The June 2017 edition of The Celebration from Halloween & Party Expo includes interviews with Midwest Design Imports and Party Club of America; retail therapy with Retail Minded; and updates from HIA and The HPE.
Welcome to the June 2017 edition of The Celebration!
Here's what you'll find inside:
BEHIND THE BRAND
Featuring Midwest Design Imports
IT'S YOUR PARTY
Featuring Party Club of America
Summer Strategies to Help Your Store Shine
HIA NEWS & NOTES
HIA is 50+ Members Strong
HALLOWEEN & PARTY EXPO SHOW UPDATES
The HPE Acquires HAuNTcon
For this month's Behind the Brand, we learned a bit more about Midwest Design Imports, Inc.Check out the full interview below:
Halloween & Party Expo (HPE): Tell us about your company history.
Midwest Design Imports (MDI): Midwest Design Imports, Inc. has specialized in importing feathers, artificial birds and butterflies for both the party and craft industry for more than 15 years. We offer a wide assortment of craft supplies at wholesale prices. In fact, we have over 2,000 items to choose from, including a large variety of feather boas, masks, fashion accessories, novelty merchandise, wedding and party supplies. Our popular product lines include feather boas, packaged feathers, wearable angel wings, masks, various floral stems and accessories. Check out our newly released (and growing) Garden CollectionTM featuring a beautiful assortment of hand crafted Mini Garden furniture and accessories!
HPE: What is your favorite product this coming year?
MDI: Our new nylon wings are one of our favorite new items. We carry adult and youth sizes.
HPE: What is the new , "must have" item for Halloween 2017?
MDI: Steampunk is a must have.
HPE: What types of trends are you seeing in the industry right now?
MDI: Day of the Dead masks, costumes and accessories increase in popularity every year.
HPE: How have your customers' needs changed as of late?
MDI: Our customers need value. They need their dollar to go farther without sacrificing quality. We drive to meet those needs.
HPE: What keeps bringing you back to the Halloween and Party Expo each year?
MDI: Loyal customers who look forward to seeing us and our new items each year.
The Halloween & Party Expo spoke with Andrew Richman, executive director of Party Club of America, to discuss the PCA history, trends in the industry and what they're most looking forward to at HPE 2018.
The HPE: For those who don't know, tell us about the history of PCA.
Andrew Richman (AR): Party Club of America has rapidly grown into the largest, most influential, and most powerful buying group in the party industry since its beginning in March 2002. Walter Erwin started PCA with the goal of making it the most inclusive, best resourced, most dynamic, and most competitive group in the entire party and Halloween industry. By leveraging the resources of his existing chain of 27 stores—including a 200,000 square-foot distribution center, a full-time marketing staff, and one of the leading buying/merchandising teams in the business— Erwin created an organization that is second to none in terms of helping its members thrive.
HPE: What are some trends you're seeing in the party industry this year?
AR: Trends that are proving themselves in the everyday party scene include gold accents, tassels, balloons, and—as always—new licenses. Gold accents are hot for baby showers, wedding celebrations, and theme parties. Tissue-paper tassels are all over Pinterest party-idea pages-- attached to balloons, accenting doorways, or cascading on a focal table. Balloon art for parties continues to be very popular, especially using large foil letter and number balloons. Licensed party patterns are always strong; hot sellers include Trolls, Elena of Avalor, Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, Moana and Shimmer and Shine.
As for Halloween trends, costumes that are inflatable or feature piggyback characters will be on the rise due to their crazy following on Youtube and social media. DIY will continue to run hot as people look for ways to make their costumes unique. With accessories and mini costume kits, customers are able to add their own flair, creating a costume that reflects their personal taste. Licensed-character costumes are always strong for the younger children; popular ones include Paw Patrol, Five Nights at Freddy’s, PJ Masks, Shimmer & Shine and Harley Quinn. With all the blockbuster hits that will be coming this summer, you can be sure that super heroes and villains will be strong as well. But, as always, pets steal the show with humorous versions of Minions, spiders, hot dogs, and more.
HPE: Are there any products that are jumping out as must-haves for 2017?
AR: Must have items are fidgets (spinners and cubes), anything Emoji (movie 2017) is still holding strong, and of course the balloon numbers and letters in gold and silver.
HPE: Tell us a little about the benefits of becoming a PCA member.
AR: PCA helps its members by negotiating better overall programs from vendors in terms of discounts, rebates and freight deals. We also have the most dynamic and largest direct import program of any buying group in the industry, which greatly improves member margins. Lastly, PCA provides support services for members such as HR, advertising and marketing, credit card processing and a discussion forum. These things all make running a thriving small business much simpler.
HPE: How have your members' needs changed as of late?
AR: Our members are looking for products and services to add to their core business that gives them an advantage over dollar stores and big box retailers who also are selling party and Halloween products.
