensive guide to the manufacturers hold the licensing rights to all of the products you need.

So happy holiday to you and yours, and here’s to a great year ahead!

Originally posted Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012

Tags: editor's letter