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September 2010

September 2010

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Party Line: Pop-Up Showers

Party Line: Pop-Up Showers

By Abby Heugel, Managing Editor I am the queen of preventative measures, in that I plan for just about any contingency that may arise in a given situation. Umbrellas, flashlights, extra napkins and plastic silverware - you never know when you're going to need them. The other morning I checked the weather and saw a 10 percent chance of showers, so I grabbed my sunglasses and laced up my shoes to go for my walk. All was well until about a half-mile in when dark clouds rolled across the previously sunny sky. I ignored, as I'm prone to do when impending unpleasantness may occur. However, it was hard to ignore the sprinkles and then outright downpour that followed a few minutes later. I had no umbrella. I had no towel. I had no ark in which to load pairs of animals and seek shelter. I…  » Read more
Shop Talk: It’s My Party

Shop Talk: It’s My Party

To get noticed, you have to get involved. By Abby Heugel, Managing Editor Even though Amy Veltman, managing partner of It's My Party in Dyer, Ind., is jokingly referred to as a "balloon dork" or "latex loony," she doesn't mind. In fact, she thinks fun is the key to success, so it's not uncommon to see employees wearing balloon hats and laughing with customers or actively involved with the community. "I came into the store with a background in social work, education and marketing - no retail experience - so the first six months were brutal and I felt like I was spinning my wheels and always one step behind," Veltman said. "But staying organized, learning from our first year and living by a calendar has really helped. My marketing background has helped create a visible presence of the store in the community." Whether it's…  » Read more
Love Is…

Love Is…

An all-encompassing love theme will win over the hearts of shoppers By Abby Heugel, Managing Editor Whether it sparks romantic optimism in a lovesick girlfriend or fear into a forgetful male partner, Valentine's Day is a day about emotion. But it's not always romantic love that takes center stage. While men tend to spend more on this holiday than women, spending on family, friends, coworkers and, even, pets is increasing. Regardless of their intentions, consumers were expected to spend more than $14 billion on the holiday in 2010. The holiday falls on a Monday in 2011, so retailers can expect robust weekend traffic leading up to a slightly manic Monday of last-minute sales and deliveries. How to prepare? Instead of specific "Happy Valentine's Day" product, lean towards more of the hearts and love theme that can be used not only for a variety of recipients,…  » Read more
Busy as a Bridal Bee

Busy as a Bridal Bee

From bachelorette parties to wedding day pampering, brides look to make every moment special By Haley Beiter, Special to Party & Paper Retailer  Every bride is busy planning her wedding down to the last perfect detail. After all, it's the most important day of her life and she wants it to be memorable. But today's brides have so much more to plan than a short stroll down the aisle. Planning a wedding is synonymous with bachelorette parties, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners and even a fun day of primping before the wedding begins. What does this mean for party retailers? Accommodate those busy bridal bees, and you'll see even sweeter bridal sales. Bridal TrendsBrides want their wedding to be a memory that lasts a lifetime. And now, brides and others involved in the wedding want to put equal emphasis on pre-wedding activities, making them just as…  » Read more

The Store Room: What spring holiday is most popular in your store?

"What spring holiday is most popular in your store and what products/displays do you feature?" Daniel HazenOzzie DotsLos Angeles, Calif.Spring is always a time when we think of getting ready for the festivities of summer. We all start shedding those dark outer shells and don the pretty pastels of spring, usually starting with the holiday of Easter. Our first project is to outdo last spring's window display - lots of colorful flowers, an abundance of pretty Easter eggs and, of course, the Easter bunny. The bunny has to be the focal point, whether it be comical, playful or even antique and dated looking. I would say that it definitely brings in a ton of customers, because they are curious what we have new to offer during this time. Barbara RozemaParty Plus Inc. Redlands, Calif.I have been surprised that our St. Patrick's Day sales have been…  » Read more