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 - 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 - It's Show Time at IGES!
See and experience the International Gift Exposition in the Smokies. November 1-5, 2016.
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 - Sales Sizzle with Cooling Towel
Kool-4-U Towels are made, without chemicals, from a hyper-evaporative material that retains water while feeling dry and cool to the touch. The towels provide relief from a variety of conditions, including summer heat, sports, fever, headaches, hot flashes, sunburn, inflammation and more, and offer consistent sales because of their versatility.
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 - U.S. eCommerce Sales to Hit $370B by 2017
Driven by the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, ecommerce sales in the U.S. are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of ten percent in the next five years, according to a new report, "U.S. Online RETAIL Forecast, 2012 To 2017," from Forrester Research. Forrester predicts U.S. online RETAIL sales will reach $262 billion in 2013
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 - Keep Toothbrushes Germfree
Flushing a toilet sends bacteria eight feet into the air before it begins to settle on nearby surfaces, according to research by Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. When Cindy Martin, co-owner of Cynita, Inc., learned of this, her mind raced to the toothbrushes that lay exposed on her bathroom countertop. Consumers are demonstrating an increasing interest in health and disease prevention, and Martin fell in line with the trend. Experienced with custom products, she worked with a designer to develop a lightweight, economical solution to the germy issue, and the Cover Me toothbrush protector is the result.
03/01/2013 - Dive into Sport Optics / Weiita International Corp.
Weiita International Corp. specializes in sporting optics and LED lighting equipment. It recently expanded its offerings by introducing two new products that cater to hunters and diving enthusiasts. "We definitely plan to add new models to both the hunting and diving lines now that we have launched both," says Jane Ji, office manager.
03/01/2013 - Leather Belts Made in the USA
Men have been wearing belts going as far back as 3,000 B.C., and both genders have worn these accessories on and off throughout the years, depending on current fashion trends. Today, belts are a staple for men and popular among women. "I don't know a man who doesn't wear a belt everyday," shares Howard Keller, partner of Detroit Leather Company, which launched in May of 2012.
03/01/2013 - Polarview Sunglasses are FAA Approved
The hottest trend in sunglasses is not as much about design as it is about functionality, according to David Zeuner, CEO of Sunglass Manufacturing Group. "Polarview is a new technology for sunglasses that does everything polarized lenses do to block UVA and UVB light as well as reflective glare, but, unlike polarized lenses, they don't block instrumentation. Even in bright light, you can see screens on devices like cell phones, GPS, aviation panels and iPads. All of our sunglasses are Polarview." Notably, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the use of Polarview glasses, and outlawed the use of polarized glasses, for airline pilots
03/01/2013 - Big Profits in Surplus Inventory
American Merchandise Liquidators (AML) handles salvage and surplus inventory including customer returns, catalog returns, and clearance and overstock merchandise. The company deals in mixed lots of general merchandise from RETAIL chains, as well as from wholesale and catalog companies. Assorted merchandise is available in all overstock categories, such as general household goods, tools and equipment, furniture, sporting goods, home accents and apparel.
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 - New and Improved Scribbleband
Dave Bullock, a middle school teacher, noticed that students have a few common characteristics. "They love to wear stuff on their wrists, they love to write on their hands and arms, and they love colorful things," he says. When Bullock pieced this all together, he created the Scribbleband, a soft silicone bracelet that is made to write on. It has become a skin friendly way to take notes, jot down homework assignments and doodle.
02/01/2013 - Pain Relieving Massagers Provide Soothing Profits
Healthmate International recently introduced updated models of its Plus-6IS, Plus-6AB, Pro-8IS and Pro-8AB HealthmateForever portable, hands-free massagers. The HealthmateForever units combine Chinese acupuncture with deep tissue massage sensations to effectively relieve tension and severe discomfort without drugs or side effects.
02/01/2013 - A Taste of Milk and Honey
Success as a vendor in the gift and jewelry business, to a large degree, depends on offering buyers fresh, fashionable products, as well as being able to shift and adapt your product line to the times. Glen Miller, president of Milk and Honey, Inc., has perfected a balance of those strategies, and offers classic products that are continually popular, as well as trending jewelry, accessories and giftware
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.
01/01/2013 - New dog and cat product is a sign of a pet owner's love
Ken Cleveland, the owner of KC Creations, is always looking for new products ? and new ways to sell his existing lines. For example, his door and window toppers are fun products in their own right. They consist of pet figurines that sit on the molding of a door or window. However, not all doors and windows have molding, especially in newer houses. So Cleveland came up with a way for all his customers to enjoy the product.
01/01/2013 - Haute Fashion at Deep Discounts
Clothing Showroom is an online wholesaler of brand name and proprietary label apparel. The company's website boasts 26 merchandise categories, plus additional pages showcasing the latest special deals. The catalogue is regularly updated to reflect the latest fashions, and recently spotlighted its selection of Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier, Hello Kitty and WOW Couture apparel.
01/01/2013 - Showers Burst with Aromatherapy
hydra, a company dedicated to creating pampering products that provide an exceptional bathing experience, recently introduced a line of Shea Butter Soaps. At 6.5 ounces, hydra's Shea Butter Soap is triple-milled in the French tradition, creating a long lasting bar. Four aromatherapy blends are available, all made with the company's signature essential oil blends and no fragrance oils.
01/01/2013 - Enlightening Decor Products
For Fortune Products, Inc., 2013 is about bigger, better light-up decorations. With its Fairy Berries battery operated string lights and real lighted glassware, the company continues to deliver merchandise that adds extra sparkle to events. Smaller than one inch in diameter, round Fairy Berries can be used to decorate in a variety of ways, including on water, in trees, in centerpieces and on lawns. Fairy Berries RETAIL for $17.95 to $24.95, and wholesale pricing is available upon request.
