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February 2010

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A One-Stop Party Shop

Times may change, but some things stay the same — hard work, adaptability and innovation will get you where you want to go. Take SF Party on Mission Street in San Francisco, for example. What began more than 100 years ago as a small retail toy and novelty store, with the two original owners actually selling novelties door to door throughout San Francisco, branched out into a company renting gaming equipment to schools and churches for fundraising events. Over the years they have evolved to be the largest party store in San Francisco — a one-stop shop offering party supplies, a large selection of balloons and rental equipment. And although they do business in a very modern way, they keep the traditional values of their founders — to offer customers an excellent shopping experience. Success from the Start Located in the center of San Francisco, SF Party…  » Read more

Costume Party Progress

The economy may be in the doldrums, but people still want to have fun, and one way they’re having fun is through adult costume parties. Costume parties are still popular and it’s a viable market that party and paper retailers can serve. Trisha Battles, general manager of Features Costumes in Tampa, Fla., said adult costume parties aren’t just for Halloween. “Our customers do a lot of 1920s parties,” she said. “They also do 1970s parties and a lot of murder mysteries with costumes. All of those parties take place any time of the year.” Tampa also has seasonal adult costume parties that center around the annual Gasparilla Festival the last week of January. “The number of parties has been affected by the economy,” Battles said. “We haven’t had as many customers come in for those kinds of costumes this past year as we have had in the past,…  » Read more

Spiritual Sales

Invitations and response cards, party favors and ceremony pillows, tiaras and flowers. If it sounds like a wedding, you’re close. With the planning that goes into many events celebrating religious milestones of youth, retailers would do well to take a similar marketing approach when it comes to this category. These events — baptisms, communions, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and Quinceaneras, for example — are generally celebrated with ceremonies honoring both religious and social aspects of the occasion. It’s important for you and your staff to be familiar with the events those in your area plan to celebrate. “In our industry, you must be aware of every religious celebration in your community,” said Denise Hagopian of Heavenly Choice Events. “If you make a donation to houses of worship and private religious schools, the congregations will be aware of your shop and you will become acquainted with the spiritual…  » Read more