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Entries tagged with: Party Line


Party Line: Face time

Like the majority of people out there, public speaking isn’t near the top of the list of things I look forward to doing. Don’t get me wrong, I have gotten more comfortable with it over the years, although it does still come with a little bit of anxiety. So I was pleasantly surprised with the turnout and the reception from a short presentation I gave during the Halloween & Party Expo in January. Thanks to…  » Read more

Party Line: Onward to Halloween 2017

If it feels like you just got your leftover Halloween merchandise stored away in the stock room, it’s because you did barely two months ago. That means one thing — it’s time to start thinking about next Halloween. Yes, Halloween is the most wonderful time of the year — Andy Williams sang about the wrong holiday, at least for those of us in this business. It’s never too early for planning and strategizing for October, which is…  » Read more

Party Line: Franchisee vs. Independent - How the other half lives

If you’re in this business as a retailer, you’re most likely either an independent store or a franchisee. Whichever you may be, you’ve most likely wondered what it’s like to be the other. Some of you have experienced both ends of the spectrum, just like the owners of this month’s Shop Talk feature, Michelle and Reed Chambers. The Chambers started as a Party America franchisee and later become one of Party City, when the latter…  » Read more

Party Line: Make an appointment

While online shopping provides consumers convenience, it cannot duplicate the sensory aspect of the in-store shopping experience. People still want to try on, touch, feel, smell and taste. They also want to be treated like they matter. TimeTrade surveyed some 5,000 consumers earlier this year, and more than half cited “prompt service” as what they valued more than anything else during in-store shopping experiences. In the same survey, 60 percent said they were interested in…  » Read more

Party Line: ‘I don’t know you’

In this month’s cover story, we take a look at the Ballooney Bin in Jackson, Michigan, owned by Cindy Fuller. Her story is a good example of business promotion through human interaction. When Fuller started her business 10 years ago, she made a practice of attending any sort of community event she could, whether it was chamber of commerce function, ribbon cutting, seminar or whatever. Once there, Fuller wouldn’t do what would be natural to…  » Read more

Party Line: Balloon ban avoided, for now

Last month, I wrote about California Assembly Bill 2709, which would have banned the distribution of foil balloons in that state if passed. The previous sentence is in past tense because the bill was voted down by the assembly’s appropriations committee before it ever got to the floor for a full assembly vote. AB 2709 went the way of hundreds of other pieces of proposed legislation in the California Assembly — 448 others, to be exact,…  » Read more

Party Line: A Sinking Feeling

What would happen to your business if you could no longer sell foil balloons? That’s a scenario California retailers are facing, as there is a bill currently in the state assembly that, if passed, will ban the distribution of such balloons. The reason California lawmakers want to ban selling foil balloons is because they can cause power outages if they come into contact with power lines. Two major electricity distributors cited more than 1,300 outages…  » Read more

Party Line: Nice Meeting You

The world feels a little smaller than it did three months ago for this editor. The reason: party industry trade show season. Since the beginning of the January, I’ve attended four trade shows, conventions or seminars, and — as of press time of this issue — was getting ready for a fifth trip. They include Rubie’s annual VIP seminar in Las Vegas, the Halloween and Party Expo in New Orleans, the Paper First Affiliates show…  » Read more

Party Line: Beyond the Party

In our April issue, you’ll find a feature on a New York City store that has a very interesting way of doing business. Every four to eight weeks, Story — a 2,000-square-foot retail space in lower Manhattan — closes its doors for days at time so the staff can give the store a makeover. One setup might put an emphasis on holidays, while the next might be love, Made in America or wellness. The goal…  » Read more

Party Line: Got a tip? Share it

Several weeks ago, I had an experience that gave new meaning to the term “Throwback Thursday.” It wasn’t picture on Facebook, but a hand-typed letter — yes, on an actual typewriter — that arrived by mail from Memphis, Tennessee. The author was Mr. James Holland, owner of Party Time Memphis, who wanted to let us know how helpful he found an article written by James P. Fink of the Pioneer Party Group/Qualatex MasterBow that appeared in…  » Read more