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 - Cyber Monday Shatters Mobile Records
Mobile commerce shopping increased more than 400 percent on Cyber Monday 2012, reports Unbound Commerce, a mobile experience architecture firm. The firm conducted a study which showed that the vast majority of visits made to ecommerce sites were from first time customers who had not previously opened an online account with the stores where they shopped. Unbound Commerce's customers reported a 410 percent spike in revenue on Cyber Monday, as shoppers turned to tablets and phones for streamlined shopping trips.
01/01/2013 - Strength in eCommerce Sector
RETAIL ecommerce spending for the first 32 days of the November-December 2012 holiday shopping season reached $21.4 billion, marking a 14 percent increase versus the corresponding period last year, according to Internet analytics company comScore.
12/01/2012 - Mungi Bands are Kid Magnets
Children love silicone bracelets, and Chad Anger's three daughters are no exception. The problem with bracelets on the market, however, came into view when Anger found them discarded in a drawer after hardly being worn. When Anger, now Mungi Bands president, developed his bracelets, his children were instantly drawn to the silicone designs with magnetic closures, and were pleading for more.
12/01/2012 - Pretty Hot & Tempting Keychains
Phat Head Gang keychains, available from Evergreen Marketing Inc., are handmade string dolls, each with a unique name, personality and motto. The keychain characters are "Pretty, Hot and Tempting," as the name "Phat" implies, for youngsters and adults alike.
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 - Sharp Looks From Pacific Solution
Following the DVD release of Universal Studios' Snow White and the Huntsman, Pacific Solution Marketing, Inc. saw sales figures reflect the additional blockbuster buzz. As a leading source for movie prop replicas and original weaponry, the wholesaler has a couple of action flick titles under its belt, including the 2011 hit Immortals, and hopes to procure more licenses in the future.
12/01/2012 - USPS Hike in 2013
The U.S. Postal Service has announced it will raise postage rates on January 27, 2013, pending review by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Priority Mail service will increase overall an average of 6.3 percent, and RETAIL prices will increase an average of nine percent.
11/01/2012 - Merling, Inc. / Licensed NFL Products
Merling Wholesale, also known as Merling Sports, is a distributor of licensed products covering the NFL, MLB, NCAA/College, NBA, NHL and other organizations. The company's huge assortment of products includes licensed blankets, wallets, decals, beach towels, candles, flags, umbrellas, banners, gloves, scarves and more.
11/01/2012 - Best Electronic Devices Fuel Sales
Berlin, Germany, ballooned with excitement at this year's annual Internationale Funkausstellung (Radio and Television Exhibition). Fingertips were the focus for technology and engineering executives as they gathered to kibitz about the latest touchscreens, smartphones and tablet accessories.
10/01/2012 - Adams Creates RealComfort Barstool
For more than 30 years, Adams Manufacturing Corp. has dedicated itself to creating safe, easy-to-use, affordable products, from high quality suction cups and holiday accessories to stackable folding resin furniture.
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.
10/01/2012 - RETAIL ECommerce to Grow Significantly
For RETAILers today, it is an exciting but challenging time. The ecommerce revolution has created a newly empowered consumer, the "always-on" consumer, who has higher expectations for the RETAIL shopping experience than ever before. But how should RETAILers transform their business and their supply chains to support the omni channel delivery of products to these new consumers?
10/01/2012 - New GENCO Website Brings Greater Convenience
GENCO Marketplace, one of America's largest merchandise liquidators, has launched a newly designed website to bring speed and convenience to online wholesalers and RETAILers, enabling them to spend less time sourcing liquidation inventory and more time selling, GENCO announced.
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 - 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 - Wrap the Holidays in Fun, Flirty Accessories
Colorful, unique accessories make great holiday gifts, especially when they offer RETAILers outstanding profit margins. Some of the hottest new merchandise this season includes versatile hand cut scarves, shiny hair products and twinkling rhinestone jewelry, and jingle jangle hip scarves, all of which dress up anyone's bottom line.
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.
09/01/2012 - Small Businesses Eye Big Sites
A study recently completed by Vendio, a multichannel ecommerce solutions company, found that small and mid-sized online RETAILers are highly confident in the future of ecommerce.
08/01/2012 - Scents That Sell
Veneto Wholesale Inc. specializes in manufacturing luxury renditions of popular designer fragrances. For those in search of the Chanel impact without the price punch, Veneto Wholesale is a reliable source for discount aromatic products. From its warehouse in downtown Miami, the company keeps a steady finger on the pulse of fragrance trends and constantly seeks out new scents to add to its inventory.
08/01/2012 - Impulse Gifts Grab Sales
It is easier than ever for RETAILers to stock up on gift and novelty merchandise in preparation for successful holiday sales. This is because online wholesalers not only stay on top of hot trends and have plenty of popular merchandise available, they also continue to invest in website functionality that enables buyers to quickly see what is new, peruse colorful catalogs, avail themselves of web specials, and place and track orders online.
08/01/2012 - Google Search Goes Shopping
Starting this fall, just when the RETAIL holiday shopping season is in full swing, Google will do away with its free Product Search platform in a move to a paid format called Google Shopping.
07/01/2012 - Timely Trends
Even as reports say cell phones are doubling as timepieces to replace wristwatches, an enthusiastic interest in watches as jewelry is emerging. One designer riding this fashion wave is Winky Wu of Winky Designs, who says she wants the watch to be a personal statement and conversation starter that just happens to tell time as a practical bonus.
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.