Halloween “will happen,” but is “going to look different” this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, Party City CEO Brad Weston told “Varney & Co.” on Wednesday.
When asked how social distancing and the limitation on large gatherings is affecting business heading into the holiday season, Weston said the company “quickly adapted” and “evolved” to the situation.
“Our goal throughout the pandemic has been to make life easier for our customers in ways that we authentically can,” Weston said. “While everything was and is still being canceled we found people still want to celebrate.”
“We quickly adapted and evolved our business to help families thrive in this environment, which has really allowed us to impact our operations moving forward,” he continued.
Weston explained that over the past six months “Party City essentially wrote the playbook on virtual at-home, and drive-by celebrations because we recognized virtual parties as a new concept and customers needed inspiration in how-tos.”
The company developed virtual party kits, step-by-step party guides and checklists “to make it easy to still plan and host parties,” he went on to say.
He stressed that the “key” was using the company’s “digital capabilities both online and in marketing through social channels to inspire consumers to imagine their celebrations in new ways.”The NPD Group chief retail analyst Marshal Cohen on how retailers are being impacted by the coronavirus, specifically missing out on the back-to-school shopping season, which used to be the second-biggest retail period of the year for many brands.Video
When asked how well accepted are the virtual parties and if there is a demand compared to what it was like before the pandemic Weston said that it’s “amazing that consumers are finding ways to celebrate.”
He explained that people are still decorating, but for virtual parties now. He also said that “the whole notion of birthday parades and driveway parties etc., we believe have been significant drivers of our business.”
Weston then said that he thinks “that’s the kind of activity that is going to happen for Halloween.”