Ralph's 2020-2021 Playbook

2020- 2021 Balloon Playbook

Table of Contents


Pg. 3-10 Pg. 3 Pg. 4 Pg. 5-6

Standards Card Aisle Registers

• • •

Balloon Inflation

Pg. 11-15

Latex Inflation

Pg. 11-12

• • • •


Pg. 13 Pg. 14 Pg. 15

Foil Inflation

Specialty Inflation

HeliumSafety &Precautions

Pg. 16-19


Pg. 16 Pg. 17

• • •


Safety and Precautions

Pg. 18-19

Helpful Tips

Pg. 20

Balloon Weights

Pg. 21

11-18-20 JAT

Merchandising Standards

Floral Department: • Balloons should be displayed on ALL Table Displays except for the Orchid Table. • It is best to only use balloons with messages/sentiments and/or that coordinate with the display. Card Aisle: • Coordinate balloons to match the messages on the cards directly below and surrounding the display. • It is best to only use balloons that have a message associated with them in the card aisle. • Birthday CHARACTER balloons should always be merchandised close to the "BIRTHDAY FOR KIDS" card section. Front Registers: • Non-message balloons, especially CHARACTERS, tend to sell better at the front registers. Leave the message balloons, unless holiday specific, for the Card Aisle. • Merchandise balloons for your local NFL, MLB, etc. teams. • Incorporate holiday balloons on 1 – 2 registers only. Bakery Department: • Character balloons, message or non-message, will merchandise the best near the cake book and cake counter. However, if you have a character theme in the bakery, be sure to include the appropriate balloons in that area as well. • Seasonal/Holiday balloons should be merchandised where appropriate Important: • Refer to the quarterly Playbook Supplement for suggestions on merchandising in each location. • You should freshen balloons at least once a week and be sure to keep ALL your displays FULL of product. If you don’t have product on display it certainly will NOT sell. • Always use Reel Weights ™ and inserts with all helium balloon displays. 3

Merchandising • Card Aisle

Insert coordinating 9- 14” air - filled balloons. HINT: Use 12” sticks so the displays are more compact and full (this may require cutting the sticks).

Attach the air-filled Tube Display 703 to the top section of the card aisle. Make sure it is completely attached and straight. Be sure to place it high enough so the balloons will not obstruct the cards . 1


The distance between the displays will vary based on the length of your card aisle. The goal is to have them evenly spaced and merchandised

4 Fully Assembled Halo and Air-Filled Display


Merchandising • Registers

Objective: •

Offer customers the best selling balloon licenses, themes, and/or current movies while maximizing impulse purchases. Balloons are arranged in an organized and coordinated manner.

Place 2 Magnetic Rails as shown, be sure to space them apart so the balloons have room to float. 1

Provide EASY & REACHABLE access to balloons for customers.

Attach FOUR standard size

balloons of the same design or varying designs, with a Reel Weight ™ , one at a time and only TWO per display. DO NOT unwind the ribbon. Be sure to group the balloons by balloon design.

2 - 5

Reminders : • Always utilize Reel Weights ™ and Reel Weights ™ inserts so you can adjust ribbon length accordingly. • Clearly price each balloon with the correct UPC/Retail sticker. • Freshen balloons DAILY and keep displays FULL .


Merchandising • Registers

Ranking order of importance









4 1


Merchandise the most popular NON-MESSAGE CHARACTER balloons. Give even coverage for boys and girls characters.

or MOVIE balloons.

For stores with fewer registers, focus on the ranking shown above each balloon.

This will allow you to focus on the most important suggestions.


Balloon Inflation • Latex

How do you inflate LATEX balloons with helium?


Use the plastic push tip valve (usually black) of a helium regulator to inflate LATEX balloons. • This will allow you to fill the balloon until it is

completely full without it automatically shutting off.

1. Place the balloon on the plastic push tip valve. 2. Press the valve forward or backward until you hear helium being to fill the balloon (It helps to hold on to it with your other hand to keep the balloon upright). 3. Let up on the valve when the balloon has reached the ideal size. 4. You don’t want to overfill it, otherwise it may pop. Remove from the valve and pinch the opening.


Balloon Inflation • Latex

How do you tie a LATEX balloon?

LATEX BALLOONS can be sealed by hand-tying or by using balloon clips or sealing discs. • Hand-tying is the most popular and preferred method, since it has the tightest seal and gives a finished look to the balloon. • If you have a large # of latex balloons to inflate, using sealing discs or clips is a smart option.


1. Pinch the top of the tail of the balloon to keep helium from leaking and pull on the tail of the balloon. 2. Tie the end of the balloon in a simple knot. 3. Attach the curling ribbon below the knot.


1. Pinch the top of the tail of the balloon and twist it two times. 2. Insert your balloon clip directly over and behind the area where you twisted the balloon in step 1. 3. Snap the clip closed 4. Attach curling ribbon BELOW the clip.


12 1. Pinch the top of the balloon tail and pull it out so you have space to insert the disc. 2. Insert the disc onto the tail and pull and twist it around the disc so you are pulling the end of the tail back through the slot you initially inserted onto the balloon. 3. Attach curling ribbon BELOW the disc.


Balloon Inflation • Latex

How to increase the float time of a LATEX balloon.


ULTRA HI-FLOAT® is a non-toxic sealant that can be used inside LATEX balloons to increase float time. ULTRA HI-FLOAT® multiplies the float time by 25 times the norm. ULTRA HI-FLOAT® dries crystal clear and forms a barrier that retains the helium inside the balloon.

