Business Overview

Party supply stores offer supply rentals, costumes, party favors, seasonal items, balloons, decorations and disposable silverware items. They’re a one-stop-shop for anything seasonal, often revamping entire product lines to take care of seasonal crowds. They’re often prioritized providers on Halloween, Christmas and birthdays due to their niche products and services.

Who is this business right for?

A party supply store is often a small business. While large party store chains exist, any who own or manage a local party store will need to enjoy small business operations. Perfect for party-lovers, retail gurus and fun-loving store owners, a party supply store is an excellent business for those interested in advertising, professional selling, and merchandising.

What happens during a typical day at a party supply store?

A party supply store needs to be a preferred location during the holidays, due to its niche product stock. For this reason, day-to-day activities during holiday hours are drastically different than during non-holiday hours.

Over the holidays, a holiday supply store owner must handle rush orders, filing go-back items, handling costume fittings, managing increased product shipments, creating a custom return policy, and prioritizing customer service. During non-holiday hours, an owner must be able to conduct the regular responsibilities associated with any small business owner. In-house finances, marketing, management, promotion, and shop upkeep are important.

While owners shouldn't focus on product upkeep too much, several items in part stores—due to their disposable nature—may need to be replaced over time. Party supply stores often face slow periods when holidays aren’t near. These time periods deserve extra attention, so as to keep the shop operational.

What is the target market?

A party supply shop’s best customers will be seasonal “holiday shoppers.” Holiday shoppers may shop exclusively at a party supply store during Christmas, Halloween and the Fourth of July. That said, holiday shoppers can often be rushed. For this reason, an ideal shopper will be one who doesn’t exploit holiday product return policies. Because holiday-purchased items aren’t useful during non-holiday hours, product purchase exploitation frequently happens.

How does a party supply store make money?

While a party supply store can make money year-round, much of its revenue will be gained during the holidays—specifically Halloween. A store makes money by selling costumes, party favors, candy, balloons, costume makeup and decorations. Several party supply stores offer bounce house, fogger and professional party display rentals, too. If a party store offers such big-cot rentals, they frequently limit their availability. Again, a party supply store’s ability to maximize sales greatly depends on its customers’ holiday and party needs. Often, a party supply store is a local area’s only provider of costumes and specialty holiday products. It simply isn’t profitable for department stores to carry such items, year-round.

What is the growth potential for a party supply store?

Party supply stores do have difficulty growing. Because they’re in a niche product and service category, they often have financial growth and scaling difficulties during non-holiday hours. For this reason, larger chains like Party Land and Party City dominate the market. A party supply store can, however, become a local area’s preferred location rather easily. Party supply store franchises certainly exist, but they’re difficult to obtain.