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July 2010

July 2010

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Party Line: Want a balloon with that?

Party Line: Want a balloon with that?

By Abby Heugel, Managing Editor Along with being our New Year’s Issue, this month we also celebrate this industry and take another look back over 25 years. The basics have stayed the same — people like to celebrate, and to celebrate they need to buy supplies — but things have also changed.For example, when Ray Kroc opened his first McDonald’s restaurant near Chicago in 1955, he was better known for selling milkshake machines than burgers and fries. Eventually they came to offer a little bit of everything, as do many other chains that are trying to compete, and are known for upselling with the popular, “Do you want fries with that?”Billions did, but now they want more.So after witnessing diners going elsewhere for their beverages, the nation’s largest fast-food chain is now on a multibillion-dollar mission to become a serious beverage force once again. The…  » Read more
Shop Talk: PartyLand Utah

Shop Talk: PartyLand Utah

An entrepreneurial spirit and rental retail know-how have kept PartyLand Utah going strong By Abby HeugelManaging Editor Since 1979, PartyLand (formerly Carnival Concessions) has been the longest, continuously open party store in Utah. For owners Tom and Sue Grassley, what started as selling silver Mylars in malls and renting cotton candy, popcorn and sno-kone machines to church groups and parties has turned into four locations full of the most popular party items and more than 200 different rental options. While the stores are now anywhere from 1,500 square feet to a 13,000-square-foot store in a 23,000-square-foot shopping center they constructed, the Grassley’s opened their first 1,800-square-foot retail store in 1981 in Springville, Utah. “During the Christmas of 1978, we were walking through a mall and saw a huge line of people waiting to pay $3 for a plain, silver Mylar balloon,” Grassley said. “I did…  » Read more
Celebrate New Times

Celebrate New Times

Give a little to get a lot this New Year’s Eve selling season By Abby Heugel, Managing Editor William Blake wrote, “The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom, for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.” If ever a holiday were devoted to testing that principle, New Year’s Eve would be it. As Marc Joseph, president and founder of America’s Suppliers and DollarDays International, Inc. points out, it doesn’t really matter that much whether customers are throwing a rowdy and gigantic New Year’s shindig, a giant warehouse soiree using thousands of dollars worth of wholesale New Years’ party supplies or simply having a few friends over to watch “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” some kind of overkill always enters the picture.However, while every culture we know of marks the New Year with some kind…  » Read more
Balloon TLC

Balloon TLC

By Amanda Dolechek, CBA Make sure you know how to properly store and inflate your balloons so you can provide the highest-quality product possible for your customers’ celebrations.  Storing Your BalloonsWhere do you keep your uninflated balloons? Different balloons actually have different properties that need to be taken into consideration when storing them. Qualatex latex balloons, for example, are 100 percent biodegradable; therefore, heat, humidity and light have a big effect on the quality of the latex. Proper storage of uninflated balloons is important in protecting them from these elements.First of all, avoid exposing latex balloons to extreme temperatures — heat or cold. Storing your balloons at moderate temperatures will get the longest life out of them. When properly stored, uninflated latex balloons can last for several years before the quality is affected.One major visible effect caused by excesses of heat, humidity, and light is…  » Read more

The Store Room: Party Industry ‘Flashback’ Moment

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn’t — for our readers, from our readers Q. “What is one party industry ‘flashback’ moment that sticks out in your memory?”Pat SchwermanPartyWorksHuntsville, Ala. There are three decisions I’ve made in the past 23 years that have had the biggest impact on my business. First, adding invitation printing in-house has been my most profitable decision. Second would be balloons. Although there were two balloon specialty stores in Huntsville already, I decided in order to become a “complete” party store balloons were a must. We now sell about 1,000 balloons per week!  The third best decision was my hot stamp machine. Not only do we print tons of napkins and stationery, but we sell the product we print — a double good sale. No wonder I love this business; never a dull moment.Adriane BrandenburgFun Party and Wedding ServicesShawnee, Kan.When Webkinz were all the rage, we…  » Read more