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February 2014

February 2014
Party Line: Hearing You Smile
Shop Talk: Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds
Tricks, Treats and Trends
The Big Reveal
Moving On Up
Cartoon Character Craze
Balloon Recipe
Party People
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Party Line: Hearing You Smile

Party Line: Hearing You Smile

Even though stores are filled with hearts and Cupid right now, as I write this we’re in the middle of the winter holiday season. Shoppers are filling the stores and registers are ringing along with the jingling of bells.   I’m not a big shopper myself, so it takes a lot to get me to go out to stores in the first place. Although it sounds obvious, the last thing I want when I do venture out is an unpleasant shopping experience.   But what might not be obvious is what kind of “unpleasant” I mean. It’s not necessarily an outright error or bad attitude from staff, but rather something much more unconscious — the faces of the staff.   A smiling face is mandatory when working with clients, of course, but when no one is looking and you’re not openly trying, what shows on…  » Read more
Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds and Electric Ladyland

Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds and Electric Ladyland

Spotlight On: Austin, Texas Keeping the soul and funk — and party — in South Austin since 1984 April Fool’s Day is day full of laughter — it’s a day full of jokes and pranks. But April Fool’s Day is also a day for new beginnings, especially in Texas. In 1984, two new stores hit the South Austin streets — one was home to the hottest costumes and the other housed vintage wear. People from a variety of places and backgrounds walked through the doors and into stores filled with unexpected designs. Success was inevitable, but changes needed to be made. Soon after, the stores merged into “one big emporium” — Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds and Electric Ladyland was born. Colorful Collectibles “When I opened, this block was ‘tawdry South Congress’,” said owner Jenna Radtke. “Junk stores, prostitutes, a porn theatre, cheap rent and…  » Read more
Tricks, Treats and Trends

Tricks, Treats and Trends

Get the numbers for Halloween 2014   Considering it’s nearly February and your stores are filled with hearts and Cupid and not pumpkins and ghouls, it’s a little hard to get excited about Halloween trends for 2014. But as we all know, that’s the cycle of retail, and it’s time to start looking ahead. According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Halloween Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, nearly 158 million consumers were expected to participate in Halloween activities in 2013, slightly less than the survey high of 170 million people last year.   Those celebrating were expected to trim their budgets, with the average celebrant projected to spend $75.03 on décor, costumes, candy and fun, down from $79.82 last year. But overall, average spending on Halloween has increased 54.7 percent since 2005, and total spending was estimated to reach $6.9 billion in…  » Read more
Moving on Up

Moving on Up

Tips for renovating, relocating or expanding your store   According to Party & Paper Retailer’s 2013 annual survey, close to 60 percent of responders indicated they plan on expanding, relocating or renovating their store in the next year. However, there are many things to consider and questions that need to be answered.   Commercial retailers generally remodel their stores every seven to 10 years, after the store’s construction, equipment, fixtures and décor have been written off and amortized. However, independent retail stores typically have much smaller budgets for renovation and, yet, serve an increasingly consumer-minded population who need to see change.   Party & Paper reached out to get the perspectives of Ken Nisch, chairman of JGA, a retail design and brand strategy firm, and Cheryl Rupple of All Occasions Plus, a storeowner and respondent to our survey.   PPR: What factors should retailers consider before…  » Read more
Party People: Tammy Corzine

Party People: Tammy Corzine

Tammy Corzine     Celebrations Delphos, Ohio   Tammy Corzine is the owner and lead designer at Celebrations and has been working in the balloon and special event industry since 1990. In 1994, she started her own home-based decorating business and in 2004 made the move to a storefront and expanded into retail balloons and party supplies. Since then her business has continued to thrive and has grown to include a move in 2009 to a 6,100-square-foot store that offers an extensive selection of party supplies, balloons and decorations for nearly any event or party.   1.  What is the best retail advice you’ve received?  Listen to your customers! It’s so difficult to predict what products will be a hit or miss.  Just because you may love a certain product doesn't mean your customers will, and they are the ones you need to buy for. A good sales rep is a…  » Read more