january 25-27, 2019 | new orleans, la

The Celebration | May 2018

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Welcome to the May 2018 edition of The Celebration!

Here's what you'll find inside:

BEHIND THE BRAND
Featuring HALCO

IT'S YOUR STORE
Featuring The Costumer

RETAIL SMARTS
3 Technologies to Help Retailers Gain Stronger Store Success

HIA NEWS & NOTES
HIA 1st Annual Member Retreat

HALLOWEEN & PARTY EXPO SHOW UPDATES
Book your hotel today for the 2019 Show!

 

BEHIND THE BRAND

For this month's Behind the Brand, we spoke with HALCO, an exhibitor at the upcoming 2019 Halloween & Party Expo. Check out the full interview below:

Halloween & Party Expo (HPE): Tell us about the history of Halco, and how you've evolved over the years? 
HALCO (H): HALCO been in business for 70 years manufacturing halloween costumes, toy cap guns, and Christmas Costumes and Accessories which became our mainstay after 1977. When materials became unavailable in the US, we had to find production capability that would use our original patterns, have the sewing expertise and quality that we are known for.

 

HPE: What product are you most excited about for the 2018/2019 season?

H: Our Belle of the Christmas Ball, it was introduced in 2017 and we had such a good response it sold out quickly!

HPE: How does the Halloween & Party Expo bring value to you, your brand and your customers?
H: The show allows attendees to touch, see, and feel our costumes! The show lets us visit with our customers, which we really look forward to.

 

HPE: What products are you most excited about for the upcoming year?
H: We manufacture Christmas Costumes & Accessories and look forward to Santa & Mrs. Claus, the Elfs, and Santa's Helpers ordering new Christmas attire!

 

HPE: What does the new co-location with HAuNTcon mean to you and your business? What are you most excited for in terms of next year's Show?
H: Because we only supply Christmas and a few Easter Bunnies we don't have much contact with the HAunTcon people and this show will allow us to make those new connections! We are most excited for hopefully gaining new customers, and of course the great food in New Orleans!

IT'S YOUR STORE

The Halloween & Party Expo spoke with The Costumer about the history of the business, trends they are seeing in the industry and more!
 
HPE: Tell us about your business history.
The Costumer (C): The Costumer has been a major force in the costume industry since 1917, involved in everything from Vaudeville to films.  Our two retail locations at 1995 Central Avenue, Colonie and 1020 Barrett Street, Schenectady are open year round for sales and rentals.  We proudly serve scholastic, professional and amateur theatres nationwide through our theatrical division and collection of over 150,000 rental costumes.

HPE: What was your favorite product of 2017?
C: One of my favorites of the 2017 season were the Inflatable T-Rex and King Kong Costumes.  These costumes were such a huge hit that we were fortunate to showcase them on several local television news segments!  Customers, both young and old were intrigued and excited to purchase them.  Scary clowns were also one of my favorites.  It was great fun watching our customers create their own unique scary clown from our wide selection of masks, make-up, wigs and accessories.

 

HPE: What's the new "must have" product for 2018?
C: I think Marvel Avengers Super Heroes, The Incredibles ll and Black Panther will all be very popular due to recent movie releases.  Super Heroes continue to have legs.

HPE: What are some new industry trends you are seeing?
C: Steampunk and Day of the Dead are more widely known and general interest has increased.  Numerous Steampunk festivals in our area have also helped to drive these industry trends.

 

HPE: What brought you to the Halloween & Party Expo?
C: The Halloween & Party Expo gives me an opportunity to see the latest merchandise and trends. The Expo is also a great way to meet with my vendors face to face. I always walk away energized with new ideas.

RETAIL SMARTS

3 Technologies to Help Retailers Gain stronger Store Success
By Nicole Leinbach Reyhle

 

Whether you operate a brick and mortar store, an online retail business or merge your store operations between both avenues, tech undoubtedly can help you deliver more efficient and more real-time management to your retail operations. Through tech, merchants can strengthen their day-to-day task lists while increasing their overall performance in everything from marketing to logistics to customer care and more. Collectively, these efforts provide retailers the opportunity to not only streamline business operations – but also increase revenue opportunity
Curious how your own retail business can benefit from tech… without breaking the bank? Consider these five industry leading resources below. 
 
