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March 2011

March 2011

Party Line: Marching On
Shop Talk: Halloween Gear
Costume Trends--Need Directions?
The Adult Theme Party
Here Come the Bridal Sales
Once Upon a Time
2011 Costume Licensing List
Retail Success in Three Words
The Store Room
Balloon Recipe

All Articles

Party Line: Marching On

Party Line: Marching On

March truly comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb for me with Party & Paper, as this Costume Issue puts the bow on our exhaustive coverage of Halloween and costumes for a bit. While the rest of the year is full of a variety of holidays and topics, the first three months are rather Halloween-heavy, our attempt to make your seasonal buying a bit easier. Because it is the Costume Issue, we take a look at everything from children's costumes and apparel to sexy adult costumes and accessories-although not on the same page. We're always very cognizant of our product placement and go to great lengths to ensure that there is a definitive dividing line in our coverage. But what happens when those lines become blurred with the costumes themselves, when younger customers begin to demand costumes that may be questionable…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Halloween Gear

Shop Talk: Halloween Gear

Spotlight On: Palm Desert, California The store may be temporary, but the relationships are permanent For Lynn Abdelnour, it's a challenge to explain to people what owning a temporary Halloween business is about. "Most people look at me and say, ‘You are so lucky! You only work for two months out of the year!'" Abdelnour said. "But we all know the sacrifice made in order to present great stores. We now start our buying in January and start setting up our stores in July." Abdelnour's relationship with the Halloween industry began 25 years ago when her and her mom were business partners in a dancewear/fitness wear business in Palm Desert, Calif. They ordered cat ears, cat tails, bunny ears and bunny tails from Rubie's to integrate on a section of slatwall in the store, merchandising them with Danskin leotards and tights for kids. The customers…  » Read more
Costume Trends—Need Directions?

Costume Trends—Need Directions?

Find out what costume trends are on the horizon By Abby HeugelManaging Editor According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a trend is defined as the general direction in which something tends to move; a current style. As retailers are well aware, trends in Halloween costumes are both predictable and surprising. They often take the same direction, but tend to move into a current incarnation of that style. A new spin on an old classic, if you will. While vampires, princesses and pirates are nothing new, these costumes show up in new forms with new functions once they show up on the big screen. In fact, anything that shows up on the big screen will be requested by consumers, which makes following the current media so important to successful sales. But once the basics are out of the way, it's up to retailers to tap into…  » Read more
Here Come the Bridal Sales

Here Come the Bridal Sales

From bachelorette items to wedding favors, there's much to sell to the bride-to-be. Although weddings take place all year round, spring is still traditionally a strong time to attract sales from brides-to-be. To ensure you're tapping this market to its fullest potential, be sure to carry a broad selection of bachelorette items, bridal-shower accessories and wedding-reception favors - as the customer and products for these events can vary greatly. "Bridal items tend to be more for the bridal shower and therefore appeal to a more traditional group of people," explained Warren Berkowitz, product development manager at Forum Novelties. "These items are less edgy and are more mainstream. They can be anything from favors and decorations to humorous gift items for the bride, such as ball-and-chain earrings." On the other hand, Berkowitz said bachelorette items can range from good, clean fun to the more adult and…  » Read more
Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Have we seen the end of the princess? Once upon a time, a princess was just a princess. Little girls would read about them in fairy tales and watch them on the screen, slipping on their very own tutu and tiara on occasion. So why princesses? Because they're special. They wear nice things in fun, bright colors; they have talking animals and inanimate objects as friends; and, most importantly, they end up happily ever after with their handsome prince. It wasn't a matter of perceived gender roles assigned to a costume or politically correct media representations that have made princesses an enduring costume choice. Some trends are repeated for a simple reason - people like them. "Princesses and pirates are a Halloween classic, as well as an integral part of childhood storybooks and role play," said Sergio Lemus, marketing coordinator for Disguise Inc. "As a…  » Read more

The Store Room: What one piece of advice would you give?

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn't - for our readers, from our readers "What one piece of advice would you give someone starting out in this industry?" Bob KelliherParty For Less Inc.Kirkland, Wash.Build a great relationship with your landlord. When times get hard and you have a great relationship, you will be pleasantly surprised on how your landlord can and will help you with ways to reduce, offset, forgive and or reallocate your rent owed. Tawnya Curry Party Outlet, IncMurphy, N.C.Pay yourself a salary from day one and advertise, advertise, advertise. Adriane BrandenburgFun Party & WeddingShawnee, Kan.You really need to like people. In this industry, you get all kinds. We have some of the most amazing customers who have been with us forever and then there are the crazies, but they both make for good stories! Lisa MyersMt. Pleasant Rental…  » Read more