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July 2013

July 2013
Party Line: A Valuable Lesson
Shop Talk: Halloween Gear
Don't Drop the Ball
Keys to Quinceaneras
Ideas for Inflation
Experience Shopping vs. Online
The Store Room
Balloon Recipe
 
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Party Line: A Valuable Lesson

Party Line: A Valuable Lesson

I’m going to add the disclaimer that I haven’t eaten at a McDonald’s in probably 15 years, so perhaps I’m not quite as in touch with their product as others. However, their barrage of marketing — especially that of their Dollar Menu items — is impossible to escape.   With other fast food chains stepping up their marketing over the past year or so, McDonald’s has responded by aggressively touting its Dollar Menu and other value deals to hold onto customers. Officials said that offering cheaper prices was necessary in the current climate, and since the restaurant industry is barely growing, they need to steal customers away from rivals to grow.   But with McDonald’s ramping up the discounts, other establishments are retooling and offering more “values” as well. One would think this would increase revenue for the company, right? Not necessarily. A survey found…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Halloween Gear

Shop Talk: Halloween Gear

Spotlight On: Palm Springs, Calif. There’s nothing temporary about lasting relationships   At the age of 13, Lynn Abdelnour, owner of Halloween Gear in Palm Springs, Calif., started working with her mom in a family business that sold dance and fitness apparel. But come every October, they would order bunny and cat ears and tails from Rubie’s Costume Co. to merchandise with the leotards and tights so that kids could create their own Halloween costumes. Twenty-seven years later, what started as a 4-by-8-foot wall is now a separate seasonal business, Halloween Gear, that requires 10,000 square feet of space each Halloween season.    Building the Brand Abdelnour said they set up their temporary Halloween store as they would a permanent store, and that it looks nothing like the “pop-up temps” that are set up in two weeks. Enclosed store front windows give customers the “wow”…  » Read more
Don’t Drop the Ball

Don’t Drop the Ball

Ring in the New Year with style and sales     From a night on the town to a home-catered party, people like to ring in the New Year in style. As retailers, it’s your job to make sure sales rise before the ball drops by offering consumers just what they’re looking for — trendy items that offer the biggest impact for the greatest value around.   Top Trends So what can customers expect to see for 2014? Black, silver and gold will continue to be the most popular colors with a bit of glitz and glamour thrown in. “For 2014, New Year’s Eve décor trends follow suit with the other winter holiday trends we’re seeing,” said Kacey Curry of Creative Converting. “Metallic finishes, glitter details and bold color will be prevalent this year, and the traditional trend of mixing black and metallics is still…  » Read more
Keys to Quinceañeras

Keys to Quinceañeras

Make sure they come to your store when they’re coming of age   As evidenced by the attention paid to Sweet 16 and Bat Mitzvah celebrations, the transition from childhood to womanhood is a significant passage for adolescent girls in almost all cultures. This is especially true in Mexican heritage where it’s marked with the celebration of the Quinceañera, or 15th birthday. Because this celebration can occur any day around the calendar, this is a great retail opportunity for party stores, and the significance of the event means that shoppers are willing to spend money to make it memorable.   Teen Theme At Henry’s Party Supply in Harlingen, Texas, about 15 percent of its business is generated by Quinceañeras and includes balloons, solids (table covers, cups, napkins etc), napkin imprinting, rentals, themed décor and partnerships with local party planners, bakeries and caterers. Owner Henry Garza…  » Read more

The Store Room: How do you find quality employees?

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn’t — for our readers, from our readers   “What’s your most effective way to find quality employees?”   Sherrill Taylor Pacific NW Costume Redmond, Wash. I have found my most enthusiastic employees to be my customers! If there is a person who frequents my store often enough, or that I find has great love for our products, I will encourage them to fill out an application for when jobs might become available. Most of my current employees have worked for me for years and will move on to other jobs, but will continue to come back to work seasonally on a part-time basis.   Donna Hudson One Stop Costume and Party Shoppe Rolla, Mo. I always look for that bubbly personality while customers are in the store. Then I talk with them, and if…  » Read more