Welcome to the August Issue of The Celebration
Here's what you'll find inside:
BEHIND THE BRAND
Featuring Pet Krewe
IT'S YOUR STORE
Featuring Barnyard Dollar Store & More
How Party & Costume Stores Can Strengthen Back to School Sales
HIA NEWS & NOTES
HIA Supports Low Tariffs on Halloween Products
BEHIND THE BRAND
Halloween & Party Expo (HPE): Tell us about the history of your brand and how you got into the Halloween industry.
Pet Krewe (PK): Allison Albert grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania--a Mennonite stronghold known for meadow tea, farming, and lots of sewing in school. Naturally, this led her to become a forensic CPA by day and an amateur pet costumer by night. By 2015, Allison’s passion for spreadsheets waned in comparison to her love of pet costumes, and she turned her hobby into a viable business. Thus, Pet Krewe was born.
The first Pet Krewe product was a lion mane for big dogs. Less than 12 months after the product launch, Amazon used the costume in their first viral commercial. It was at that moment that Allison realized she may be onto something with this whole pet costume game.
Since 2015, Pet Krewe has diversified into several different product designs predicated on detailed market research into consumer tastes and trends.
HPE: What products are you most excited about for the 2018/2019 season?
PK: Pet Krewe is launching a Day of the Dead cape and skeleton costume! It will be the first Day of the Dead Pet Costume!
HPE: What trends do you anticipate to be popular for this upcoming season?
PK: I think Unicorns will be the most popular for sure!
HPE: What drew you to the Halloween & Party Expo?
PK: Since we are based in New Orleans, Louisiana, we wanted to attend our first trade show locally. And we are so happy at what a success it has been and are looking forward to exhibiting again this year!
HPE: What are you most excited about for the 2019 Halloween & Party Expo?
PK: We are really looking forward to showing our new Sesame Street pet costume line, augmented reality pet costumes and a few more surprises!
It's your store
The Halloween & Party Expo spoke with Barnyard Dollar Store & More about the history of their business, their buying strategy for the Show and what they anticipate to be the new "must have" product for 2018!
HPE: Tell us about the history of your business.
Barnyard Dollar Store & More (BDS): Barnyard Dollar Store & More was founded in 2017 in Frisco, Texas. Our mission is to bring value, variety and convenience to the consumer’s shopping experience. We are priced to provide value on everyday purchases. We carry a large assortment of name brand and private label merchandise to bring variety to our customers. Lastly, we are located in neighborhoods where traditional dollar stores are not found. We also pride ourselves on the customer experience during each shopping trip. From the store layout to the checkout process, Barnyard Dollar Store & More provides a different and better experience for the millennial and upper middle-income consumer base. Just one visit and you will see that we truly have Savings As Big As Texas.
HPE: What brought you to this year's show?
BDS: Simply – to maximize time and opportunities. When a retailer has a chance to go to ‘one’ place and interact with so many different vendors all within a few hours, it is money well spent.
HPE: What is your buying strategy when at the Show?
BDS: We look at a variety of things that support our strategies. Mainly, can we source product that will be different while providing value to our customers?
HPE: What's the new "must have" product for 2018?
BDS: We believe the ‘must haves’ are any item that creates an impulse buy from the consumer’s point of view. What will stand out from the crowd from everyone else and still bring great value for the customer.
HPE: What are some new, interesting industry trends you are seeing?
BDS: First, retail is not dead. We are seeing more and more customers supporting locally owned businesses like ours. Consumers like to shop and support smaller shops. Also, if the retailer truly shows appreciation for that customer, they will be back.
HPE: What are you excited about for this year's show?
BDS: The excitement will need to be around value and variety. Vendors should be cautious on higher priced items. They need to help support retailers in making it easier for a customer to go to a brick and mortar location.
In 2017, the back to school market grew 10% - reaching an astonishing $83.6 billion. Thus? The opportunity for retailers is clear as day, yet many struggle to find ways to optimize this key retail timeframe. As a party store, costume store or event focused store in general, it’s not as easy to identify ways to leverage this buying audience. Yet, it’s not impossible, either. To help, consider the below.
Promote Back-to-School Party Ideas
Lets face it… while the kiddos go back to school, many moms, dads and families celebrate. Whether it’s the relief of summer being over or a celebration due to the start of an exciting new school year ahead, there is a lot to celebrate when it comes to back-to-school. Highlight these moments with aisle displays and promotional merchandising strategies that encourage customers to purchase items and celebrate this time of year. Even if customers are shopping for something else – such as an item for an upcoming birthday or even Halloween – your store can provoke them to want to make purchases celebrating back-to-school.
Highlight Fall School Needs Now
The early bird gets the worm, as the saying goes, so don’t hesitate to promote inventory your back-to-school customers will need this Fall. From party supplies in your local high school colors to costumes that may support local school mascots or events, put a spotlight on these items so that your back-to-school customers rush to buy them now. They’re in buying mode, after all, so leverage this to your advantage. The catch? The average customer will not think about these items so be sure to introduce them to your customers through displays, email marketing, social media and even good, old-fashioned conversation among your staff and consumers.
