The Party continues across Australia

Inspired by a successful Halloween pop-up experience last year, The Party People is planning to expand its bricks-and-mortar presence this year, opening stores in Sydney, Melbourne and potentially, Brisbane.

The new stores will be large format Halloween-themed destinations, complete with their own in-store haunted houses and fun, interactive tech features to attract customers, said CEO Dean Salakas, who added that between two and four stores are slated to open this year. At the moment, The Party People have stores in Drummoyne and San Souci in Sydney.

Last year, The Party People launched a 3000sqm pop-up store in Westfield Knox, Victoria during the Halloween season in partnership with Canadian retailer, Halloween Alley. An interactive haunted house sat in the middle of the store, 15,000 costumes were on sale and all staff were dressed up and encouraged to remain ‘in character’ during their shifts to inspire and entertain customers. Both physical and virtual change rooms were also available.

“We popped up the store, did marketing on steroids with no budget and the results were phenomenal. We asked ourselves, ‘Why don’t we do this for our normal bricks-and-mortar  business?’” CEO Dean Salakas said. “In terms of PR, we did a giant party on the opening day and there was a haunted house – they all added to the effect of the store. We wanted people to walk in and go ‘wow’. Word-of-mouth spread quickly.”

Salakas added that he plans to continue collaborating with Halloween Alley and will “ramp up” his pop-up strategy this year.

“The Halloween market is growing every year and I just feel like the market itself needs to adapt. Now we’ve got Big W and Kmart – everyone’s doing halloween. Competition is tough and we felt we needed to evolve our offer to cater to customers,” said Salakas. “We need an offer that’s compelling enough for people to be super pumped to drive all the way to our stores, instead of their local Target.”

Dean Salakas is speaking at Inside Retail Live 26-27 February, 2020.

This article was originally published on Inside Retail here.

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