DO NOT use inside a FOIL balloon

Avg. Flying Time Helium and ULTRA HI-FLOAT®

# Strokes of ULTRA Hi-FLOAT®

Avg. Flying Time Helium Only







3-10 DAYS




12-24 HRS





12-24 HRS





30+ HRS





3-5 DAYS

6-20 WEEKS


Balloon Inflation • Foil

How do you inflate FOIL balloons with helium?

1. Place the balloon on the automatic speed tip valve of the helium regulator. Using this will automatically stop filling with helium when the balloon is fully inflated. 2. Insert the speed tip valve into the inflation point on the balloon and push down. Helium will begin to flow into the balloon. When the balloon is full the automatic shutoff valve will cut off the helium. 3. Securely tie a length of curling ribbon to the balloon BELOW the inflation point. Don’t forget to attach a balloon weight.


• The majority of 17 – 18" and larger sized FOIL balloons manufactured today have self- sealing valves. As soon as a balloon is filled with helium and removed from the regulator, the self-sealing valve automatically closes. If you are attaching curling ribbon with a clip weight , remember to attach the curling ribbon BELOW the inflation point, so the balloon can be re-inflated, if necessary. • To apply a Reel Weight ™ , attach the tape to the side opposite of the balloon inflation point. No tying necessary •

Self-sealing valve

Attach curling ribbon here


Balloon Inflation • Specialty

Bubbles ™ Inflation:

Use a LATEX REGULATOR ONLY and keep inflating until the Bubbles ™ is very round and the wrinkles and bumps are gone. • Bubbles ™ stretch like latex balloons and look like beach balls when properly inflated. See inflated Bubbles ™ illustration.

Inflate immediately after opening the package or the balloon will dry out.

UltraShapes ™ Inflation: •

Inflate Orbz ™ balloons with the rubber tip or latex push valve on your regulator. • Eliminate all seams and the balloon should be a sphere shape when filled to capacity (see illustration) Cubez ™ , Diamondz ™ , and Anglez ™ are inflated using the brass push valve, like any other foil balloon.


Helium • Regulator Installation

Insert the threaded end of the regulator into the side opening of the tank and hand-

Make sure your helium tank is secure and remove the cap from the helium tank.

tighten the connection. DO NOT use a wrench to tighten as it will cause damage to the O-ring seal.

Turn on the helium tank. If a leaking sound occurs, turn off the tank, release pressure from the regulator by depressing the push valve, and retighten the regulator again.

Check the gauge for pressure and tank levels. Re-order helium when the gauge registers in the yellow zone.

NOTE: It is not necessary to turn off your tank after each use, but be sure to turn off the tank at the end of each day.


Helium • O -Ring

• The O-ring (Item #W6150) is a small rubber ring that fits tightly around the threaded end of the regulator (See illustration) . • It is necessary to have an intact O-ring because it serves as the seal between the regulator and the helium tank. • A damaged O-ring may cause helium to leak from your tank and also may effect the pressure of the helium when you inflate balloons. • You may be tempted to replace the entire regulator if you have a helium leak. However, it may be just the O-ring that needs to be replaced. It is a lot less expensive to replace the O-ring than the regulator itself!


Item#: W6150

• A good rule of thumb is to check your O-ring each time you replace your helium tank. You already have to remove the regulator, so just run your finger over the O-ring before you place it on the new helium tank. If you feel anything other than a smooth surface, it is time to replace it.

Examples of damaged O-rings

Replacing the O-Ring: 1. Turn off the helium tank and remove the regulator.

2. Dislodge the existing O-ring from the end of the regulator by rolling it off with your fingers. If you are unable to remove it this way, use scissors to cut it loose. 3. Roll on the new O-ring with your fingers. 4. Re-install the regulator with the new O-ring in place.


Helium • Safety + Precautions

• Balloons filled with helium are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures and will expand or contract in extreme temperatures. • As an example, a balloon inflated in a warm room and taken outside to very cold conditions will seem to lose helium. • When the balloon is returned to indoor temperatures the balloon should return to its original state.

CAUTION Just so you know

• The opposite is true in hot weather conditions.

• Helium is stored in highly pressurized cylinders ranging from 1,800 – 2,400 pounds per square inch (PSI). • A ruptured helium cylinder can be compared to a missile or the equivalent of two pounds of TNT . • Never use metallic ribbon on helium-filled or latex balloons. If accidentally released into the air, the ribbon could cause electrical failure if caught in power lines.


• Every helium-filled balloon should have a balloon weight attached.


Helium • Safety + Precautions

Always: • Close the cylinder valve after each use and when the cylinder is empty.

• Store cylinders of helium in an upright position.

• Chain cylinder to a wall or place in a secured safety stand at all times.

• Close the valve, remove the regulator, and replace the valve cap before moving.

• Use a hand truck that secures the cylinder with a chain when moving an empty or full cylinder to the backroom.

Do Not: •

Inhale Helium. Helium is a relatively safe gas, but direct inhalation can cause dizziness, fainting, suffocation, and possibly death.

Leave helium cylinders unattended in a public area.

Open the cylinder valve before attaching a regulator to it.

Use a damaged cylinder or regulator.


Balloon Basics • Helpful Tips

Balloon Basics

• Every inflated balloon needs a weight.

• Turn OFF the helium tank when not in use.

• Use the correct value for inflating balloons. Using the wrong valve can waste helium as well as damage the balloon. • Refer to the Kroger Balloon Playbook for merchandising, best practices, and safety information. When taking orders, what questions should you ask the customer? • What event are you purchasing for? Adult birthday, child birthday (characters), baby, wedding, etc.

• Do you want all foil or add coordinating colored latex?

• What is your budget?

• What color curling ribbon?

• Does each balloon need to have a balloon weight, or will it be a larger bouquet?

• When do you need the balloons available?


Balloon Weights • Quick Guide


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