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May 2011

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Party Line: Must Be Nice

Party Line: Must Be Nice

How you read that phrase can have an impact on how you read a situation. I'll admit I fall prey to the "it must be nice" mentality at times. After all, it must be nice for those on vacation while I'm still at work. It must be nice to not have to worry about this or take care of that. It can be easy to fall in that trap, but how you read that phrase above can have an impact on how you read a situation. Because in business and in life, you can be better or you can be bitter. There will always be someone with something you want. After all, this industry is not for the faint of heart. Hours are long, competition is common and so much depends on things out of your hands. Seeing others who apparently have it all -…  » Read more
Shop Talk: A Party Palace

Shop Talk: A Party Palace

Spotlight On: South West London No matter what side of the pond you're on, a party is a party Some holidays are more popular in England than the U.S.- bonnet parties in the spring, for example - and some events go by different names, such as hen and stag instead of bachelorette and bachelor parties. But no matter what side of the pond you're on, one thing remains the same - a party is a party. At A Party Palace in South West London, Owner Adrienne D'Souza brought her retail experience running the toy department of Harrods to the party side of things. D'Souza and her husband Llyod had friends with a large wholesale and retail party outlet that she and Lloyd ran for 14 months before deciding to give it a try themselves. They knew where in London they wanted to be, searched for…  » Read more
Icing on the Cake

Icing on the Cake

Take a look at the sweeter side of everyday parties By Abby Heugel Managing Editor Stars on The Food Network shouldn't be the only ones capitalizing on a national obsession with cakes. With a few small additions, retailers can turn every day into a recipe for sweet retail success. After all, what's a party without cake? Everyday EdiblesWhen Deb Kerkstra started Creative Events in Allegan, Mich. in 2005, it was initially to provide cakes and cake decorating supplies to customers. Kerkstra realized cake and party supplies went hand-in-hand, so she added balloons and party goods. Now they can provide a customer with not only a decorated cake, but also supplies for the novice to professional decorator as well. They stock the basics like cake boards, boxes, pans, food color, sprinkles, pastry bags and tips as well as fillings, icing mixes, cookie cutters, candles, etc. "Because…  » Read more
Prenuptial Party

Prenuptial Party

Engaging brides-to-be to say "I do" to shower sales By Penny Warner for Balloon Time Wedding season is approaching, and along with it comes bridal showers and bachelorette parties. In fact, the pre-wedding parties are more popular than ever, and more extravagant. Every year approximately 2.3 million couples in the United States marry. That's about 6,200 weddings a day - and even more showers and bachelorette parties. According to Bride magazine, while in the past the father of the bride paid for the wedding (the groom was responsible for the honeymoon costs), only 17 percent of parents now cover those expenses. Today, 30 percent of couples pay for their own weddings. And on average, couples spend nearly $20,000 for their weddings, which doesn't include the cost of the honeymoon or engagement ring. So what about the bridal shower and bachelorette party? TheKnot.com estimates the average…  » Read more
Party Stores, Party Cards

Party Stores, Party Cards

Add cards to add sales Customers already come into your store for party accessories for birthdays, showers, graduations and other special events. By adding greeting cards that cover these same occasions, you can make your store more of a one-stop-shopping destination and even more profitable. "Party stores should feel encouraged to add greeting cards to their product mix," said Mary Pat Heelan, Legacy Publishing Group's marketing director. "When purchasing items for a party, it's nice and easy to be able to buy everything in one place." Notes Ron Kanfi, president of NobleWorks, Inc.: "Many party-store customers are on their way to a party, buying wrapping paper or other party goods to bring to the party. What a perfect opportunity to add a card for the occasion." Cards + Partyware = Profits"There is such a natural synergy between the party supply and greeting card industries," said…  » Read more

Organize Your Inflation Station

By Amanda Dolechek, CBA A well-organized balloon display and workstation not only helps you be more efficient, but it can also lead to additional sales. This starts with smart storage and display. The way you store and display balloons should be functional for you, yet still visually appealing for your customers. Latex BalloonsFor daily use, keep latex balloons in clear bins with lids, and store them on shelves out of the light. This not only keeps them organized and prevents oxidation, but the colorful display also gives your customers that "kid in a candy store" feeling. The bins should also be clearly labeled and large enough to hold no more than 100 balloons for everyday display. Sort them according to color, size, and prints so they can be easily found. When you re-stock your latex from your inventory (which should be kept in a dark,…  » Read more

The Store Room: “What themes surprised you?”

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn't - for our readers, from our readers. "What themes, holidays or events have surprised you with their recent popularity?" Betsy Ross Betsy Ross Costumes Clarence N.Y.I was surprised at the recent number of bridal showers that have the theme of "Dress up to look like the bride." It has brought an increase in sales of wigs that resemble the bride's hairstyle. Occasionally there will be a certain hat or possibly glasses, all items that help the girls look like the bride. This can add up to a really nice sale if there are 10 or more girls attending. Adriane BrandenburgFun Party and Wedding ServicesShawnee, Kan.Our Halloween Shop has been rocking ALL year thanks to all the theme parties. For example, instead of a boring 50th birthday party, people are having guests dress up in…  » Read more