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December 2010

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Party Line: On a Mission

Party Line: On a Mission

It's already December, which means it's time for the annual Party & Paper Retailer Party Product Licensing List. I have to say that I enjoy compiling this information every year, as it keeps me in the loop on all the hot properties that will be hitting the shelves in the coming months. The drawback? Getting the theme songs for a variety of the children's shows and movies stuck in my head and having to Google things like "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan" and "Chuggington" to find out what the heck I'm talking about. However, having this list as a reference throughout the year serves as a great resource, (and not just so I know what my friend's with children are talking about.) This is also our Trends Issue, supplying you with all the information you will need to plan for the retail year ahead, and our first…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Fantasy Festival Costume & Magic Centre

Shop Talk: Fantasy Festival Costume & Magic Centre

Spotlight On: Algonquin, Ill. If you can't find something here, you're not trying hard enough If you're the indecisive sort, then Fantasy Festival Costume in Algonquin, Ill. probably isn't the place to go for your next costume. The 4,000-square-foot building has a rental department at the rear of the store with an inventory of more than 11,000 costumes. But what you won't find are licensed costumes, as Owner Ron Ferraro found it hard for a small shop to make money when they had to compete with the buying power of large volume retailers. "This is primarily true of license goods, so for us, the answer is to simply not carry them," Ferraro said. "We've seen people get stung with licensed costumes, as there are too many in too many sizes in varying quality. In my opinion, the only way to profitably sell these types of…  » Read more
2011 Trends Forecast

2011 Trends Forecast

Look to the past for future success Looking ahead to 2011 is going to feel a lot like looking back on 2010, or even 1980, for that matter. With Hollywood seeking to cash in on the success of sequels and remakes, many of the same characters and themes that have already saturated the screens and store shelves will be checking back in once again for 2011. There will also be a strong environmental influence, with not only the "green" movement sticking around, but with animal icons, earth tones and animal prints exerting a strong presence throughout the industry. Animation Station The animated features viewers have known and loved will once again return to plates, balloons and big screens everywhere as movies such as Kung Fu Panda 2, Cars 2 and Smurfs reassert themselves into the media mix. While many enjoyed them the first time around,…  » Read more
Dress-up Déjà vu

Dress-up Déjà vu

A first look at what everyone will be wearing in 2011 I know it still feels too soon to talk about next Halloween, but the good news is that many of the classics from last year- and even 25 years ago - will still be making the rounds in 2011. All those Alice in Wonderland characters, superheroes and (the perennial) princesses are expected to remain strong categories in the year ahead. The National Retail Federation's (NRF) 2010 Top Costumes survey found that nearly 120 million children, adults and pets were expected to dress up for Halloween this year. Of those 120 million, an estimated 4.3 million children were planning on dressing as a princess. In fact, princess costumes have topped NRF's children's top costume list for six consecutive years. With the release of movies such as Kung Fu Panda 2, Cars 2 and Smurfs, expect…  » Read more

The Store Room: “What is your mission statement for your business?”

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn't - for our readers, from our readers "What is your mission statement for your business?" Tracy Bloom SchwartzCreative Parties, Ltd.Bethesda, Md.Creative Parties, Ltd. strives to meet the clients' needs in a timely and professional manor. We endeavor to create excellence in design and execution as well as be creative within budgetary guidelines. It is our goal to deliver products and services that exceed our clients' expectations. Adriane BrandenburgFun Party and Wedding ServicesShawnee, Kan.My parents started this company in 1973 and I think my dad's "mission statement" sums it up pretty well: "Work hard and pay your bills." Tawnya CurryParty Outlet, Inc.Murphy, N.C. Party Outlet is committed to providing our customers the best service and selection of party supplies in the tri-state area. We provide a fun and friendly atmosphere to make our customer's party…  » Read more