Retail

Party City Enters The Amazon Marketplace

If you can’t beat them, the saying goes, join them.

It seems the team at Party City has decided it can’t beat Amazon. The seasonal goods firm behind the seasonal shop, Halloween City, has decided that it will be selling its costumes for the spooky season on Amazon’s marketplace for the first time. If the pair-up works out, Party City has further announced that it will look to Amazon to sell both its Christmas and New Year’s merchandise.

“The program also creates an additional channel of distribution,” Party City CEO James Harrison said in a statement.

Party City is not the first retailer by a long shot to join the Amazon Marketplace party – and for obvious reasons. By some estimates, Amazon and its massive marketplace of sellers represent about 50 percent of the nation’s eCommerce sales in the U.S. Amazon Prime has 100 million members globally, and those members love to shop, with many buying from the site at least once a week.

And Party City is looking for a new competitive edge as its biggest season nears, and as it faces increasingly intense competition from the big-box players that are also slinging costumes and candy. And it’s a big market to capture – worth about $9 billion or so, according to NRF estimates.

As of today, Best Buy sells Amazon smart products in its stores, while Kohl’s sells Amazon items and is piloting testing of Amazon returns. Party City has shown sluggish growth as of late, with comparable sales only up .1 percent as of their most recent earnings release. The brand is clearly looking for new channels of growth.

Will Amazon be the right channel? Time will tell.

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