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July 2011

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Party Line: Well, that’s annoying

Party Line: Well, that’s annoying

Kids running through your store and messing up displays, price increases, employee frustrations, etc. Can you relate? We generally work hard to avoid people and things that we find annoying, but when you work with the public, that's darn near impossible. No matter how good we (think we) are at controlling our circumstances, there will always be factors and people that we can't control - see above. All of these things can be extremely annoying, especially when you have a million things to do. It can be easy to forget that throwing a fit is far less impressive and productive than remaining centered and calm, even when faced with situations that make you want to pull your hair out. Rude customers? Employee issues? Long days and weekends? It's all going to happen no matter what you do to prevent it. And while having some measure…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Party Source of Eustis Inc.

Shop Talk: Party Source of Eustis Inc.

Spotlight On: Eustis, Fla. Location, location, location Three months after opening the doors of the 2,500-square-foot Party Source of Eustis, Inc. store, owner Penny Narain realized they were going to need more room. With a nail salon having already singed a lease for the space next door, they were out of luck until their lease was up three years later and they were able to move to a 12,000-square-foot store located about 40 miles north of Orlando, Fla. "My husband (Don) and I were both in real estate and did very well, but I knew I didn't want to do real estate forever," Narain said. "My parents had owned a small business when I was young and that made me think, ‘Hmm...retail. I can do that.' We did some research, decided our area needed a party store and we've been open since December 2006." Learning…  » Read more
Don’t Drop the Ball

Don’t Drop the Ball

Enhance New Year's sales with party themes The New Year will be here before we know it, and consumers will be looking for new ways to celebrate and ring in 2012. By following a few simple in-store marketing techniques, you can jump-start your customers' New Year's party planning process and help ensure success for your store this holiday season. Set the SceneBecause New Year's Eve is an extravagant time of the year, it's important that the physical appearance of your store follows suit. Consumers are more frugal than they used to be, which increases the challenge of persuading the customer to purchase your products. To combat this, entice your customers by creating a Murder Mystery theme in-store that could be used by consumers in their own home. Using practical, theme-specific fixtures and decorations - such as floor footprints, magnifying glasses and cobwebs - will encourage…  » Read more
What a Doll

What a Doll

A Barbie birthday party will never go out of style Who has been around since 1959, has had more than 40 pets - including cats and dogs, horses, a panda, a lion cub and a zebra - and has the reputation of being one of the most iconic toys of all time? Why that would be Barbra Millicent Roberts, better know simply as "Barbie." She has owned a wide range of vehicles, including pink Corvette convertibles, trailers and jeeps. Along with being a fashion icon, doctor and Olympian (among other things), she holds a pilot's license and operates commercial airliners - also serving as a flight attendant. Manufacturer Mattel said her careers are designed to show that women can take on a variety of roles in life, and one of the other roles she serves is that of a party girl - or at least…  » Read more

Stimulate Your Staff with Questions

Managers provide incentives, set goals, and acknowledge top producers; they may even use consequences or threats to motivate their team to greater productivity. They use these tactics to stimulate interest in their staff and to push them into action. Most confess that motivating employees is exhausting and time-consuming work. Yet when that external stimulation is no longer present, people have a tendency to slip back into their old ways, to immobilize without someone there to push them into action. Business owners tell me that they believe their primary role to be a "problem solver" to their employee's challenges - a role they probably learned from their predecessors and mentors. Many attempt to control their environment and work within the limits of what they already have. Some spend their time extinguishing fires. Others find their sense of purpose in keeping certain challenges alive. However, the real…  » Read more

The Store Room: “How do you upsell balloons?”

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn't - for our readers, from our readers "How do you upsell balloons?" Jamie Ray MacsisakNW Postal & ShippingPortland, Ore.By accident, I discovered that I could use a greeting card as a balloon weight. We are putting some samples around the store and will point them out to customers when they buy a card. Mariah McKechnieParty AmericaDuluth, Minn.This is a good one that we just discussed at our employee meeting last week! We upsell balloons by challenging our employees to "double the dozen." We have contests to see who can upsell the most customers from one dozen to two dozen balloons in a day. We also offer customers a "Balloon Menu" that features bouquets for them to choose from. This makes the decision easy for them and they typically buy more balloons. Adriane BrandenburgFun Party…  » Read more