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Phantom Fireworks

Phantom Fireworks

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Consumers may be cutting back on clothes, electronics and fancy dinners this recession, but pyrophiles across America aren't skimping on Fourth of July fireworks.Fourth of July fireworks"It is going to be a banner year for the consumer fireworks industry," says Julie Heckman, head of the American Pyrotechnics Association."We are all depressed, we want a distraction," she says.

"People want something to elevate their mood at a relatively inexpensive cost."Given the rising cost of gas and travel, coupled with an unemployment rate of 9 percent, Heckman expects people to stay in their backyards this year.William Weimer, vice president of Phantom Fireworks, a retailer based in Indiana, is slightly more cautious.

He expects only slightly higher sales for 2009, admitting the industry is "not immune to the economy by any stretch of the imagination." But unlike the retail portion of the business, professional pyrotechnic firms that put on displays for towns and cities are feeling the crunch.

According to Bob Kerns, director of operations at Melrose Pyrotechnics in Chicago, "Some smaller communities are having trouble raising funds." He expects sales to be slightly lower this year.RELATED LINKS
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