ARCADIA, Calif. -- Vons Cos. here has begun testing Party Solutions, a new partyware mix targeted specifically to different types of social occasions.
The chain began piloting the new program by Gibson Greetings, Cincinnati, in some 100 stores.
The product mix, merchandised on modular wire display racks, was planned with the idea "that not every party requires the same components," said Dianne Krupp, the card supplier's general manager of party papers and gift wraps.
In the Party Solutions baby shower assortment, for instance, there's a wider offering of decorating items like cutouts and streamers, according to Krupp. "There are also more smaller-size plates for petit four," she said.
Vons officials declined to comment on this merchandising concept.
According to Krupp, partyware product components for social gatherings, like a baby shower or a birthday party for a two- year-old boy, have usually incorporated the same type of items, such as two sizes of plates and napkins.
But consumer research conducted by Gibson indicates that people don't use the same party products for similar occasions.
Krupp noted that the Vons test "gives shoppers what they want."
The Vons experiment also involves party favors shown loose in a dump display instead of packaged.
The Vons test period will last a couple of months. "It will involve testing the vehicle and making sure the display is appealing and pleasing before we assemble the correct mix that will go out in September," said Krupp.