Party City to sell through Amazon with new pilot program
In tandem with reporting second-quarter earnings, the retailer said Aug. 9 it would be rolling out a pilot program on Amazon ahead of the Halloween season this year. Party City will offer an assortment of items on Amazon to start, but with a big focus on Halloween costumes, the company said.
Just within the past year, a number of brands have announced similar initiatives, partnering with the e-commerce giant that is taking a larger and larger share of retail sales online. That list of companies now includes Sears Holdings, Nike, Chico's, Calvin Klein and Carter's, to name a few.
Halloween meanwhile is Party City's biggest selling season, and consumer spending across the U.S. on Halloween-related merchandise continues to climb. Spending on items like costumes, candy and pumpkins reached a record $9.1 billion in 2017, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation. That was up more than 8 percent from a previous record of $8.4 billion in 2016.
Party City CEO James Harrison said the company's goal with the Amazon pilot is to reach customers who are increasingly gravitating toward shopping online, including millennials.
"[T]he program also creates an additional channel of distribution that allows us to leverage our dynamic manufacturing and distribution capabilities," he said in a statement. Party City will continue to run its own website.
The party goods retailer said it expects the pilot program will eventually expand to other product categories for Christmas and the New Year, "with further expansion possible in 2019."