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 - 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.
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.
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 - 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.
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 - SEO: Make Your WEBSITE Work
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important, and elusive, elements of an ecommerce WEBSITE. It is important because of the impact organic search traffic can have on ROI, and it is elusive because search engines are always changing the rules. Still, there are a few core SEO principles that Google and other search engines recommend which should play an integral part in your online strategy.
03/01/2013 - ASIA AMERICA - Where Smart International Buyers Go in Miami
The Miami wholesale ASIA AMERICA trade show, now in its fourth year, is being held October 1-3, 2013, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The trade show has made history by becoming the "show to go to" for Caribbean, Central and South America buyers as well as for over 6,000 exporters and importers in the Miami area. More than 8,000 buyers who attended the 2012 show have done more than $50 million in business, according to exhibitors' estimates.
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 - Video For Your WEBSITE - Tactics to Build Online Sales
Ten years ago, it was rare for online wholesalers and retailers to have video on their WEBSITES, and those that did incorporate it into their online marketing plans were considered innovative. Now, if you ask a room full of business owners if they have video on their WEBSITES, at least half will say yes, as it is quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Today, it is how, not if, you use video that makes you stand out from the competition.
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 - 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 - Smart Surplus Goods for the Environment
Smart Surplus, Inc., launched in 2003, is a full service, worldwide liquidation and inventory management firm that provides a variety of strategic solutions to help customers with their inventory and warehousing needs. Services include remarketing and purchasing of excess inventory, refurbishing and disposal solutions, returns management, warehouse space consulting and customized reverse logistics programs.
02/01/2013 - Time Equals Money
As a small business owner, one of your most important assets is time. Many independent retailers are under the assumption that using mobile phone and tablet apps will increase productivity, and allow them to use their time more effectively. Using app center features, however, is a time killer that can leave you frustrated and with less time to do the things that enable you to run your business smoothly.
02/01/2013 - mCommerce: Adapt or Die
Shoppers are quickly moving to mobile commerce, or mcommerce, with more than 50 percent of U.S. consumers saying they plan to use smartphones or tablets to make purchases over the Internet, according to research giant Nielsen. In addition, research firm Canalys notes that, in 2011, for the first time ever, shipments of smartphones (487.7 million) exceeded shipments of personal computers (414.6 million).
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 - 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 - Get a Foothold with Cheap Wholesale Socks
Novelty socks are all the rage right now, and the brighter they are, the better they sell. With designs that pay homage to bacon, mustaches, bicycles and more, socks are one type of merchandise that steps in line with the funkiest trends. Cheap Wholesale Socks offers foot hosiery in every color of the rainbow, including a number of shocking hues and patterns, ranging from neon giraffe spots to bright skeleton keys.
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 - Facebook Offers Viral Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, using text ads and banners to engage social media fans on Facebook, has been losing its luster in recent years. Advertising to these fans may be great for building brand awareness, but it is not doing much for the immediate bottom line. The low returns businesses see from PPC methods may be because people that typically use social media sites, like Facebook, do not necessarily want to be sold to directly.
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.
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.
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 - 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 - 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 - 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.
11/01/2012 - Engage Customers with Email
Chances are good that you have wondered about your communications strategy as an online wholesaler or retailer, and you may question whether you are communicating enough or too much. Think about how many times during the year, quarter or month a customer needs you, or your products or services, and let that be your guide to how often to reach out and touch your audience.
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 - 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 - 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.
11/01/2012 - Marketplace Fairness Flack
Internet retailers have enjoyed exemption from the requirement to collect sales taxes since 1992, when the U.S. Supreme Court passed a ruling closing the case of Quill Corporation v. North Dakota, at which point it was decided that, in states where online retailers have no brick and mortar presence, or nexus, they were not required to collect sales tax.
11/01/2012 - Six Design Tips to Generate Sales
To be successful, ecommerce businesses need to build sites that are able to sell products. Sounds simple enough, yet, too often sites are designed based on improper knowledge of customers' wants and needs. In some cases, companies even let technology drive design efforts, and that is one of the worst things that can happen.
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 - 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.