Peer Perspective: Best of ...

Party & Halloween Retailer often checks in with party and costume retailers to find out about their businesses, successes and challenges. Here are a few of our favorite responses. 

What is your biggest challenge? 

“The challenges I have in my stores are, getting good employees, advertising and competition from online sales. I would say the biggest challenge of those is the employee factor. Lately it seems that I can find employees, but they aren't interested in giving the customer good service. I expect my employees to be able to talk to the customer, ask about the party they are having to learn about their needs and help them have the best experience in my stores.” — Lisa Gouveia, Party America, Billings, Montana

A lot of small retailers struggle with finding time for social media. How do you manage it?

“In the beginning, I tried doing it myself but it all became too time consuming. So, I had my buyer do it on the side for a while, but again it became too time-consuming and distracting. Now I have a social media manager work a few hours a week for me who is passionate about parties.” — Dean Salakas, The Party People, Sydney, Australia

What are some of the biggest industry-wide changes since you opened in 2001?

“We can thank Amazon Prime and Pinterest for a significant change in customers’ buying habits. “I want exactly this and want it exactly this way and in this exact color, etc., and I want it now!” Customers’ expectations have changed. Many of our suppliers have a low reorder minimum so we do not need a large order to get an order. I reorder regularly. You can’t be out of anything. I am only out of something if it is out at the manufacturer. A store’s shelves have to be stocked, otherwise your customer will just shop online or buy it elsewhere. Most people think their retail business is not appreciated. I believe a retail staff needs to greet everyone and thank every one for their business every time.” — Diane Delorier, Carolina Party, Swansboro, North Carolina

What do you enjoy most about your job?

“It’s the camaraderie among members of such diverse cultures and geographies. We have many members that are international or are originally from outside the U.S. and I learn so much about the world from them.” — Andy Richman, Executive Director, Party Club of America

Originally posted Monday, Oct. 1, 2018

Tags: profiles