From the Wires
Party City Builds Out Digital Initiatives
Launches Digital Invitation Platform; Invests in Online Invite Leader Punchbowl
By: PR Newswire
Jul. 17, 2017 08:30 AM
ELMSFORD, N.Y., July 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Party City (NYSE: PRTY) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Punchbowl, Inc., Framingham, MA, a technology platform leader for online invitations and digital greeting cards, to launch a digital invitation platform that enables Party City customers to make their own online invitations. The platform is now fully functional at PartyCity.com.
In conjunction with this agreement, Party City has made a minority investment in Punchbowl. Ryan Vero, Executive Vice President of Party City Holdco Inc. and President of Party City Retail Group, has joined Punchbowl's Board of Directors.
"Our agreement with Punchbowl represents yet another investment as we continue to grow our portfolio of digital assets," said Party City CEO Jim Harrison. "With this new capability, party givers will have a single source at PartyCity.com to create invitations while ordering their party supplies online."
Party City's omni-channel strategy is reflected both in its fleet of over 900 retail locations in the United States, as well as through its own website (partycity.com) which receives an average of 400,000 daily visits.
"As the leading party goods supplier, Party City is an ideal partner for us," said Punchbowl CEO Matt Douglas. "We view this as an excellent and logical combination of services with clear benefits for consumers, especially the time-constrained party giver. We also welcome Party City as a new investor who shares our enthusiasm for online greeting cards and invitations."
The digital invitation platform will enable consumers to make their own online invites using a wide variety of designs, colors, fonts and themes, as well as licensed characters from Disney, Hasbro, Sesame Street and other well-known entertainment properties. Party City and Punchbowl hold the broadest portfolio of licenses, which means invitations and parties can be themed from beginning to end.
In addition to personalizing their invitations, party hosts will be able to track RSVPs, add a co-host to each invite, and create message boards to communicate with guests, using a platform that is optimized for mobile devices. Consumers can purchase online invitations on an as-needed basis and the invitations are received by guests free of advertising.
This new agreement follows Party City's earlier announcement in May that it is partnering with investment firm Ampology, of Fort Lee, NJ to develop "Kazzam," an online marketplace that will bring party hosts together with party services. Through Kazzam, users will be able to choose from a spectrum of vetted service providers for party activities and entertainment, as well as for ordering party supplies.
"By adding the Punchbowl capability adjacent to the Kazzam marketplace, we believe that Party City will enjoy the unique competitive position of providing end-to-end party services," concluded Harrison.
About Punchbowl, Inc.
About Party City
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SOURCE Party City
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