Halloween accounts for about 20% of Party City's domestic sales. Last Halloween was a tough one for the specialist retailer, as sales per store fell precipitously. And that was before the pandemic. Now, the CDC has issued guidelines on traditional Halloween activities. While Halloween is far from canceled, the celebration of the holiday will likely look very different this year. That is bad news for Party City, whose sales were already being pressured by consumers' swift move to online platforms and competition from generalist retailers such as Walmart and Target. The party retailer is pulling back on Halloween City pop-ups, opening just 25 this year, compared to 275 last year. Seasonal hiring, however, is only declining 20%, as Party City brings in temporary employees to help manage its omnichannel options.
According to the company, "An economic downturn, or adverse weather, during this period could adversely affect us to a greater extent than at other times of the year."
How about a pandemic? How about a pandemic and an economic downturn?