Retail Merchandiser

Party America Purchases Party Concepts

OCTOBER 12, 2004 – ALAMEDA, CA – Party America, a 124-unit leading retailer of party supplies, announced that it has acquired Party Concepts, the third largest party supply retailer with 170 units in 35 states, for $16 million dollars. Party Concepts, based in Appleton, WI, operates under the names Great Party!, Paper Factory, and Paper Outlet.

This purchase now makes Party America the second largest party supply chain in the United States with over 230 company-owned stores and 60 franchise locations in 48 states. This current acquisition follows closely behind their previous acquisition of only one year ago when the company purchased Paper Warehouse, a large party supply chain based in Minneapolis, MN.

“We saw many mutual benefits by joining these two companies,” said Marty Allen, CEO, of Party America. “The combined companies now give us close to 300 units across the country and expected combined sales to be approximately $230 million.”

Party Concept’s corporate office is based in Appleton, WI, and currently employs approximately 100 people in its 80,000 sq. ft. office/warehouse and over 1,000 people nationwide. Party America, based in Alameda, California, had 124 locations prior to this purchase and has been setting the trend for the entire country in store layouts and other innovations within the party supply industry. Last year, the company took top honor as the Party Retailer of the Year.

The “party store” category is quickly becoming a “must have” in new shopping centers throughout the United States. “With the addition of 170 locations we are now one of the leaders in our industry,” said Allen. “We have gone from the smallest party supply retailer six years ago, to the second largest in the industry.”

“We are continuing to aggressively open new stores, expand our franchise organization, and will look at future acquisitions or mergers where they make sense,” says Allen.

“In just the past several weeks, we have opened new stores in Kansas City, MO; Tracy and Fremont, CA; and Salt Lake City, UT. Company sales continue to be robust and through September 30th the company reported an 11% increase in same store sales.”

Party America receives the first “Retailer of the Year” award at the National Party Retailing Awards gala in Chicago, an event sponsored by American Greetings, Hallmark and Greetings, Etc.

Marty Allen is nominated and becomes a finalist for the prestigious Ernst & Young Award for Entrepreneur of the Year.

Party America completes ten consecutive years of growth and increased profits under the leadership of Marty Allen.

Party America makes the list at number 32 of the 100 fastest growing companies in northern California three years in a row, clocking a growth increase of 180%. Amazingly, it is also the fifth largest company in sales on the list.

Greetings, Etc., establishes a Party Retailing Hall of Fame to honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to the industry. Marty Allen is the first to be inducted. Editor Ms. Krassner points to Mr. Allen’s creativity and leadership in growing the Party America chain from just a few dozen stores into an industry powerhouse by upgrading in-store and corporate technology, overhauling the inventory system and improving customer service through better employee training.