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INDEPENDENT RETAILER magazine is now the official news outlet for Wholesale Central visitors. Each monthly issue is packed with new product ideas, supplier profiles, retailing news, and business strategies to help you succeed.

See new articles daily online at IndependentRetailer.com.


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10/14/2016 - Seattle Gift Show Kicks Off Winter 2017 Buying Season
The Seattle Gift Show promises to bring a versatile selection of products built around the Pacific Northwest lifestyle January 6-9, 2017

10/14/2016 - WINDY CITY GIFT SHOW: Winter 2017 Edition
The Winter 2017 Windy City Gift Show in January 2017 will be a one-stop shop for retailers looking for unique designs, breaking trends and new resources.

10/14/2016 - Southern Hospitality at its Best: Smoky Mountain Gift Show
For fifty-one years the Smoky Mountain Gift Show has served the souvenir and gift market. On November 2-5, 2016 it will be returning to the Gatlinburg Convention Center in Gatlinburg, TN.

10/13/2016 - Winter 2017 Philadelphia Gift Show Highlights
The first gift show of the season for Northeast retailers.

10/13/2016 - Los Angeles Show Venues Join Forces
The LA Mart and Urban Expositions have joined to reorganize the Winter 2017 edition of Los Angeles Gift and Home Market Week.

10/13/2016 - It's Show Time at IGES!
See and experience the International Gift Exposition in the Smokies. November 1-5, 2016.

06/16/2016 - WholesaleCentral.com Debuts Interactive Trade Show Calendar
WholesaleCentral.com, the leading wholesale directory web site on the Internet, announces the launch of a fully interactive wholesale trade show calendar.

03/20/2015 - Annual Toy Fair Once Again a Success
Visitors from all over the world came together to network, buy and display the latest in toys, games and youth entertainment products.

01/06/2015 - Independent Retailer Magazine Celebrates 25th Anniversary with 2015 Retail Forecast
Independent Retailer magazine, the leading trade publication for independent retail store owners, celebrates their 25th anniversary with a forward-looking 2015 Retail Outlook special issue.

04/01/2013 - Order Fulfillment
In a retail environment where customer loyalty is increasingly rare and customer expectations are higher than ever, merchants should be constantly searching for ways to improve the way they do business. For a retailer or wholesaler who sells online, the struggle to provide excellent value and an ideal customer experience without a physical presence can be difficult. The key to a successful ecommerce channel ultimately hinges on one important area-the warehouse.

04/01/2013 - Keep Bugs at Bay
No one likes to have their personal space invaded by mosquitos, gnats, flies and no-see-ums, and consumers are looking for ways to safely protect themselves and their families from these annoying pests without the use of messy, and often toxic, bug sprays. Retailers who incorporate Bandz and Spotz, DEET-free, citronella-infused insect repellent products from Mosquitno, LLC, into their product offerings, can help consumers keep bugs away as well as enjoy the profits these impulse buys bring to their bottom lines.

04/01/2013 - Start a Business with Drop Shipping
The idea of selling products without having to first buy them and then hold the inventory in a warehouse is attractive to some business owners because it can be a cost-effective way to start selling online. Business logic tells us that the easier it is to start a small business, the more competitors will be in the INDUSTRY. Drop shipping is no exception, and competition will only grow with the rapid expansion in ecommerce overall.

03/01/2013 - Increasing Sales with CRM
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a top priority for many e-tailers this year, as customer expectations regarding the online experience are at an all time high. In order to contend in the ecommerce arena, some e-tailers are turning to service providers to gain an edge on the competition. Below is an overview of four providers and the products and services they offer to support online sellers.

03/01/2013 - A Message from the CEO
This year marks our 25th anniversary serving the wholesale and retail merchandise INDUSTRY, and I want to thank you for choosing us to help you grow your business. It is an honor to bring you the news, business insights and, most importantly, new product information you need to succeed. Throughout the years, our motto has been to under promise and over deliver, and we are dedicated to connecting reputable wholesalers with the most active buying audience across all venues.

