Jun 13, 2019
From Labor Day to Game Day

Retailers are gearing up for late summer and fall festivities. Merchandise options abound for tailgating, late summer parties, Labor Day celebrations and more. For retailers seeking the latest product trends, decorations, or balloons, Party & Halloween Retailer has it covered. We reached out to Hester & Cook,Mayflower Distributing, and Regent Productswho shared insight and display ideas to help retailers incorporate a mix of merchandise to offer solutions for customers.


Grilling products are key components for any celebration. “Popular grilling essentials include extendable BBQ forks, which are great for safety, wooden skewers for pre-prepped kabobs, aluminum disposable grill toppers and food prep squeeze bottles – making it easy to use/bring your own marinades, sauces and dressings,” said Cori Olson, sales account executive with Regent Products.

Jennifer Schuefftan, marketing project coordinator with Mayflower, noted Labor Day trends have not changed for balloon uses: “Anagram’s Satin Luxe line, which has solid colors, shapes, and standard options for patriotic occasions, would provide an elevated option for decor.” She suggested solid color, fun shaped tropical vibe balloons are trending for late summer gatherings. “You will be seeing more iridescent styles incorporated with typical tropical icons: iridescent flamingos, pineapples, mermaids, and much more,” said Schuefftan.

“Everything from sectioned chip/veggie trays to paper plate holders, tumblers, silicone basting brushes and travel aluminum pans with lids are items that will always be needed at gatherings,” said Olson regarding Labor Day parties. She indicated retailers should include “brightly colored reusable plastics” for a fun, festive look. “Patriotic bunting flags are perfect for decorating inside or outside” and work well on railings, tables, fences, and even walls,” she said.

Courtney Cochran, creative director at Hester & Cook expressed for fall gatherings “paper to dress the table” is a must. She indicated the trend is toward “gratitude and interaction” and shared products such as I am Thankful For Table Accent are ones retailers can offer to fill this niche, as it allows guests to write about what they are thankful for. “Instagram-worthy” gatherings are trending, she explained: “This isn’t just about being able to boast or get ‘likes’, but instead is leaning toward more of a focus on giving guests a really thoughtful experience where we can connect in person.”

Olson shared that harvest decor such as “fall tablecloths, pumpkins and leaf decor will look great” on tabletops. “You can even add a tabletop scarecrow to complete the look,” she said.

Schuefftan noted Halloween, Day of the Dead, and “Friendsgiving”, are ideal times to decorate with balloon and shared pastels and iridescent items are trending for Halloween and other holiday occasions. She revealed custom phrases with letter balloons are popular – phrases such as #blessed, #alwaysgrateful, #thankful are trending and she suggested providing these options with large air-filled letters.

“Game day partyware is perfect for tailgating! A football shaped, sectioned tray with double-wall tumblers and football shaped bowls make it easy to enjoy chili and toppings on those crisp fall days,” said Olson. “You can even bring along a mini-tabletop pong game to entertain without taking up too much space.”

Merchandising Mix & Displays

Summer gatherings present an opportunity to showcase in-season accents per Cochran. She suggested Orange Orchard placemats and table accents used in conjunction with citrus scented candles and stationery for thank you notes could be used. She suggested seasonal items that reflect the “freshness of summer” and provide retailers an opportunity to sell several items instead of just one were ideal picks.

“Tie the theme together with multiple pieces used throughout your gathering,” she said. Paper placemats, napkins and a runner on a table for Labor Day barbeque ideas paired with items “surprise balls, sparklers, even some conversation starter games layered into the display” are great ways to merchandise said Cochran. She advised tabletop decor is best displayed by setting a table with all necessary components – place settings, runners, place cards, and accents – to simplify the buying process for shoppers.

“Pick-up” items such as place cards should be included. “When the visual merchandising takes the guesswork out of styling a table setting, grabbing multiple tabletop items for a gathering becomes a no brainer,” she said. Tailgating and fall celebrations are opportunities to show team spirit and seasonal flare, and Cochran said an assortment of table runners are a must. She also suggested incorporating Touchdown table runners as “they fit perfectly on foldable tables.”

For balloon displays Scheufftan suggested collegiate and/or NFL balloons, along with local team colors for a ‘game day’ display featuring balloon garlands and larger football shaped balloons. One example of such use is the 5 feet Goal Post from Betallic. She said retailers should consider adding impulse buys such as ready-to-go balloon bouquets as well.

Olson said an assortment of products “where color pallets mix and match across several product categories” to implement in merchandise displays. Olson stressed the importance of a letting a product tell the story – and allow shoppers to touch items. “Remove items from the packaging and display them in an ‘in-use’ scenario. Displays that look organized and neat, help the customer make a quick, easy decision,” said Olson. “Keep best-sellers and popular seasonal items at eye-level, and surround them with new, closely related products to boost additional sales.” Olson noted displays should help show customers “what to buy.”

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