||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (June 2012)|
|Products||Party supplies, including party decorations, candy, party costumes, custom invitations, custom ribbons, balloons, plates, cups, halloween costumes and party favors|
|Owner(s)||Amscan Holdings: Gerald C. (Gerry) Rittenberg CEO|
Party City is an American retail chain of party supply stores, based in Rockaway Township, New Jersey. The company is the largest retailer of party goods in the United States and Canada, operating over 750 company-owned and franchise outlets under the Party City, Halloween City, and Factory Card & Party Outlet brands.
Party City opened its first store in East Hanover, NJ in 1986 with the goal of creating a one-stop party supply shop. After two years of operation, Party City opened its first franchise store in Hazlet, NJ in 1989. Party City expanded beyond the Northeast in 1992 and opened stores in Georgia and Tennessee. Shortly thereafter, Party City became a nationwide chain with store locations ranging from Hawaii to Puerto Rico. Through acquisitions, partnerships and expansion, Party City’s sales reached the one-billon dollar mark in 2004.
In 2005, the company was sold to Amscan Holdings, Inc., the largest designer, manufacturer and distributor of party goods in America. Amscan then went on to acquire the party retailers Party America in 2006 and Factory Card & Party Outlet in 2007. Both retail chains began to operate under the Party City network, thereby making Party City the largest party supplies retailer in the United States.
In 2009, Party City launched an e-commerce website at PartyCity.com and added in 2011 a “Party Ideas” Center containing shopping checklists, photo galleries and video tutorials.
Party City currently operates nearly 800 stores nationwide, including several 12,000 square-foot mega stores. In 2011, Party City expanded outside the United States with the acquisition of the Canadian retailer Party Packagers, making Party City the largest party goods retailer in North America. In 2012, these stores began to re-brand as Party City. In 2013 Party City bought iParty, a now defunct discount party super store that had locations in both New England and the Tampa Bay Florida area.
Party City offers an assortment of party supplies, including paper and plastic tableware, metallic balloons, accessories, novelties, costumes, other garments, gifts, and stationery. Its gift and stationery product line comprises home, baby, and wedding products. Additionally, Party City carries more than 100 themes for children’s parties, including popular licensed characters. Halloween is Party City’s biggest season and the company conducts more Halloween related business per store than any other retailer. With Amscan’s 2011 acquisition of American Greetings’ Designware party division, Party City added licensing agreements with Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, and Hasbro. In 2011, Amscan became a licensee for MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL and NCAA party products and balloons, and Party City carries all teams in their respective markets and offers the entire assortment in larger stores and on PartyCity.com.
Wage Disputes and Philanthropy
Wage disparities are likely to become an issue for the company in the future. In 2011, CEO Gerry Rittenberg made a combined salary (base pay + bonuses) of $3,809,549, whereas the average hourly associate makes $7–10 dollars, for an average of about $15,000 a year. Even a team leader (what Party City considers a manager) tops out at about 20,000 a year, well below the poverty line for a family of four. Advancement within the company does occur, but management positions are hired from outside sources at an increasing rate, possibly to stave off raises and benefits to existing employees.
To preemptively off-set any bad press the company might receive, Party City has given back to the community, in the form of launching a website called PartyCityCares. Recently, Party City has also sponsored PBS television shows like Sesame Street.
- Adaptive Sports Foundation- News Release: "Party City Raised Over $127,000 for ASF"
- Bloomberg Businessweek- Company Profile
- 2010 Interview Transcript with Party City Executive
- Amscan - News Release "Acquisition of Party City Corporation by AAH Holding Completed"
- Amscan- News Release: "Party America, a Leading Party Good Retailer, Acquired by AAH Holding Corporation"
- PR Newswire - Party City Press Release: "Party City Livens Up Cyberspace with New Online Store"
- 2011 Interview Transcript with Party City Executives
- Amscan- News Release “Amscan Announces Strategic Alliance With American Greetings”