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November 2009

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Who would’ve thought there was a direct correlation between a 100-day Hollywood writers’ strike in the winter of 2007-8 and the kids’ birthday partyware offering in the summer of 2009? Well there was, and it was significant. Live action and animated theatrical projects often have two- to three-year development cycles. When this strike took place, multiple major projects had their market release dates either pulled up or pushed out, creating a hole in the entertainment content pipeline. This hole came into play in the summer of 2009 when the theatrical movie line-up, especially for kid-targeted property events, wasn’t nearly as robust as we’ve seen in recent years. Kids determine their party themes, and their choices are highly influenced by the marketplace. Therefore, less exciting new kids’ movie content from Hollywood directly translates into less exciting new kids’ birthday category news. But what’s in store for 2010?…  » Read more

Graduation 101

While most of us are past the days of final exams and report cards, no one is ever too old to learn something new. Sometimes a little refresher course is all that’s needed to perk up sales for any category, and one category that is growing by leaps and bounds is that of graduation — so much so that its now being referred to by many retailers as “graduation season.” So to prepare you for “graduation season,” we have created a study guide to help you sell to the head of the class. Ready for a little “true or false”? The best time to get ready for graduation season is the same for every store — April or May. False. In January, the staff at Party Pizzazz in Manitowoc, Wisc., starts making phone calls to local schools, asking for that year’s class colors, numbers for the graduating class…  » Read more