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Independents stay strong despite consoliation in party rental

Independent party rental operators say they are standing their ground despite the changing landscape caused by consolidation in the industry.

Albert Funfstuck, general manager of Covina, Calif.-based A-1 Event & Party Rental, competes against party rental chains but points out the positive. "The consolidations have raised the awareness in the investment world of what was historically thought of as a primarily 'mom and pop' business," he says. In fact, he thinks, "The industry consolidations help the smaller operations because customers are looking for alternative sources to provide goods and services for their event needs."

Randy Berg, co-owner of independent Signature Party Rentals in Santa Ana, Calif., says his company has fared well in the wake of the acquisition wave: "Growth rates of over 18 percent year over year for the last five years suggest that the acquisition trend has not had an effect on us." In some cases, independent companies can band together to achieve the same efficiencies that chains do. "We work with other independent rental companies throughout the nation to buy overseas and in bulk," Berg explains. "We have cut our cost on purchases dramatically by group buying."

For the full story, see the December issue of Special Events Magazine.

Photo by © Sunagatov Dmitry

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