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May 2013

May 2013
Party Line: What a Card
Shop Talk: Party Gear +
Bright and Bold
A Hidden Gem
Humor Me
Everything New for 2013
Top 5 Marketing Ideas
Baby Boom
The Store Room
Balloon Recipe
 
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What a Card

What a Card

Things are a lot different today than they were a few years ago. Heck, with the speed of communication, things are a lot different now than they were a few days ago. Today people are given electronic options for everything from shopping and banking to sending a gift or an RSVP. And while some of these options have made life infinitely easier, it’s hard to ignore the fact that something personal seems to have been lost along the way in cyberspace — namely meaningful correspondence.   I realize that working in the stationery and party industry clouds my judgment and adds in a bit of a bias, but receiving an actual card or a note is still one of life’s simplest and most appreciated pleasures for me.   Another of life’s simplest pleasures? Laughter. When you combine the two, you have the story on p.…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Party Gear +

Shop Talk: Party Gear +

Spotlight On: Sulphur Springs, Texas Small business with big heart When Thad Gregory opened up Party Gear + in Sulphur Springs, Texas, his goal wasn’t to see how much money he could make, but rather to provide an alternative for the customer.   “We are your average American mom-and-pop-type store trying to survive by creating our own jobs, and I don’t want the customer to feel railroaded into bowing down to the big corporate chains,” Gregory said. “Some people will give you their business merely by showing them kindness, attention and letting them know how important each and every customer is to our business. Any sale is a great sale.”   Taking Over Gregory has been in retail for about 25 years, doing everything from working in the men’s department of a retail clothing store to a managerial position with a major drugstore chain, but…  » Read more
Bright and Bold

Bright and Bold

Make everyday parties solid sales in your store   The fact that solid color products are popular in most party stores is nothing new. Not only do they offer a wide variety of options that appeal to most consumers year round, but they are they perfect complement to any theme. This means retailers won’t be stuck with “leftovers,” as solid color products can always be used for future occasions. What is new this year is the prevalence of bright and bold colors on everything from plates and cups to costumes and balloons. For retailers who jump on this trend, the green is sure to follow.   A Bright Idea Manufacturers took note of this trend and introduced lines specifically more bright and bold. Dawn Kirschner, creative director of tableware for Unique, said solid colors are the core of Unique’s business, so taking advantage of this…  » Read more

Top 5 Marketing Ideas

Delegating marketing tasks should be a top priority for retailers   Build it and they will come, right? Wrong. We wish building a gorgeous 3,000-square-foot store in a prominent area meant the masses would be on their way, but marketing is hard work. We’ve all read “marketing infomercials” or one-page “marketing wonders” that promise to make the difference between a store that succeeds and a store that doesn’t. The truth is, marketing itself it a full-time job. Who’s running Facebook? Who’s delivering bouquets to banquet halls? Who’s fielding the phone calls at the store? Who’s pounding on doors to get new business? Who’s doing the in-store marketing promotions. Who’s doing chamber events? If the answer is you — the owner — there’s a problem. You are one person who is already tugged in a hundred different directions. Delegating marking to a person who is capable…  » Read more

The Store Room: Does your store offer online sales?

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn’t — for our readers, from our readers “Does your store offer online sales?”   Linda Miller Parties & Weddings Plus Mankato, Minn.   We have recently shut down our e-commerce site and are putting our focus on our visual photo site to lead our consumers to us. It was not an easy decision as we had an unbelievable amount of time, money and energy into making it work, but we just didn’t have all the right ingredients to make it click right now.     Lynn Abdelnour Halloween Gear Rancho Mirage, Calif. Yes, I have an online business as well, but online sales are only at 3 percent of my gross sales. My intention for the website is to use it as a tool for customers to see what I have available each year. Many times…  » Read more