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July 2012

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Party Line: The Power of Social

Party Line: The Power of Social

  This is our New Year’s issue, and even though the new year is still months away, that doesn’t mean you have to wait that long to make goals and resolutions for your business. A common goal is to increase your professional presence online, via websites and social media. By the way, have you “liked” Party & Paper on Facebook yet?   This is a very important factor in maintaining a successful business. Your customers are online, and you need to be, too. However, I don’t know about you, but I get a bit burned out at times. It can be hard to know where to put your energy and efforts when you’re pulled in so many ways — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest — not to mention actually being in and running the store itself.   And there’s certainly something to be said for actual…  » Read more
Shop Talk: American Balloon Co.

Shop Talk: American Balloon Co.

Spotlight On: Alexandria, Va.   From singing sales to government goods    By Abby Heugel Managing Editor   Not many people can say that their business was responsible for having their “Marilyn Monroe” sing to Sen. Strom Thurman for his 100th birthday celebration or that they’ve sent performers to the Capital building multiple times. However, Lori Viera of American Balloon Co. in Alexandria, Va., can, as adding singing telegrams has been a great add-on to their party business.     “We actually purchased all the costumes from a going-out-of-business sale,” Viera said. “We’re friends with some local actors and performers and started taking gigs for them and providing the costumes. We don’t offer the personalities on a regular basis because we have to arrange with a specific performer in advance, but the regular characters like the pink gorilla, puppy dog, teddy bear, etc. are offered…  » Read more
A Bright Future

A Bright Future

Start off the new year with sparkle and flair   By Abby Heugel Managing Editor   It’s true that the new year is still months away, but it’s never too early to make retail resolutions and get ahead of the game. Customers will be looking to you for trendy ways to ring in 2013, and we’ve got just what you need to help them create an at-home party that will start the year off right.   Color Coordinate Black, silver and gold are the traditional colors of New Year’s Eve celebrations, but bright neon colors will pop onto the scene this year as customers plan everything they need for a trendy at-home celebration.    “This year New Year’s Eve will be all about celebrating with added sparkle and shine, and with neon brights trending, we’ll see party themes centered around these vibrant colors paired with…  » Read more
Growing Up Glam

Growing Up Glam

When “coming of age,” guarantee they come to your store   By Abby Heugel Managing Editor   Do you remember turning 16 or celebrating your Bar/Bat Mitzvah? If you don’t, it doesn’t mean that you’re old, but maybe just that the celebration wasn’t one for the memory books.   But teens today are looking to set themselves apart from their friends, and the best way to do that is with a memorable party to celebrate reaching that milestone age. So what are all of the cool kids talking about these days? The answer is as unique as the teens who are celebrating, but there were a few common threads.   Colorful Ideas  Dori Pomerantz Saypol of Total Party said they do a lot of sports theme Bar Mitzvahs and fashion theme Bat Mitzvahs, while Anne McGovern of Elegant Balloons has found “Hollywood,” travel, “Under the…  » Read more

Get the Party 411

All you need to know to increase party décor sales   By Sherri Foxman CEO, Party411   Although the economy has waged war on many an industry, people still have to celebrate and celebrate they do. More and more, due to the costs of hosting a party in a party room, at a country club or any other facility, people are choosing to stay home and have the party right there in the backyard or at the dinner table. And good for them!   I have found that parties at home are far better for my business than parties at Hotel California (any name will do). Not having everything offered to them by a guest services person or the person on staff forces the party planner to get creative on their own, which for the masses, isn’t as easy as it sounds. But they try,…  » Read more
Taking the Next Step

Taking the Next Step

By John Stanley Special to Party & Paper Retailer   I recently had the honor of being a judge for some retail awards. It allowed me to analyze what is happening in retail land across a number of different aspects of marketing. It really highlighted that what the winners are doing is a model we should all be looking at and adapting to our own needs.   The world has moved on to a new marketing situation. This situation is scary and challenging, but also reveals opportunities; alas, many retailers are still looking backward rather than forwards.   What are the lessons that came out from this exercise for me?   Expectations I can still walk thorough many shopping malls and see “sale” signs displayed. In my own town, many retailers are using a “50 percent off “sale to try and generate new business. This…  » Read more

The Store Room: What adjustments have you made for the helium situation?

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn’t — for our readers, from our readers   “What adjustments have you made to accommodate the current helium situation?”     Jeanine Morrison Party Plus Elizabethtown, Ky. We are displaying more air-filled designs, and of course, people buy what they see. We have stopped giving a free balloon to children who come in to the store and instead offer a “free” box of trinkets — kids and parents both love this. We also fill latex balloons a tad bit less if we know they are being used for a release or won’t be needed for décor. It is hard to track how much helium we actually are saving because our balloon sales are higher than ever before and we are using a lot more helium.    Tammy Corzine Celebrations Delphos, Ohio This is the worst possible time to for…  » Read more