I’m in discussion with Julie Roehm, who recently took on the job of Chief Experience Office at Party City. Julie has a strong background in strategy, marketing, digital, automotive, tech, and retail. This makes her the perfect person for a turnaround job, add coolness to your brand and grow your company.
We’re meeting downtown Manhattan, where she also records her podcast, the Conversational Podcast. I’m curious to ask her why she decided to make the move to Party City and what she’s aiming to achieve for the brand.
After we’ve ordered our coffees and sat down, we get to it.
“So Julie, what made you decide to go for Party City?”
“Well, first of all..how can you turn down a job when the title of the company has the word ‘party’ in it, right? That was a seller right there. The opportunity was to play a significant role in a huge transformation project — right up my alley.
“When I was offered the job, I first visited some stores and explored their website. This made it clear to me that the stores have everything and anything I need to throw a fabulous party. At Party City, we produce 80% of what we sell, so we have the flexibility of staying with the trends and giving the customers exactly what they want.
“However, there was one problem. For someone who isn’t very creative or can’t figure out what goes with what, our stores are just rows of items. That might discourage people who struggle with how to put these items together for a momentous party.
“So that is our mission now. We aim to not just sell party items, but the party experience.
“And it doesn’t even always have to be ‘party’ parties, there are so many opportunities to celebrate! It could be a friend moving into a new apartment or your kid getting a good grade — we have something for every festive occasion. We have costumes, tableware, tents, candy, cards, bouncy castles, dunk tanks, balloons; you name it.
“There’s something about the magic of party accessories and how they spark a feeling of joy — think about when you see somebody walking down the street with a balloon; it’s impossible not to smile.
“So for me, Party City has everything. We make the party items, we sell the items, we have all the platforms and activities in a way no one else does. Now all that remains, is making the customer experience easier and offering the full party experience with the layering on of amazing services. I thrive in transformation projects and this one is the perfect fit for me.”
“Thanks for sharing, Julie, I’m looking forward to hearing more.”
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