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Big US Retailer Offers Ramadan Decorations

NEW YORK – As Muslims prepare for the holy month of Ramadan, a major US retailer has become the first in the US to open a dedicated line of decorations for the holy month.

“We are always seeking insights from our store teams who are engaging with our customers every day,” Ryan Vero, the company’s president of retail, said this week, New York Times reported.

According to Vero, the retailer, Party City, which has about 850 locations, mostly in the United States, the move was taken to serve US Muslims, calling them underserved customers.

Many Muslims have welcomed the announcement of the availability of this offer for Ramadan.

“I’m really excited about it,” Huda Khwaja, 20, of Atlanta, said of Party City’s effort. “It makes me feel like we’re less of an oddity.”

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Party City’s new line includes tableware, banners, decals, gift bags and balloons in purple, blue, green and gold, and embellished with mosques and the star and crescent symbol.

Adorning a home for Ramadan and the `Eid is not necessarily traditional for Muslims, but it has become increasingly popular.

“I converted to Islam in 2001, and I definitely see a big difference,” said Jittaun Jones, 39, of Elk Grove, California, the mother of two young boys.

“In the last 10 years, more and more people with kids find it really important to go all out because Christmas is such a big deal, and holidays are such a big deal.”

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Party City is not the first US retailer to target the growing Muslim market.

In 2010, Best Buy used flyers to wish Muslims a “Happy Eid al-Adha,” another Islamic holiday, prompting a backlash from some customers.

In 2011, the hardware giant Lowe’s was pressured by a conservative Christian group to pull ads from the TLC show “All-American Muslim,” which it did.

That same year, Whole Foods backed away from a Ramadan promotion that included giveaways after receiving complaints.

“We want our kids to feel attached to Ramadan, and it’s really hard in today’s political climate, where everything about Muslims is kind of questioned,” Jones said.

“You want your children to be proud and have these amazing memories. This is a really awesome holiday, too.”