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February 2015

February 2015

Party Line: Make the Most by Merchandising
Shop Talk: Custom Baskets & Balloons
Spirited Sales: Good visual merchandising is key to Halloween success
Balloon Recipe
Retro Retail: How classic characters have stood the test of time
Go for the Glitter: Help create children's parties that shine
The Lost Art of Sales: Make sure your staff is trained to succeed
Industry & Trade Show News
Show Calendar
Party People: John Reid

All Articles

Shop Talk: Custom Baskets & Balloons

Shop Talk: Custom Baskets & Balloons

Delivery, smiles, sweets and sales every day Beverly Hornsby, owner of Custom Baskets & Balloons in Pensacola, Florida, often tells customers with a big smile, “If anyone says they are having more fun than me, they are making it up.” That spirit goes into everything Hornsby and her staff offers and creates, from paper products and custom gift baskets to the fact that they participated in the creating the Guinness Book of World Records for Largest Balloon Mural in Chicago in 1999. Hornsby's business philosophy is: "We may not be the cheapest, but we are the best in what we do in the Pensacola area." They set out to prove that every day. Record-setting retail Family-owned and operated since 1993, Custom Baskets & Balloons started as a creative outlet for Hornsby. She thought gift baskets were going to be her primary business, but quickly learned that balloons…  » Read more
Party Line: Make the Most by Merchandising

Party Line: Make the Most by Merchandising

You’ve already stocked your stores for the month with “Happy Valentine’s Day” banners, “I Love You” mylar balloons and party cups adorned with red puckered lips. However, it may be time to think outside the chocolate box when it comes to merchandising strategies. Overbuying can always pose a problem in the retail industry, especially given the shaky state of the economic climate. Once Valentine’s Day comes and goes, all those love-themed items could fill your stock room with seemingly unmarketable inventory and your bank account with regret if your store wasn’t merchandised properly. Rather than creating one holiday-themed display to present to your customers, why not incorporate these seemingly seasonal color schemes and products elsewhere in-store as well and market these products in different ways? Love isn’t exactly a Valentine’s Day-only theme, but it does underscore almost all occasions when there is a person or…  » Read more
Party People: John Reid

Party People: John Reid

Magic, Balloons and More Epic Balloons The Tricky Business Magic Shop East Meadow, New York John Reid is the president of the entertainment company Magic, Balloons and More, and the owner and operator of Epic Balloons and the Tricky Business Magic Shop. He is a magician and balloon artist and loves teaching and performing for kids and their families. The Long Island resident also has appeared at the President Barack Obama’s Fourth of July party and on Martha Stewart’s television show. He has been the lead instructor at Tannen’s Magic Camp for kids in New York the past 18 summers. In April 2014 he set the world record for the largest balloon sculpture built by a single person. Using 4,302 balloons, Reid created Poptimus Prime, a 55-foot-tall robot modeled after Transformer Optimus Prime. 1. What is the best retail advice you’ve received? I read an…  » Read more
Go for the Glitter

Go for the Glitter

Help create children’s parties that shine Party trends may come and go. However, there are a few industry staples no self-respecting party store should ever be without. Glitter is the perfect example of must-have party-store stock. The tiny, reflective particles have the power to transform an ordinary storybook character into a fairy princess or make a shy singer into rock ‘n’ roll royalty. Glitter and sparkle items are always in fashion, said Allen Scarsella, Mayflower Distributing’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This type of product has been around for a long time. I’ve been with this company for 13 years,” he said, “and the products were certainly here before me.” Scarsella reports Mayflower works with four or five manufacturers, all of which make some type of glitter products. “Glittery, sparkly items are extremely popular,” he pointed out. “They are evergreen-type products and always good…  » Read more
Retro Retail

Retro Retail

How classic characters have stood the test of time Trends come and go, but some popular themes seem to stand the test of time. Certain characters, such as the gang from “Sesame Street” and crime-fighting superheroes like Superman and Spider-Man, have been around for decades, and younger generations today are enjoying them just as much as their parents did — and still do. Icons from the childhood of adults are making appearances at their children’s parties today, proving that even though people might warm up to “Frozen,” the classics can still stay red hot. Mousing around Despite the overwhelming popularity of Disney’s “Frozen” this past year, responders to Party & Paper Retailer’s 2014 Licensing Survey said Mickey and Minnie Mouse topped the charts, followed closely by comic book superheroes. What gives these classical icons such staying power? “These characters remain popular because of the brand…  » Read more