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Party goods retailer iParty is mulling ‘strategic alternatives’ after Hurricane Sandy hurt Halloween sales

IParty Corp., a Dedham-based chain of 54 party goods stores, said it has hired an investment bank to explore “strategic alternatives” after Hurricane Sandy hurt its all-important Halloween retail season.

Strategic alternatives that will be considered include “raising additional financing to enhance the company’s ability to grow, a potential restructuring of its capital structure, or a potential sale of the company,” iParty said in a press release. No definitive timetable for completion of the strategic review process has been established, iParty added.

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The company said its October sales were $16.4 million, down 6.5 percent from October 2011.

In a statement, iParty chairman and chief executive Sal Perisano said that the company has engaged the investment bank of Raymond James & Associates to “assist us in exploring a broad range of financial and strategic alternatives.”

The company’s board of directors has formed a special committee made up of independent directors to consider strategic alternatives. Raymond James will advise the committee on those alternatives.

Commenting on the weather, Perisano said: “For the second consecutive year, our Halloween business was impacted by severe storms hitting the Northeast, in both years striking two days before the Halloween holiday. The anticipation of Hurricane Sandy in our core markets disrupted normal business for several days prior to the storm’s actual passage and closed most of our stores in our core market the day of the storm. Despite the severity of Hurricane Sandy, and widespread power outages throughout our market area, none of our stores were closed for any significant period in the two days following the storm. In spite of the impact of the severe weather and a mid-week Halloween, we are trending ahead of last year through the first 10 months with comparable store sales increasing 1.3 percent compared to the same period last year.”

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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