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February 2012

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Party Line: You Get What You Give

Party Line: You Get What You Give

While hearts and flowers have no doubt taken over your stores for Valentine's Day, this is our Halloween issue, and it's full of great ideas and products to help get you thinking about those fall holidays. But first I'm going to ask you to do something that might seem a little bit off topic, but trust me on this one. Just once this week - perhaps in the spirit of Valentine's Day - I want you to give what you can share, not what you can spare. Whether it's just a customer appreciation day, a gift card to an exemplary employee or a donation of balloons to a local event, give something from your business to someone in the community. It doesn't have to be expensive and it doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be from the heart. This past holiday season…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Discount Party Warehouse

Shop Talk: Discount Party Warehouse

Spotlight On: Sydney, Australia Down under they go up and over expectations Eight years ago, brothers Deepak and Sanjay Gidwani set out to achieve one mission - to have Discount Party Warehouse offer the biggest range of party products in Australia, with great customer service, while providing value to their customers. "Our parents owned eight variety stores for 30 years and we had a background in wholesaling packaging, tableware and party supplies," said Sanjay, who started with the family business and then worked at Harrods of London for a period while living in England. "Deepak was running a wholesale business and came across a range of party products to wholesale, which is how he came across his first party store. He decided we could do a better job as a party store, and that's how we ended up in the business." They started in a…  » Read more
Animal Magnetism

Animal Magnetism

Walk on the wild side with animal-themed products Whether it's zebra stripes and leopard print patterns, a Hello Kitty party or a flock of Angry Bird balloons, whole parties are being planned around a specific animal theme. Companies have taken note of this emerging trend and are answering the consumer call for more textures, patterns and designs that reflect the wild side of partying. So what's the appeal of this animal magnetism? "The reason is simple," said George White of Up With Paper. "If you show an image of a blonde-haired girl, you've immediately eliminated all boys, as well as girls with other hair colors. If you use a cute animal, on the other hand, any child, parent, friend or grandparent of that child can imagine that the child is the animal. "So the most important advantage that animal themes provide is that compared to…  » Read more
By Air and By Sea

By Air and By Sea

Air Swimmers are rising to the top If you see a 4-foot long shark or clown fish flying through the air, have no fear: Air Swimmers are here. Since 1992, the William Mark Corporation (WMC) - a family business started by Mark Forti and his father, Bill, who retired from the aerospace industry - has been dedicated to developing unique, high-quality products for extraordinary flight performance. Their latest innovative, remote control flying balloons called Air Swimmers, have quickly risen to the top of the retail ranks. "The first prototype was developed by Stanford University engineering student Blake English as a class project," said Dana Forti, CFO of the WMC. "We had never seen anything as amazing as Air Swimmers, so we hired Blake and brought his wonderful creation to market." Party & Paper Retailer caught up with Forti to talk about Air Swimmers, the appeal…  » Read more
Halloween 2012

Halloween 2012

Cool décor, tricks and treats keep business ‘BOO'ming With more than 65 million trick-or-treaters prowling the streets of America on Oct. 31, it's no wonder that manufacturers and retailers are excited and optimistic about this Halloween each year. "Consumers anticipate seeing traditional decorations using pumpkin, skeleton and witch art, but they often will buy on impulse when they see something that is unusual and different," said Dave Goode, vice president of marketing at The Beistle Co. "After all, these are the decorations that really get the neighbors talking." Goode continues to see strong consumer interest in many of Beistle's more gory products, including its bloody wall and catacombs backdrops, refrigerator door covers and toilet toppers. They've recently seen a trend toward funny and unusual products-back seat driver clings, restroom door covers and crashing witch Instaviews have been big hits. "Some of our product ideas are…  » Read more
Give Thanks-and Solutions

Give Thanks-and Solutions

Combining fall holidays and sales with style and ease Planning a dinner party can be overwhelming. Throw the stress of Thanksgiving into the mix and it can become downright daunting. Fortunately, parties can be planned with ease and beauty nowadays, thanks to the vast inventory of party and paper stores. From trendy table landscapes to creating festive, manageable meals, your customers will be hoping it's their turn to entertain Thanksgiving guests year after year. There's a lot more to the day of Thanksgiving than just favorite foods. Thanksgiving is an event that lasts all day and often into the weekend. From breakfast to all day appetizers to the main event, the kitchen is sure to be a hopping place that needs support from every angle to successfully keep up with hungry bellies and festive feelings. Holiday-themed paper plates are the perfect solution for this, but…  » Read more

The Store Room: How do you make the most of your time at a trade show?

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn't - for our readers, from our readers "How do you make the most of your time at a trade show? What do you wish you could change?" Edward HechterPartyPail Inc.Enumclaw, Wash.We generally only spend two days at the annual show in Houston, so we want to make sure the time on the floor is really efficient. We start working around 60 days in advance of the show to schedule specific meetings at specific times to review new products, discuss the year's promotions and meet with management of the companies to understand future directions. This allows us to build a daily calendar around these "anchor" events, and be assured we can quickly conduct our business with our most important partners. Then, around 30 days in advance, we review the list of vendors at the show,…  » Read more