Project Manager-Merchandising Raina Khumush Discusses Party City’s New Holiday Pop-Up Shops

What is the strategy behind Party City’s Toy City pop-up shops? Are the shops a test for potential permanent toy locations?

Party City is expanding our temporary store offerings through the expected piloting of approximately 50 new Toy City pop-up stores. We will launch the temporary Toy City sites alongside our Halloween City pop-up stores to allow for an integrated and seamless shopping and checkout experience.

The creation of the Toy City concept complements our current seasonal retail strategy and is a logical extension of our brand—one that allows us to leverage our existing Halloween City pop-up store capabilities and capitalize on the category whitespace that has recently been created.

This is an initial pop-up store pilot test that we can learn from and expand next year, if we feel it is appropriate and advantageous for the company to do so.

What types of toys does Toy City offer? Is your merchandise fully secured through Q4 or are you still seeking products? Are you sourcing toys for 2019?

Customers are able to find toys from all of the top brands and licenses—such as Hasbro, Mattel, Spin Master, and more—across different categories from action figures to dolls to games and puzzles.

We are always on the lookout for opportunities to offer new and exciting product to our customers and will continue to manage our assortments throughout the Halloween and holiday season.

How did you choose the locations for Toy City shops? How big are the shops?

Our Toy City pop-ups sites were selected based on optimal locations and attractive leasing opportunities.

The Toy City stores are approximately 4,000 square feet and opened in early September, in conjunction with the Halloween City openings. The pop-up stores will operate throughout the holiday season.

What will make Toy City pop up shops different from other toy stores? (product mix, merchandising, services, etc.)

Toy City provides customers with a curated product mix of on-trend toys from the top vendors, in a unique shopping destination. By co-locating our Toy City and Halloween City pop-up stores, we are providing customers with the opportunity to shop across Halloween and toy categories all at once, in an integrated and seamless way that services their end-to-end seasonal celebration needs.

How are you driving consumer awareness for the toy pop-up shops?

One of the benefits of our co-located pop-up store strategy is the ability to leverage the in-store traffic and consumer awareness of our Halloween City sites to drive natural awareness and increased interest in the Toy City side of the pop-up store site.

Additionally, around November we will ramp up our Toy City-specific marketing efforts to help drive consumer awareness in the holiday months. Look out for special offers in the Halloween City and Party City locations, too!

Will traditional Party City stores expand their toy offerings for holiday as well?

Party City will test an expansion of our online assortment of toy offerings on partycity.com, providing customers with a broader range of toy products to choose from, while further supporting the overall Party City online experience. We will also test an expansion of our toy assortment in a select group of Party City stores in the fall.   

What else would you like to share?

We believe we have a unique opportunity to test the toy market in a strategic way through the extension of our current pop-up stores. We are very excited to be able to bring this new Toy City concept to our customers, while remaining focused on our core seasonal offerings.