I thought the first party store I visited in New York might have been so big because it was the main destination store. This store, where I took the photo, was – I guess – two thousand square metres. The fifteen or so aisles – like the one in the photo – were stacked with products that are party related.
Over the course of several days I have seen another five or six party stores and while not as big as this one, they were sizeable. While these business exist to serve needs, their very range and presentation creates demand by showing people how to create parties and events they otherwise might not have created.
Of course, being in a location with an extraordinary population density such as New York gives retailers opportunities of scale unlike what we see in Australia. That said, my take away from the party shops is that this is a retail category where we can create demand through range and shop floor theatre. The alternative is to serve only as a destination business – this will constrain us to serving only destination shoppers.