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. Punchbowl is the company behind the critically acclaimed technology platform for online invitations and digital greeting cards. The company runs its platform on Punchbowl.com, best-in-class iOS and Android apps, and also licenses its technology to carefully selected consumer companies. More than 120 million online invitations and digital greeting cards have been sent on the Punchbowl platform. The company was founded by entrepreneur Matt Douglas, is located in Framingham, MA, and is backed by Intel Capital, Contour Venture Partners, and Launchpad Venture Group. To learn more, visit https://www.punchbowl.com/company
About Party City Party City Holdco Inc. is the leading party goods company by revenue in North America and, we believe, the largest vertically integrated supplier of decorated party goods globally by revenue. The Company is a popular one-stop shopping destination for party supplies, balloons, and costumes. In addition to being a great retail brand, the Company is a global, world-class organization that combines state-of-the-art manufacturing and sourcing operations, and sophisticated wholesale operations complemented by a multi-channel retailing strategy and e-commerce retail operations. The Company is the leading player in its category, vertically integrated and unique in its breadth and depth. Party City Holdco designs, manufactures, sources and distributes party goods, including paper and plastic tableware, metallic and latex balloons, Halloween and other costumes, accessories, novelties, gifts and stationery throughout the world. The Company's retail operations include over 900 specialty retail party supply stores (including approximately 150 franchise stores) throughout North America operating under the name Party City and e-commerce websites, principally through the domain name www.PartyCity.com, as well as approximately 250-300 temporary specialty Halloween supply stores operating under the name Halloween City.