It is with great interest that I see another one of our competitors—Oriental Trading Company—has put itself up for sale… again. Apparently, after emerging from bankruptcy and being sold to a group of financial institutions, it is time to cash in again and flip the company to enrich the banks, private equity firms and top management. This comes on the heels of another competitor—Party City—also selling itself again from one private equity group including Goldman Sachs to another private equity company in Boston. Now, I am all for the free market and for companies being able to buy and sell as they please. But, I worry for our industry and for our customers getting lost in the shuffle.
It seems that these firms spend more time in financial gyrations and sales than in the reason we exist—to serve our customers. Maybe it is an old fashioned, American ideal of the family business that I embrace. Our company has been in business for 86 years. It has been in our family for 38 years and Wendy and I have owned Shindigz for the past 22 years. Our company has grown and it has changed dramatically in that time. But our focus has been on serving the customer and creating unique and fun products to change the way the world celebrates and “to make life more fun.” We just keep innovating. They seem to spend more time on initial public offerings, bankruptcies, private placements and financial engineering than on what the customer wants. That’s a doggone shame.
I suppose all companies are sold at some point. But selling your business every few years seems to have the equation a bit backward. But it sure seems nice to have a business that you can count on - one that employs American workers producing American products each and every day. It makes me proud to be a part of a company that is focused on our customer and their needs and not Wall Street investment bankers. I love the challenges of competition and of our free market system that lets the customer decide winners and losers each and every day. I just wish that our industry was more customer focused and less focused on quick sales to private equity firms. It’s about great products at great values. That’s lasting impact.
That’s my two cents…
Shep Moyle, Shindigz Owner/CEO