Pop-Up Your Store in Another Store
Is there a local store in town that attracts back-to-school customers more commonly than your store does? Introduce a trade with this store so that come Halloween season or another season your store may thrive you can do the same for them. By hosting each other as “pop-ups” you not only get introduced to new customers, but you also welcome new selling strategies. Bring inventory to this pop-up experience that supports your local schools – such as party supplies in school colors, candy or other novelty items that are fun add-on sales and costumes that highlight your local schools – then cross market this pop-up experience between each of your store. You both will gain increased visibility while welcoming new sales, as well. Make this event fun and engaging, ultimately celebrating the start of the new school year ahead.
Host a Back-to-School Party
You’re in the business of parties so… throw a party! Welcome non-competitive yet like-minded retailers to join you in your store to help drive additional foot traffic into your retail space, then make sure you have a fun day planned. From music to complimentary snacks to discounted items to promotional giveaways and more, make this an event to remember. Don’t overlook the real reason behind this event, however, which is to sell, sell, sell. Get your staff ready to support your customers in all their fun back-to-school needs that your store sells. Plus, be sure to market this leading up to the event so that you are better guaranteed a strong response from your customers. If you invite external businesses to join, as well, be sure you have a strategy identified that includes them helping to promote this event, also. Using social media, tagging each other, pushing email marketing out and more, you will be sure to spread the word and gain customers to visit your store.
Finally, when it comes to back-to-school don’t overlook the value in offering ways for your customers to save. Like it or not, everyone wants a deal this time of year. Consider how you can promote specific items for less than their normal price to help drive sales to your store – all while capturing more dollars along the way.
hia Supports Low Tariffs on Halloween Products
HIA is actively engaged in collaboration with retailers and other consumer products industries in opposing any tariffs that might be unfairly levied against Halloween Costumes and products imported from China.
HIA Executive Director Michele Biordi has noted, "Halloween Products promote strong US Intellectual Properties here and abroad. We want these products to benefit Halloween revelers everywhere."
While Tariffs were originally directed by the US Trade Representative's Office (USTR) at high tech industries which China has targeted for domination by 2025, a tit for tat trade dispute with China has escalated tensions. The first two extensive lists of tariffs focused on industrial and tech products and raw materials. The latest round of proposed tariffs now are beginning to focus on finished goods.
On August 1, the office of the USTR issued a press release announcing that the President has urged consideration for increasing the tariff rate on List 3, as announced on July 10, from 10% to 25%. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer issued a statement announcing that the White House has directed USTR to consider increasing the tariff rate from 10 to 25% on the previously issued $200 billion list of proposed Chinese imports ("List 3").
Subsequently, China has announced its intention to retaliate against the U.S. for the latest escalation of tariffs on the $200 billion in trade, announcing that they will target about $60 billion worth of U.S. exports to China with tariffs between 5 and 25 percent. This will cover about 5,200 individual types of U.S. exports to China.
What HIA is doing:
HIA continues to actively engage in the ongoing work of Section 301 China Tariffs through Coalitions. We are supporting two strong lobbying coalition groups related to this issue, headed by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA). The focus in Washington to date has been on List 2, which does not impact our industry significantly. As the focus is now shifting to List 3 goods, which include electronics, hats, gloves, handbags and packaging materials (but not toys) we are reevaluating our lobbying tactics.
What Industry Members should do:
Please continue to assess the detail targeted HTSUS codes that may affect your imports and exports together with specific information about anticipated economic impact to your company. This information can be sent to the Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your company is planning on commenting to the USTR on specific tariff rates, please send us a copy of your comments so they can be incorporated in Association position Statements. Individual company comments are due by a September 6th deadline.
As specific products by code are targeted for increased tariffs, In addition to your own cost increases, we need to know what a cost increase to the consumer will entail if the tariffs are enacted -ie how much, by category, will retail costs increase?
Please note that despite thousands of submissions to date, the USTR has only acted in very few cases to provide relief from the proposed tariffs. Recognizing that at some point it may become necessary to request detailed exclusions for Halloween specific product, HIA has signed on to a multi-association letter related to the exclusion request process. In the coming days, we will be sharing additional information on the exclusion request process.
Current Deadlines for Comments on Product specific tariffs for USTR List 3:
August 13, 2018: Due date for filing requests to appear and a summary of expected testimony at the public hearing, and for filing pre-hearing submissions.
September 6, 2018: Due date for submission of written comments.
August 20-23, 2018: The Section 301 Committee will conduct a public hearing.
September 6, 2018: Due date for submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments.
registration for the 2019 Halloween & Party is Now Open!
We strive to ensure the Halloween & Party Expo is the best resource for your business and we're excited to show you all that's new for 2019. Shaped by feedback from retailers like you, this year's event is on track to be the best Show yet. With more new products, more ways to drive revenue and more inspiration, the 2019 Halloween & Party Expo is a Must-Attend event. PLUS, for the second year in a row, the Halloween & Party Expo will be side-by-side with HAuNTcon, the Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow & Convention, granting you access to two events and providing you even more opportunity to diversify your merchandise and find unique and one-of-a-kind masks, props, and decor!