“We had the most smashing New Year’s Eve ever!”; talking to Frog Orange

Whatever you might think of 2018, there is no doubt that it was an challenging year and the last 12 months have certainly kept the retail industry on its toes. Here’s what Rebecca Lee-Allen, co-owner of Oxford’s Frog Orange, had to say about the last year in party.

How do you think the party industry has fared over the last 12 months?

“The party industry is a sum of many parts. Some have fared well for us and others have been nothing less than disastrous. We have continued to do well with balloons and fireworks – Jellyfish Balloons and the chrome latex balloons from Qualatex have done really well. Partyware has been steady but fancy dress has been terrible.”

What was your business highlight of 2018 and why?

“We had the most smashing New Year’s Eve ever in both shops and broke all records, so that was firmly our highlight of the year and exceeded all expectations. I’m still spinning from the shock! Best sellers on the day were fireworks, decorations, balloons and fancy dress in that order. Our takings were double that of Halloween this year!”

What are your hopes and expectations for the party market in general next year?

“For next year we will be opening both shops seven days a week and cutting staff holidays back to the statutory amount. It is horrible to have to do that but we must make savings wherever possible in order to keep us all in jobs.”

 What would you choose as the best new party product of 2018 and why?

“Jellyfish Balloons, Fire Crackers and Spinners from Trafalgar Fireworks (so much fun!) – their coloured ice fountains have done really well too. Chrome latex balloons from Qualatex as well. The colours and finish are awesome.”

And finally…. what are your plans for 2019?

“For next year we will be opening both shops seven days a week and cutting staff holidays back to the statutory amount. It is horrible to have to do that but we must make savings wherever possible in order to keep us all in jobs.”

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