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Read the December issue of Progressive Party Europe online now

The December issue of Progressive Party Europe is available to read online now.

So here we are, having all survived Halloween and now hurtling towards Christmas and the inevitable New Year trade show excitement.

Halloween, from all accounts was a mixed bag this year. Some say sales were up slightly, some say flat, but with the cost-of-living crisis and Halloween falling on a Tuesday, we were perhaps not expecting miracles for 2023. You can read reviews from some key industry suppliers online in the news section of partyworldwide.net now.

Looking ahead to next year, there’s plenty for the party industry to get their teeth into. We chatted to suppliers about Valentine’s Day in this issue and the general feeling is that smaller gifts and décor such as balloons will be strong this year, as consumers continue to watch the pennies. Suppliers have a wide range of innovations to deck out retailers with a display of love in February.

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In a similar vein, the masks and accessories sector is reportedly performing particularly well, as consumers choose to update existing costumes, or make their own as the cost-of-living crisis continues. We find out how suppliers are supporting retailers with this trend in the feature later in the issue.

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Carnival falls earlier than usual this year from 9 to 14 February, which, coupled with the economic climate, creates a challenge, but suppliers have reported strong pre-sales and are expecting consumers to join in and celebrate, albeit in perhaps a slightly different way to previous years.

With World Book Day also looming, we find out a bit more about the charity’s 2024 plans in this issue, and how it is starting to work on forming partnerships with businesses and organisations to further its work, such as the recently announced collaboration with Wonder.

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While it seems impossible to have a conversation around a forthcoming event or sector of the industry at the moment, without highlighting the pressure consumers are facing economically, what is certain is that despites these difficulties, consumers are still marking key events and ensuring that they celebrate and make memories in whatever way they can. The challenge for our industry is to ensure the right products are on offer to meet those changing demands and trends.

The Office for Budget Responsibility said this week that the UK economy will grow much more slowly than expected in the next two years, as inflation takes longer to fall. It’s also been predicted that living standards won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2027-28. So it seems the trends being seen in the market currently will likely continue for some time yet, and the steps that have already been taken to diversify ranges and expand certain sectors will stand suppliers in good stead for the coming years.

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