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March 2010

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Bridal Bliss

It’s the million dollar question. What every man, woman, and child — and especially retailers — involved in wedding-day planning want to know: what do brides really want? What will give the bride her perfect day and everyone around her some perfect peace? A secret like this comes with great power, and with great power comes the potential for awesome retail sales for bridal season 2010. While men may never figure out what women really want, it’s relatively easy for retailers to help please even the pickiest of brides. It’s simply a matter of putting a bride’s needs first. The sales — and bridal event bliss — are sure to follow. Simple Solution Of course, no wedding will be perfect. Most brides will get frustrated at some point, taking the stress out — even unnecessarily — on anyone. Denise Hagopian, owner of Heavenly Choice Flowers and Events, knows…  » Read more

Costume Trends for 2010

You won’t have to follow a white rabbit down a hole to turn your store into a retail wonderland this Halloween, although keeping an ample stock of “Alice in Wonderland” costumes would be a good idea. Why? Because if ever there was a time that costume trends were influenced by movie releases and licensed characters, 2010 is it. From “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” vampire parties held throughout the year to the costume culmination in October, expect to see a variety of popular icons popping up on not only the big screen, but also the selling scene. What do you predict for 2010? Triton Klugh, InCharacter Costumes Out of the box characters that are iconic of pop culture, humorous costumes and topical characters are very strong in the adult male market. Gross and scary with an edge of irreverence or humor are choice among boys. Girls enjoy…  » Read more

No Kidding?

When it comes to children’s costumes, some parents will stop at nothing to make sure their little one is dressed exactly how they want to be for Halloween. But is there really a big difference between a princess and a Disney Princess? A wizard and a Harry Potter wizard? There can be, and as retailers, it’s important to know how to appeal to both sides. Because while children’s costumes are still license-driven — children are usually pretty set on which character they want to portray — licensed characters can also create demand for non-licensed products. This is why pirates, princesses and the like have had such a strong presence for the past few years. Mixed Merchandise At The Lippman Co. in Portland, Ore., Mel Heywood said they’ve only been selling costumes for about three years now. While they started with just generics, they quickly learned that…  » Read more

Three Doors, Three Specialties

When customers enter Paper Moon Event and Wedding Specialists in Midland, Mich., they are given the option to enter through one of three doors, and all will lead to a variety of diverse and unique retail, rental and event planning solutions. But owner Sue MacKellar is no stranger to innovation. In fact, she embraces it. The initial inspiration for Paper Moon came in 1980 after a buying trip to Chicago for The Calico Cat children’s boutique, her business at the time. After finishing her seasonal buying, she began exploring other floors in the Chicago Merchandise Mart and the entrepreneurial spirit in her surfaced. “I was excited to see humorous card lines, contemporary paper, balloons, theme party goods and gag gifts that I had not seen available at traditional card stores in our area,” MacKellar said. “Midland didn’t have a large mall and had limited box…  » Read more