Retail Survival

Mr Salakas – The Party People

It is not the biggest that survive, it’s the most adaptable.

Today, it’s more about the consumer than ever. That consumer is demanding and as technology is changing, they change their expectations. We have seen a string of retail failures over the last few years but we have also seen lots of retail successes. In today’s ultra-competitive world, it’s no longer good enough to be bigger than your competition such that your economies of scale give you the competitive advantage you need to win. Most of the retail successes are coming from retailers that have only been in business a few years.

The Party People were recently named “Independent Retailer Of The Year” and “Online Retailer Of The Year” at the Australian Retail Association awards. People keep asking me why I think I won those awards and I think the answer is that we are an agile business that looks to predict changes in our consumer or at least adapt early to them.

The Party People launched the first online party store in 1999, it launched with click and collect and continued to achieve industry first from offering express and same day shipping first, PayPal and buy now pay later and more. The Party People was also one of Google Ads Australia’s first customers as well as being first on Bing Ads as well.

The reason for so many retail or party supplies industry firsts is due to our love and passion for change. We constantly ask ourselves “what problems do we solve for our customers” and “how will they change in future”. This makes “change” a source of competitive advantage for us. We jump in early, get ahead while the competition isn’t aware of anything and then as they catch on and get started with something new, were already refining it to stay ahead.

A good example of this for us was being Google’s first Australian advertiser. We started advertising for 1c per click. It was extremely profitable at first but as competition entered, it got more expensive. That said, Google continues to release new ad products and each time we are early, we get similar lucrative outcomes until competition comes to the party (no pun intended).

While our competition is mostly other independent party stores, we are also competing with Big W and Spotlight. Our competitive advantage over large players is our agility. All small businesses can have this competitive advantage. Large companies may have big budgets and whole teams of very smart people but they have significant governance structures that means change takes time (years in some companies) and so as small to medium sized businesses, we can try new things to find new ways of helping our customers before they do.

Retail seems to be a game of survival today but its not the biggest that survive, it’s the most adaptable.

2 Responses to “Retail Survival”


  1. […] truth is that a trade show is akin to a retail shop on a busy high street – in that, there is a lot of footfall, but there’s also a lot of […]

  2. […] about this next step is that you already have the foundation to work with; you’re not starting a retail business from scratch. Open up a retail outlet does come with a few challenges, however. If it was […]

Leave a Reply

  7 Reasons to Subscribe

Subscribe via: (Email / RSS)