02/01/2013 - Master Cutlery with Top Notch Knives
Master Cutlery was founded 30 years ago when Jackie Lee's parents established one of the first American companies to source knives from their native China. "My father saw a great opportunity, and he forged relationships with manufacturers who were able to get him these products," she explains. "The company has grown every year since its launch." The firm currently operates out of a 100,000 square foot facility in Secaucus, NJ, where Lee is VP of operations.

02/01/2013 - Offprice On Top
Each year, trade shows are recognized for overall attendance, exceptional exhibit spaces and outstanding product offerings. In 2012, the OFFPRICE Show received a nomination as one of the fastest growing trade shows in terms of exhibit space and won for its overall growth in 2011, for a combination of the February and August shows. With 17 years under its belt, the OFFPRICE Show and its team of organizers have the attendee and exhibitor experiences down to a science, starting with the timing of the February show. "OFFPRICE in February is held during Las Vegas Fashion Week, which is a key component in the planning of the show," explains Stephen Krogulski, CEO. This strategic timing enables buyers to purchase goods as close as possible to upcoming seasons, while affording them the advantage of viewing future fashion trends in advance. "It allows retailers to make very opportunistic buys," he continues.

01/16/2013 - GoliathFalls.com Launches, Supercharges the Buy Local Movement
New site is dedicated to promoting locally owned independent businesses nationwide.

01/01/2013 - New Year, New eCommerce System
Many online retailers just completed a "hair on fire" end to the 2012 holiday shopping season. Now that you can rest and take a four-hour vacation, it is time to start planning for 2013, and ensure that you have built your store on an ecommerce system worthy of your business. To see if your ecommerce platform passes the test, ask yourself the following questions:

01/01/2013 - Ecommerce in 2015
yStats.com and MarketLine, two data collection firms, have released their preliminary predictions, based on figures gathered from studies conducted from 2010 to the present, for ecommerce earnings through 2015. The world business-to-consumer ecommerce INDUSTRY generated between $400 and $600 billion in 2010, according to the report. Based on the growth involved in reaching those numbers, the market is expected to generate between $700 and $950 billion in 2015.

01/01/2013 - Fight Online Fraud
Nine out of ten online merchants may be vulnerable to credit card fraud, according to a survey by SignatureLink, an online security firm, and payment INDUSTRY communicator CardNotPresent.com. The survey found that only ten percent of websites surveyed require shoppers to accept the terms and conditions of payment to the site via e-signature, vocal consent or a physical signature. Agreement to site terms and conditions along with data breaches are areas of focus for ecommerce businesses that process payments online.

12/01/2012 - eCommerce Musts for SEO Success
Online merchants who are serious about success must have a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. In order for any ecommerce strategy to have SEO legs, there are important points to consider when picking your shopping cart platform. Optimizing your ecommerce site will help improve your search rankings on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Below are some features that your ecommerce software must provide for you to effectively sell your products online.

12/01/2012 - Product Showcase - Hot Shades
Predicting the next hot look in sunglasses sometimes requires paying attention to celebrities, as consumers are influenced by the styles Hollywood starlets and heartthrobs sport in fashion magazines. As online wholesalers seek out the next big trend in eyewear, there are a few key themes that are expected to carry over from 2012 to 2013.

12/01/2012 - DVA Wholesales Diverse Goods
DVA, Inc. formed in 1987 as a seller of store-opening inventories working with Blockbuster franchises. By 1998, the company began moving large quantities of DVDs on eBay, and from that point on the firm was sold on buying and selling inventory online. Four years ago, DVA adapted to the ever-changing media INDUSTRY by diversifying its inventory to include electronics, housewares and automotive products. The company has made a number of upgrades recently, as it works to maintain a top position in the media INDUSTRY.

