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December 2014

December 2014
Party Line: Changing With the Times
Shop Talk: Balloons by Night Moods
A Look Ahead to 2015
Crunching the (Costume) Numbers
All Signs Point to Sales
2015 Party Product Licensing List
State of the Costume Industry
Big Laughs Bring in Big Cash
Balloon Recipe
Party People
 
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Party Line: Changing With the Times

Party Line: Changing With the Times

Welcome to our last issue of 2014!   This year our annual Trends feature came together through a survey we sent to our readers. When asked about how you were planning on retaining your customers in the next year, many of you answered with some form of an increased online presence, which makes sense given the fact that strategies have to be adjusted in order to accommodate the changing face of retail.   Because as cliché as it sounds, the only constant is change. Whether you like it or not, the way people shop and spend both their time and their money isn’t what it was a year or even a couple of months ago.   And while it’s easy to complain about Internet sales and big-box stores — all valid challenges, mind you — the truth is most customers don’t really care, and complaining…  » Read more
Balloons by Night Moods

Balloons by Night Moods

Spotlight On: Juneau, Alaska Part lingerie boutique, part balloon store—and everything in between   What do piñatas, lingerie and balloons have in common? At first glance, you might not think much at all. But one step into Balloons by Night Moods in Juneau, Alaska, will prove that all can be found in the store, a tasteful combination of everything from party goods and piñatas to garters and candy bouquets. Owner Kathy Buell opened Night Moods as a lingerie boutique in 1993 and had to close it in 1998 due to some health problems. After about eight years she became really good friends with the women who owned a local balloon store, and Buell would help her out whenever she could, learning more and more about the balloon business every day.   They started talking about going into business together, and just when they were about…  » Read more
A Look Ahead to 2015

A Look Ahead to 2015

Who knows the industry better than you? Each year we publish a story predicting the trends for the upcoming year. But this year we decided to go to the industry experts themselves: you. After sending a survey to our readers, we combed through the results were and along with what you’ll read below, this much was made clear — “Frozen” is not thawing out any time soon and if you’re not online in some way, you’re off the retail radar. What product trends did you notice in 2014? Fewer helium-inflated balloons; more air-inflated balloon décor.   Customers were more interested in accessories than buying packaged costumes.   Zebra seems to be going away while polka dots and chevron stripes are becoming more popular.   Customers love Pinterest and are looking for supplies to complete their projects.   The product trend that has come to my…  » Read more
State of the Costume Industry

State of the Costume Industry

Rubie’s Costume Co. looks at what to expect and how to plan   As retailers, it can be hard to know how just where to put your time and energy year after year. Trends come and go and what might work one year could possibly fade out the next. To give you an inside perspective on the costume side of things, Party & Paper Retailer talked to Howard Beige, executive vice president of Rubie’s Costume Co., about the state of the costume industry in 2015. PPR: In general, how is the costume industry looking going into 2015 in comparison to the past couple of years? HB: I think 2015 will be the best year this industry has seen in many years. First, Halloween 2015 falls on a Saturday, and a weekend holiday always means an increase in adult participation. This results in increased sales of…  » Read more
Party People: Jill and Scott Shortreed

Party People: Jill and Scott Shortreed

Jill and Scott Shortreed  Charleston Balloon Co. Charleston, South Carolina   From 1997 to 2004, Jill and Scott Shortreed owned a successful retail party store in New Jersey where they did rentals of costume character and party equipment. In 1998, their Qualatex rep brought Linda Bruce to their store and she showed the possibilities of what could be done with balloons. They instantly hooked.    In 2004, Scott was relocated to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and they decided to close their business and take a break. Their new friends and neighbors learned about their old business and sought their help, thus a new store was opened with balloon creations topping the charts. In 2010, they renamed the company to better reflect what they do and Charleston Balloon Co. was born. Charleston Balloon Co. is now a home-based studio where they decorate everything from Fortune 500 companies and non-profits to private events and parties…  » Read more