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January 2011

January 2011

Party Line: It's Show Time
Shop Talk: The Great Party Store
Shop Talk: Pioneer Announcements
2011 Halloween Trends
Curves Ahead
The Finishing Touch
Sweet Escape
Youth Movement
Spook-tacular Halloween Displays
Merchandising for Mummies
Everyday Parties for Everyday Celebrations
An Industry Gem
Stretch Your Savings
Establish a Professional Web Presence
The Four M's of Retail
The Store Room
Balloon Recipe
Balloon Recipe

All Articles

Party Line: It’s Show Time

Party Line: It’s Show Time

This past Halloween, my cousin's six-year-old daughter declared that she wasn't going to be a princess for the third year in a row. It wasn't that she was rebelling against the fact that princess costumes have topped The National Retail Federations's (NRF) children's top costume list for six years, but rather that she "can [and does] dress like a princess every day" and wanted something different. I don't tell you this in an effort to explain why my cousin's six-year-old daughter now wants to dress like a witch every day, but rather because she is a prime example of why the party industry has remained strong through the many ups and downs in recent years. People aren't just dressing up for Halloween. As the feature explores, customers are continually using and reusing costume pieces to fit the events they are attending - be it Halloween,…  » Read more
Shop Talk: The Great Party Store

Shop Talk: The Great Party Store

From ABC to CBA Spotlight on: Pottstown, PA During dinner one night in 2007, Christine Beck looked across the table at her 10-year-old son, Daniel and asked, "Danny, when you grow up, what do you want to do for a living?" "I want to open a party store," he said without a moment's hesitation. "Aisle A will be for Anniversary, Aisle B will be for Birthdays and Aisle C will be for Christmas." Beck was surprised at how he'd thought it out so well, but her husband Steve, 8-year-old son A.J. and her agreed that owning a party store would be a pretty cool thing to do some day. Because of the economic downturn, Beck lost her job as the head of customer service for a large corporation in September of that same year. "Steve and I wondered, ‘What now?'" Beck said, "and then we…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Pioneer Announcements

Shop Talk: Pioneer Announcements

Four generations have kept a family tradition of stationery excellence Spotlight On: Miami, Fla. At Pioneer Announcements in Miami, Fla., they feel their "pride is their work, and their work is their family's heritage." Considering the fact that this family owned and operated business has been around since 1948, there's good reason to believe they treat each and every customer like a member of the family as well. Jacob Jacobowitz started Pioneer Announcements, Inc. in 1948, as he was beginning a new life in Florida after printing labels for jam and jelly jars in New York. The business began with simple, thermographed wedding invitations and commercial stationery. Years later, under the guidance and helm of children, grandchildren, and now a fourth generation of great-grandchildren, a natural evolution and progression lead the business into the sophisticated invitation company that it is today. "Each family member is…  » Read more
2011 Halloween Trends

2011 Halloween Trends

What's in store for 2011 and how can you prepare? To give you a sneak peek, we talked to a few experts in the industry to see what they expect to see on the Halloween horizon. What you are anticipating the 2011 Halloween season to be like?Greg ShakleyWorthington CylindersWe're likely to see consumer spending continue to increase slightly to catch up to pre-recession levels. A recent survey by the National Retail Federation estimated that Americans would spend roughly 17 percent more on Halloween in 2010 compared to the previous year - representing a $5.8 billion investment on everything from costumes to decorations to candy. Halloween should continue to be a key sales opportunity for retailers in 2011. Kevin JohnsonelopeThe 2010 Halloween season started out slow and then built momentum closer to the 31st, as end consumers waited until the last minute. This echoes what retailers…  » Read more
Curves Ahead

Curves Ahead

Plus-size costumes see increased demand With more and more of the world's population becoming curvy, it is no surprise that there is a big demand for attractive and affordable plus-size Halloween costumes. The average American woman wears a size 14 dress, and the standard clothing that most stores have focused on in recent years fits fewer and fewer people. As retailers search for ways to stimulate sales, plus size is one of the few categories where there is growth. Need proof? According to an article in the New York Times, the market research firm NPD Group found the plus-size market increased 1.4 percent while overall women's apparel declined 0.8 percent in the 12 months leading up to April 2010 versus the same period a year earlier. What do all those stats that mean for you? It means if you tap into this audience, bigger and…  » Read more
Youth Movement

Youth Movement

Marketing children's costumes is key to securing sales Newsflash: Children love make-believe and dressing up. While they may dress up throughout the year, Halloween is when kids (and adults, actually) are really allowed to be kids. It's the one night of the year when they can feel grown-up while still enjoying the childish traditions of the holiday - free candy and pumpkins included - all dressed up as a princess or a pirate. Most kids want the things they see, which is why display and marketing are so important to retailers at Halloween and throughout the rest of the year. If it looks fun and kid's can see it, they will want to put it on and take it home. Southern SalesWith 36 party stores located in Texas and Oklahoma, Wally's Party Factory, based in Ennis, Texas, is the largest privately-held, family-owned chain of party…  » Read more
Everyday Parties

Everyday Parties

Any day can be a party day With a little creativity, a handful of decorations and a fun theme, any day can be a party day. Offer your customers both fun and inspiration with these creative, in-store ideas: Family Fun Nights Consumers love the idea of gathering family members together for special "Family Fun Nights." They can host them whenever they like - once a week, twice a month, even spur of the moment. All they have to do is turn the "family room" into a "party room" and create a festive atmosphere with all the trimmings. Capitalize on this easy party idea and get your customers on board by hosting your own Family Fun Night (or series of nights) in a special section of your store. Here are some ideas to get you - and your customers - started. Themes and promotionsHand out invitations…  » Read more

The Four M’s of Retail

Marketing, merchandising, management and merchant services can help increase store sales By Nicole Leinbach ReyhleSpecial to Party & Paper Let's face it - retail still isn't where we want it to be. Even if your foot traffic is strong, your sales may still be struggling. Despite your many efforts to increase sales, many of you are still looking for new ways to grow your numbers. Reviewing some very basic details in a new light may help kick-start new growth in your business. Merchandising-Back to BasicsConsumers today aren't as impulsive as they use to be. A great display simply won't do the trick anymore when closing a sale, but it certainly helps. Many stores have challenged themselves with the idea that they have to be different to stand out, when often sticking to the basics of merchandising is what gets the desired response from your customers.…  » Read more

The Store Room: How did Halloween 2010 compare with sales from 2009?

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn't - for our readers, from our readers "How did your Halloween sales for 2010 compare with your sales from 2009? Chuck TurnerParty Time/Turner RentalBirmingham Ala. Better than last year, a very good increase. We used different forms of advertising -radio, TV, coupons, dress-up costumes in front of the store and custom decor inside the store. Daniel HazenOzzie DotsLos AngelesI always freak out one week before Halloween, Will it be a bust or will we make our 10 percent increase projection? Our dreams came true, but it was a total nightmare! The customers were rude, demanded discounts because, "I'm only wearing it one night" and shredded our store. We did have the wonderful ones that really brought the best of what Halloween can be and would say, "This is my favorite holiday." As far as…  » Read more