12/01/2012 - Gifts with Presence
Kheops International is a business propelled by genuine passion for the company's products. Nestled in the rural North Country of New Hampshire, the company dedicates itself to meaningful items that are off the beaten path in terms of design and function, and are intended to inspire end customers with their high quality and unusual characteristics.

12/01/2012 - Free Shipping Builds Profits
With 2012 winding down it is time to finalize plans for next year, and online sellers must not overlook the vital role that shipping plays in driving sales online. At some point during the buying cycle all shoppers ask, "How much does shipping cost?" and "How fast is the item shipped?" The answers to these questions play an important role in buying decisions, especially when all other comparison factors are consistent.

11/01/2012 - Inside Quick Response - QR Codes
Quick Response (QR) codes originated in Japan under Denso Corporation, a Toyota Motor Corporation subsidiary, and were intended to hasten the code reading process, while at the same time allowing for more data to be captured in a single scan. Their efficiency was harnessed to help track vehicle parts during the manufacturing process, but has now spread across every INDUSTRY as a savvy square for sharp consumers.

11/01/2012 - Conquer eCommerce with Drop Shipping
As online shopping figures continue to swell, entrepreneurial opportunities follow suit, and with the help of reliable drop shippers, running a successful ecommerce or mcommerce business is more obtainable than ever.

11/01/2012 - Stunning Low Cost Product Photos
When it comes to selling merchandise online, it's all about high quality images that share product features in a way that replicate their in-store allure. Photo Cubics Inc. specializes in innovative photography solutions that empower online retailers to create such detailed images at a fraction of the cost of professional photography.

10/01/2012 - The Best Apps for Your Business
The slew of promises that comes with many mobile apps approaches productivity from every angle. As business owners find themselves becoming more and more mobile, the curiosity surrounding these collectible tools makes a visit to an iTunes or Android store feel like the grown up version of a trip to the candy shop. Hundreds of thousands of apps are available for iPhone, iPad and Android, with more being added by the minute.

10/01/2012 - Sterling Reduces B2B Credit Card Processing Fees
Sterling Buying Group (SBG) has been around for more than six years, spearheaded by credit card processing INDUSTRY veterans Howard Cooper and Kevin Schifrin, who have grown the company in excess of 40 percent annually. To Cooper, running the business is not just about getting clients in the door, it is about taking care of those clients and making sure that customer service is consistently at the forefront of every client interaction.

10/01/2012 - The Spirit of St Louis Wholesale
St. Louis Wholesale's owner and founder, Craig Pinkerton, has come a long way since his first wholesale purchase. Had he not taken an initial risk, St. Louis Wholesale would never have been created.

10/01/2012 - A Whole Lot of Love
While romance is in the air year round, there is one special day set aside that celebrates lovers. That day is Valentine's Day, and nothing is more popular for amorous gift giving than greeting cards and merchandise that say "Love." This year, wholesalers are offering retailers merchandise that is both traditional and trendy, giving customers the opportunity to say the age-old "I love you" with a contemporary twist.

09/01/2012 - Ecommerce Essentials to Grow Your Business
Efficient ecommerce platforms are a vital part of Internet wholesalers' and retailers' businesses. They provide a variety of tools that automate web based sales, such as creation and maintenance of product catalogs, shopping cart services, payment processing and order tracking.

09/01/2012 - Sterling Helps Reduce Costs
Sterling Buying Group has been around for more than six years, spearheaded by credit card processing INDUSTRY veterans who have grown the company in excess of 20 to 40 percent annually. To managing partner Howard Cooper, running the business is not just about getting clients in the door, it is taking care of those clients and making sure that customer service is consistently at the forefront of every client interaction.

09/01/2012 - The TOPS of the Game
Plush cupcakes, skull shaped coin banks and metallic balls are more than just fun and games at Toy Network LLC. Those products are the latest stock fueling the company's success.

