April 28, 2011, 2:58 PM

The e-retailer’s daughter

Kate Middleton is about to become the first princess from an online retailing family.

Lead Photo

The potential future queen, left, with her mother, Carole Middleton

“Party Pieces had a little celebration today in the office!” reads the posting from earlier today on the Facebook page of the British party supplies retailer, which sells online and via catalogs. And little wonder that they’re partying, given that the mother of princess-to-be Kate Middleton is the founder and owner  of Party Pieces, which sells online at PartyPieces.co.uk.

The e-retailer’s Facebook page features a large photo of the office party, showing Carole Middleton and 10 of her employees celebrating in front of a wall of British flags. The page also includes good wishes from around the world for Kate Middleton who is set to marry Britain’s Prince William in a much-publicized wedding tomorrow in London.

The Party Pieces web site explains that the company “is a family business established in 1987. As a mother of three young children, Carole Middleton founded Party Pieces hoping to inspire other mothers to create magical parties at home and to make organising a little easier. Over the years Party Pieces has gathered a wealth of knowledge and ideas and we continue to be the UK’s leading online and catalogue party company helping hundreds of thousands of you create the best parties ever!”

The site sells party decorations, favors, cake mixes, invitations, plates and other items for kids’ parties. Shoppers can search by theme, occasion and party “looks,” such as “Vintage Tea Party” or a “Best of British Party.”

A blog called The Party Times offers hints on party organizing. The most recent entry, dated April 15, is on “How to have an eco-friendly party,” echoing a theme that William and Kate have sought to associate with their own wedding.

A fair number of U.S. consumers seem aware of the connection of Kate Middleton to the e-commerce site. More than 11% of the search terms from U.S. web users that led to clicks on PartyPieces.co.uk last month included the term Middleton, according to web traffic tracking firm Compete. According to Compete, the site attracted 6,019 unique visitors from the U.S. last month.Compete does not track U.K. traffic.

More information on the leading online retailers in Europe can be found in Internet Retailer’s recently published Top 300 Europe.

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