STORE SPACES

Party City to ‘pop up’ with toy stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Party City is looking to fill the void left by the demise of Toys “R” Us — at least for the holiday season.

The party supplies giant on Monday announced plans to open about 50 pop-up stores nationwide under the Toy City banner. The pop-ups will be located alongside Party City’s seasonal Halloween City stores, with both concepts opening in early September. The toy stores will operate throughout the holiday shopping period.

“The creation of a Toy City concept to complement our temporary seasonal retail strategy is a logical extension of our brand; one that will allow us to leverage our existing pop-up store capabilities and capitalize on the category whitespace that has recently been created,” stated James M. Harrison, CEO, Party City.

In addition, the retailer will test an expansion of its online assortment of toys.

“We’re excited to increase our toy assortments while still remaining focused on our core seasonal offerings,” said Harrison.

Party City’s retail operations include over 900 specialty retail party supply stores (including approximately 150 franchise stores) throughout North America operating under the names Party City and Halloween City, and e-commerce websites.

 

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STORE SPACES

First Look: Casper expanding in physical retail

BY Marianne Wilson

The fast-growing online company that disrupted the mattress industry has its sights set on brick-and-mortar expansion up north.

Casper, which upended the mattress industry with its bed-in-a-box product, has opened a temporary location in Montréal. It will be followed by a permanent store later this year.

The Montreal outpost comes on the heels of the company’s first Canadian site — and second permanent store to date — which opened in May, at Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens. Its opening marks the launch of a multi-province retail fleet throughout Canada. Casper will also open a Canadian headquarters, in Toronto.

“We’ve seen tremendous success in Canada with three years of triple digit growth,” said Philip Krim, co-founder and CEO, Casper. “Investing further in the market and expanding our local presence will enable us to bring better sleep to even more Canadians across the country.”

Called Le Chalet Casper, the Montreal store offers an inviting environment inspired by the tranquility of a traditional Québécois summer home. Visitors can test out Casper sleep products in one of three miniature sleeping areas, with the spaces themed around the Canadian summer activities of hiking, sailing and fishing. Product can be purchased for carry out or for home delivery.

“At Casper, we believe that the experience of buying a mattress should be just as comfortable as sleeping on one,” said Nicole Tapscott, senior director and general manager of Casper Canada. “Le Chalet Casper is designed as an oasis for people to relax as they would in a summer chalet to escape the city heat and bustle. We encourage visitors to touch, feel and experience our sleep products in an environment that will leave them with the feeling of a life well slept.”

On the home front, Casper opened some 15 long-term pop-ups across the United States last year. In February, the brand opened its first-ever permanent location, in downtown Manhattan.

Founded in 2014, Casper’s total global revenue since inception has grown to more than $600 million.

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STORE SPACES

Physical stores win out over online competitors in this category

BY Al Urbanski

Apparel ranks as one of the most purchased categories online, but clothing stores in malls still own a strong advantage over e-commerce competitors.

That’s according to a survey by Valassis, the consumer promotion and coupon company, which surveyed consumers who visited an indoor mall more than times in the past year and found that 60% of them prefer to shop apparel in the physical marketplace. Their chief reasons for doing so: being able to try on items and visit — and compare selections — at several different stores.

The survey found mall shopping also offers other advantages compared to online options including:

• The social aspect of outings with family and friends;
• Convenience for quick gift purchases;
• A full-day experience that may include dining and entertainment; and
• The ability to compare prices and products across multiple stores.

Shoppers preferred online shopping as opposed to a mall, meanwhile, for a broader range of product options, avoiding crowds and parking problems, and reducing the amount of impulse purchases.

Asked what might entice them to visit malls more often, respondents said more discounts (59%), better parking accommodations (20%); events (18%), and grocery options (17%).

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