09/01/2012 - Smack Talking Tees
Wayne Curtis, a Seminoles fan and graduate of Florida State University, dutifully despised the University of Florida Gators coach Steve Spurrier as the leader of FSU's rival school's football team. Curtis decided to make a shirt that poked fun at Spurrier with a quote from Will Rogers. "I never met a man I didn't like," the front read, the back continuing with, "Will Rogers never met Steve Spurrier."

09/01/2012 - Collectibles Create a Craze
When it comes to making the web do work, Dimension 9 LLC is one company that knows how to strategically crack the whip. With 30 years in the gift and souvenir INDUSTRY, the company has spent years perfecting products and learning from peers.

09/01/2012 - The Sky's the Limit with Cloud Computing
Instagram, Groupon and LinkedIn are amazing success stories that serve different markets yet share a common link. Each was born in "The Cloud," a complex infrastructure that, in real time over the Internet, extends an online business's IT capabilities without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel or licensing new software.

09/01/2012 - 9 Lessons For Running an Ecommerce Business
If I have learned anything over the years while running ecommerce businesses, it is to plan for everything, and expect the unexpected. Growth requires adaptation, constant attention and change. "You reap what you sow," "garbage in, garbage out," and the list goes on.

08/01/2012 - Themed Jewelry Goes the Distance
Few professional athletes can deny the glamour or prestige of championship tournament rings. The weight of these glinting pieces stands for every ounce of teamwork that went into the team's victory, and the rings often become heirlooms. Nick DeVito and Company, in Sarasota, FL, has made it part of its mission to bring that feeling of team pride to sports fans as well.

08/01/2012 - Consumers Demand Simple Site Navigation and Reviews
A report from A.T. Kearney suggests that ecommerce vendors are seeing increased interest from consumers with the web becoming an avenue for

07/01/2012 - The Green Revolution
Cloud computing, data and applications housed in a centralized data center rather than various offices maintaining their own server farm, offers significant benefits to companies and to employees. Tele-working is on the rise, as it helps employees balance work-life demands and it offers true cost savings to both employee and employer.

07/01/2012 - There's an App for That
Mobility changed communication. Freedom from wires and landlines, freedom from cables, cords and tangles has spread like wildfire in a culture that prizes speed and efficiency. The demand for mobility has affected the way we live and, in turn, the way customers shop. Text-ready thumbs are now interested in making purchases, placing orders online via cell phones and tablets.

07/01/2012 - Fortune Products Pioneers
Fortune Products has become a trustworthy name in wholesale during the last 27 years by offering numerous events décor items, including LED candles, blacklights, police beacons and signals, fantasia fairy lights, and more. These fun tech items and numerous others can be found at www.fortuneproducts.com, often coming in attractive variations. For instance, the 5" x 5" police beacons can be purchased in green, amber, red, blue and pink, and the blacklights come as light bulbs and fixtures.

07/01/2012 - Innovative Toys Create Sales
Toys are always big sellers for independent retailers, whether for stocking shelves for the holidays or for year-round gifting occasions like birthdays. Marketers tend to agree that the more innovative the product, the greater the sales.

07/01/2012 - Online Sales Continue to Climb
Since 2009 the average amount U.S. Internet users spent annually shopping online increased roughly $100 per year. This year, GroupM projects the average U.S. Internet user will spend $1,042 on ecommerce, with Canada trailing slightly, at $1,009 on average.

06/01/2012 - Robert Greenspan: Wholesale Legend
Robert E. Greenspan is one of the great American wholesale success stories of the last 40 years.

06/01/2012 - Wholesalers See Big Holiday Season
It's that important time of year again, when independent retailers begin buying holiday season products for their ecommerce warehouses and store shelves. What is going to be hot among Christmas and Hanukkah shoppers in 2012?

05/01/2012 - Six Secrets of Successful eCommerce
Web companies need to stay on top of the constantly evolving methods of advertising on the web.

05/01/2012 - Kole's Wholesale Buying Tips
With over 25 years' experience, Kole Imports knows the preferences of today's frugal retailers, and their equally cost-conscious customers.

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