Technology #1: Point of Sale

Let’s face it… retail is complex. This is particularly the case as today’s modern merchants aim to manage operations between multiple platforms. This complexity, however, should not slow a retailer’s efforts down. In fact, it’s easier than ever to deliver ease to inventory management thanks to savvy, cloud based point of sale systems such as Brightpearl, Lightspeed POS and Vend. When using POS, retailers can manage all of their inventory in one place – eliminating the need to track inventory across multiple platforms. An added perk? Retailers can gain confidence in their inventory fulfillment – ultimately allowing them to deliver stronger customer experiences that not only strengthen sales, but also strengthen overall customer care. Gaining revenue along the way tends to follow… making the investment in POS well worth it.​

 

Technology #2: Shipping Support
Shipping is a big business whether you own a single storefront, an online business or both. The reality is, customers like convenience and to help accommodate this, incorporating smart shipping strategies into your retail and marketing efforts is a must. The catch? You should be as equipped as possible to save money in your shipping efforts since – like it or not – shipping expenses can add up. To help? Incorporate shipping support into your parcel strategy to help optimize your efforts – as well as eliminate unnecessary expenses. An example of this includes using a parcel auditing software into your shipping management that allows you to gain refunds on packages delivered late or charged incorrectly… all without having to watch your FedEx and UPS tracking yourself. Thanks to tech, this is easy for busy merchants to introduce, ultimately helping them keep more money in the bank, as well. Refund Retriever is just one example of a service that supports retailers with this, while other companies such as ShipStation and ShipWorks all aim to support merchants in optimizing their shipping strategies, as well

 

Technology #3: CRM
From CRM to email marketing to accounting and more, there is no shortage of tasks to complete as a retailer. Thanks to CRM companies such as Zoho or HubSpot, for example, these tasks become surprisingly less time-intense and – dare to believe it – easier. Grow sales, reach customers, manage marketing and strengthen store efforts… all in one platform. Added perk? Many CRM solutions welcome users to use their solution via mobile or desktop – truly delivering convenience to busy store owners and managers. As for the expense? A variety of packages are available to accommodate all business needs and sizes – meaning there will be something for your unique business, as well, to consider. And when it comes to savings, retailers know best that this is definitely something to appreciate! As the saying goes, every penny counts.

 

Tech to Think About
While streamlining inventory management and having a strategy in place to eliminate unnecessary shipping expenses is important, it’s also vital to look ahead at how retail will continue to shape retail. With mass merchants such as Macy’s making ongoing efforts to accommodate consumers and online giants like Amazon dominating the ecommerce space, there is no time to push tech to the end of to-do-lists. Instead, retailers need to embrace the tech readily available to them – and continuously look ahead to ensure they’re prepared to keep up with the constantly evolving retail landscape.

 

Finally, while the idea of technology may intimate many merchants… the reality is tech helps merchants reach their goals with more ease and stronger results than ever before in history.  The only catch? You must welcome tech into your biz to truly let it work for you.

HIA NEWS & NOTES

HIA 1st Annual Member Retreat
HIA is holding its first ever Annual Member Retreat on Sunday, June 24 and Monday, June 25, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. We will kick off the event with a networking reception and dinner Sunday evening at 7:00 PM followed by a membership meeting on Monday from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM. The purpose is to strategize about the future of HIA and the industry overall. If you're not currently a member and interested in joining, please contact us.
 
Save-the-Date for the International Halloween Show
The 2018 International Halloween show will be held December 3-6, 2018 at 1115 Broadway and  230 Fifth Avenue New York City. Registration, schedule of events, exhibitor listing and hotel detail will be available at the IHS portion of the HIA website HERE within the next few months, so be sure to keep checking in!

 
You can contact the HIA by email at hia@ahint.com

HALLOWEEN & PARTY EXPO SHOW UPDATES

Hotels are now available for the 2019 Show!
Click here to book your hotel today and plan to join us January 25-27 in New Orleans!

Connections Housing is the ONLY Official Housing Vendor of the Halloween & Party Expo. We have worked with them to guarantee the lowest rates on hotels in the area.
PLEASE NOTE: Outreach from non-affiliated hotel groups has been very aggressive and any offerings they provide will most likely result in a scam. Per our contract, CONNECTIONS HOUSING (our vendor which handles all hotel requests through www.halloweenpartyexpo.com) has negotiated the lowest rates for hotels in New Orleans. If you have been contacted by a non-affiliated hotel company please let us know and we will contact them immediately. You should also block their email address and unsubscribe.

 

If you have any questions, please contact us today.