HPE: 2018 will be your second year co-locating with Halloween & Party Expo. What are you looking forward to?
AR: Our first year of co-locating with H&PE was a big success. We were able to save our members money by co-locating our shows together. It also made it much easier and less expensive for our vendors to exhibit and meet one on one with our members. Based on that success, we are already well over half way sold out of exhibitor space for the 2018 show and I expect we will be turning away exhibitors later this summer. I always look forward to meeting our diverse membership and discussing the trials of retailing and how they can improve their business.
Visit Party Club of America online.
Summer Strategies to Help Your Store Shine
By Nicole Leinbach Reyhle
Summer is the perfect time of year to prop your store doors open and greet customers all day long. Sounds easy – and fun – right? Here’s the catch… Summer is also the perfect time of year for poolside cocktails, the beach with friends, lazy afternoons in the park and backyard BBQs with family. There is a long list of ways to enjoy a summer day and, while shopping is on this list, it’s important to encourage and remind your customers just how fun shopping can be during the summer.
To help keep your local audience engaged and excited to visit your store this summer, consider the below ideas:
Host a Summer Solstice Event
On the evening of June 20th this year, Summer Solstice will officially take place. The following morning would make the perfect day to host a Summer Solstice Event in your store. Beginning at sunrise or just a couple hours before your store normally opens, offer discounts that go down as each hour passes. For example, you can offer 50% off one item from 8 to 9 AM, and then from 9 to 10 AM offer 40% off and so on. By 1 PM, your solstice discounts will be over, but the fun doesn’t have to stop. Offer customers refreshing summer, non-alcoholic cocktails throughout the day and bite-size snacks, as well. Play favorite summertime songs over your speakers and incorporate some temporary displays that scream summer, such as a Tiki Bar or inflatable pool rafts. The idea is simple yet the opportunities are endless – identify this day as a fun, engaging way to get customers into your store and celebrate summer by shopping and getting social within your store environment.
Talk with Chalk
If your store is located on a street that welcomes customers who walk by, take advantage of the sidewalk space in front of your store. This cheap and easy marketing tactic can be updated daily or used less frequently. Sharing something such as “$5 Fridays… Come Inside!” can lure customers into your store to discover something new. Simply share a bucket or display with items that are all $5 and you have yourself an easy promotion to share. This is your chance to get creative since chalk is cheap… but talk – despite its reputation – is not. Be sure to follow through with whatever it is you are sharing via chalk so that you don’t disappoint your customers once they come into your store. Another tip? Mix it up! This is a great, affordable way to share news of fresh inventory, highlighted items, promotional events and more.
Pop Up Somewhere New
Pop Up Shops are still a huge buzz among merchants, communities and businesses alike. Look at the local event calendar in your own community or nearby ones that may offer the chance for your store to pop up somewhere new. Whether it’s via a street festival, filling a vacant store location or simply for an afternoon somewhere out of the ordinary, consider how positioning your store in a pop up location can help you attract new customers and increase sales. Explore additional pop up strategy success ideas here, and be sure to promote this experience leading up to, during and post-pop up event to maximize its visibility and success.
Finally, remember that Summer is perceived as an easy, breezy season that customers tend to enjoy with friends and family. Keep things lighthearted but engaging by getting social in your event planning, active in your community participation and friendly in your everyday customer outreach. Being consistent in your efforts is key, as well. Collectively, these tips can help you have a strong Summer of sales, success and sunshine.
ABOUT NICOLE LEINBACH REYHLE
Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder & Publisher of Retail Minded, a resource for news, education, and support for independent business. She is also the Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference, a "pop up conference" within a tradeshow experience focusing on delivering in-store and e-commerce operational insight and expertise that can help independent merchants further succeed in their retail goals.
HIA is 50+ Members Strong
You can contact the HIA by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
On June 12, 2017, Urban Expositions announced the acquisition of HAuNTcon, the Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow and Conference, a B2B exposition for the Haunted House Industry.
HAuNTcon and Halloween & Party Expo will co-locate beginning with the 2018 event, January 12th – 15th, in New Orleans, Louisiana, offering buyers an unrivaled one-stop access to the most comprehensive range of products and services to serve the needs of its customers, including Haunted Attractions, Costume Stores, Party Stores, Amusement & Theme Parks, Family Entertainment Centers, Grocers, Drug Stores and Gift Stores. .
The events have joined forces to provide a new, enhanced experience for Halloween and haunt professionals; bringing the power of two industry leading global brands to share industry trends, offer innovative and relevant education, and provide a collaborative environment for networking and business exchanges. HAuNTcon founder, Leonard Pickel will serve in an expanded role as an industry advisor working with the team on joint activities, including educational offerings, specialty tours and the infamous HAuNTcon costume ball which will allow visitors to the combined conference to customize their experience.
For more on the HAuNTcon acquisition, CLICK HERE.
Do you have an idea for something The Celebration should cover? Let us know!