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April 2011

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Party Line: Closure

Party Line: Closure

I'm not a big dessert person at all, but I do enjoy a little piece of chocolate every night. It's something I consider my chocolate closure on the day. Although I am partial to the small Hershey's Bliss chocolates, Dove Promises come in a close second. The prices are practically the same, yet when it comes down to it, I usually throw the Dove Promises in my cart. Why? Because I get more than just a small piece of (delicious) chocolate with the Dove-I get a small little note inside each wrapper. This doesn't sound like much, but I have to admit that I look forward to reading the message each night that I eat my piece (or two) of chocolate. It's like a fortune cookie that actually tastes good. When I open the wrapper of each Hershey's Bliss, I am faced with an empty…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Discount Halloween World

Shop Talk: Discount Halloween World

A pair of industry pros throw their Halloween hats into the retail arena again Spotlight On: Janesville, Wis. Discount Halloween World wasn't in the initial business plan, but some of the best ideas are created from compromise. Tina Thompson and Paula Carlson opened Paulina's Party Store in 2006, but the bad economy forced them to shut their doors in 2010. The last Halloween that they were open, a gentleman come into the store who had leftovers from his five Halloween stores in storage and asked if they'd like to sell his goods for 25 cents on the dollar. "Well, it took us about one millisecond to say yes to this deal, and boy did he have the goods!" Thompson said. "He had a 30-foot by 10-foot storage unit packed to the ceiling with boxes and it took us two solid weeks open to close to…  » Read more
Birthday Sales Take Flight

Birthday Sales Take Flight

Retailers and customers can't afford not to include this party staple What comes to mind when you hear the word, "birthday?"Maybe decorations, presents, cake and...of course, balloons! Balloons brought to any birthday celebration instantly make it a party. While many retailers carry a basic balloon selection, they might not be making the most of this retail opportunity. Since customers are already in the store for decorations, why not give them everything they need to take that party from simple to spectacular? By providing customers with ideas and opportunities to turn basic balloons into innovative birthday party staples, retailers can serve up great ideas and even greater profits. In other words, bring birthday balloons! Affordable AirTrends like milestone birthdays, animal patterns, cupcakes and licensed images are predicted to remain strong, but customers today's are on the go and want things to fit in their schedule and…  » Read more
Think Outside the Box

Think Outside the Box

Innovative gift bags and wrap can help seal sales When it comes to wrapping up gifts, a simple roll of paper doesn't always cut it anymore. Consumers are on the lookout for decorative and interesting specialty gift wrapping solutions that save space, save time, save the planet and save hassle - all while looking great, of course. While most party store retailers carry a basic selection of paper and bows, some are missing the boat on additional sales. Why? The answer might just be in the bag - the gift bag, that is. As Nancy Dickson of The Gift Wrap Co. points out, party store retailers already have a captive audience when it comes to wrapping sales. The consumer is there for the purpose of a special celebration and will most likely be gifting something that requires wrapping. "A gift is an extension of yourself…  » Read more
Bridget by Roma

Bridget by Roma

Bridget Marquardt, television personality, formerly of E!'s "The Girls Next Door," has taken her passion for Halloween to Roma Costume with the new line, "Bridget by Roma." Party & Paper Retailer was able to find out some details about her latest endeavor. PPR: Why did you decide to do this and become involved with Roma Costumes? BM: I used to design my own costumes growing up, and when I was at the (Playboy) Mansion there were lots of parties to make really elaborate, fun costumes for. I always thought it would be amazing to have my own costume line. This past fall I began talking to some of the people I know from the Halloween industry and considered working with a couple of different companies before deciding to go with Roma. PPR: How did this partnership come to be, and what is your role in…  » Read more

The Store Room: “What do you do to let your employees know they are doing a good job?”

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn't - for our readers, from our readers "What do you do to let your employees know they are doing a good job?" Mariah McKechnieParty AmericaDuluth, Minn.We reward our employees with $5-10 gift cards to from places like Starbucks or Subway during peak seasons when we see great work. We also try to praise them directly in front of customers, as it seems to really have an impact when there is someone there to witness and second the praise! Maria McGuaneImpressions by BrianaEndicott, N.Y. We feel it's very important to let our employees know how much they are appreciated, not just for a good job, but for their characters and kindness. Saying "thank you" is something we do every day for each employee. More than just bonuses, movie or basketball game tickets, we provide occasional…  » Read more