Using Balloon Walls
Take it vertical to increase profits
By Steve Martin, Rainbow Balloons
Many party store retailers ask us, “How can I increase my balloon sales?” The answer is simple: Display large shape inflated foil balloons in your store in the most impactful way — add a balloon wall!
When a customer walks into a party store a festive and fun environment will set the tone for their shopping experience. The goal, as always, is to sell your customer more merchandise than they originally came in for. Creating that party environment gives you your best chance to do that. As we all know, it is not a party until you add balloons.
What is a Balloon Wall?
A balloon wall is a merchandising vehicle designed to maximize your balloon sales by displaying the most profitable balloons in the most impactful way. The wall itself is a simple backdrop used to display all of your balloon designs. Each store’s balloon wall will be unique based on the number of designs being displayed and the space available.
There are four steps to having a successful balloon wall program:
The first and most important step when considering a balloon wall is choosing a location for the display. You want to choose a wall that is immediately visible to customers entering the store. The section can be as big or as small as you need it to be. Of course, the larger the section the more designs you can highlight.
The actual fixture needs to be a custom made back drop that will attach to your existing wall. The background color should be black with large shape balloons displayed tightly, similar to solving a jigsaw puzzle, leaving as little open black space as possible.
Maybe you already have air-inflated 18-inch balloons displayed on a wall. However, up-selling your customers to large shape foil balloons from standard 18-inch foil balloons is a huge profit generator. So instead of hanging inflated 18-inch foil balloons in your store and merchandising large shape premium balloons on spinner racks, the plan is reversed to put more focus on the large shape designs, while still including the 18-inch balloon designs.
So how will you continue to merchandise the 18-inch balloons?
One way to do this is to install a valance just above or below the balloon wall that will display the 18-inch foil balloon designs. This valance in front of your balloon wall lets your customers see all of your 18-inch balloon offerings, but encourages them to upgrade to one of the large shape balloon designs merchandised just above or below them.
Now you have the 18-inch balloons still selling, but they are no longer the focal point of your display. When planning the layout, you will also want to think about dedicating a section of the display to seasonal designs that will be changing often, as well as a section to highlight any new designs that become available.
3. Inflate and Maintain Balloons
Each inflated air-filled design will be attached using hook and loop material such as Velcro. Make sure the balloons are fully inflated which makes for a better, more animated and visually impactful display. Be sure to schedule in regular maintenance to keep the balloons on display full and neat. You’ll need to also occasionally replace faded balloons and remove slow-selling and discontinued designs.
4. Backstock Organization
The backstock needs to be organized in a fashion where you can quickly pull out the design your customer chooses. There are a few ways to organize your foil balloon designs. Some retailers prefer to label each displayed balloon with a number corresponding to an area you have designated to store your backstock. One way of doing this is by using file folders to separate designs under the counter by number.
Another backstock option is to organize your balloons by category, keeping birthday balloons together, get well balloons together, and so on. The key is to make it quick and easy for your staff to pull and inflate the correct design.
Proven Research of Sales Increases
Over the last few years, retailers have tried to re-focus their displays to promote large shape balloons with a suggested retail of $7.99 over 18-inch foil balloons which retail significantly lower for an average of $2.99.
Anagram International, Inc. was an early pioneer in creating balloon wall displays. Balloon wall research studies in party stores conducted by Anagram have shown incredible profit spikes for many retailers. In some cases the spike has been in the neighborhood of a 400 percent increase in foil balloon sales.
Steve Weil, owner of The Party Box in New Jersey said, “ My large shape foil balloon sales increased tenfold following the installation of my balloon wall.”
How to Begin
Start by working with your balloon distributor to customize and design a layout that is right for your store. Consider partnering with Rainbow Balloons to start the process. We can put together a program that will make it easy to organize and design your balloon wall layout. We understand the product mix that is needed and will take into account your customer base when selecting designs and placement.
Contact your full line, full service Anagram distributor like Rainbow Balloons who may have programs that make it easy to install a balloon wall. Today, several variations of balloon wall installation kits with pre-established best-selling balloon assortments are also available to party store retailers. A knowledgeable distributor, like Rainbow Balloons, can provide all of the materials and balloons needed to create an impactful fresh display if the retailer is committed to the installation and the support of the program.
Imagine what a 400 percent increase in your balloon sales would look like.