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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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03/31/2015 - Picture Perfect Earrings Bring Photos to Life
Zad launches new line of cute metal finish earrings displayed on picture cards.

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.

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 - 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 - Google Feeds Your Appetite for Success
When it comes to the recipe for Internet sales success, brand and product exposure are key ingredients, and organic search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) are just two ways of gaining publicity. A third, often overlooked, option for product awareness is the use of shopping comparison sites, such as Google Shopping, which is fed through the Google Merchant Center.

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 - 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 - 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 - Mobile Sales Drive Profits
Mobile payment apps are fast becoming a popular mode for web wholesalers and ONLINE retailers to generate more sales at offline venues, such as tradeshows and conventions. Various mobile payment platforms enable merchants to accept PayPal, cash, credit cards, invoice or checks, wherever they are, on the phone they already carry.

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 - Transform Viewers into Buyers
Shoppable videos, those enhanced with attached or embedded links for direct-from-video purchase opportunities, is fast becoming popular with ONLINE sellers. This medium, the strength of which lies in telling stories, gets consumers excited by engaging multiple senses simultaneously, and turns this excitement into action by giving consumers the means to make a purchase on the spot. Video viewers simply point, click and buy, and then return to view their video.

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.

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 - 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.

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.

12/01/2012 - Popular Smartphone Apps
Smartphone users download entertainment and game apps more often than any other applications, with social media, finance and productivity apps also popular mobile downloads, according to a study by customer service technology company Virtual Hold Technology (VHT).

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 - 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.

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 - 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 - FLOMO - New Valentines day product line
Seven is a lucky number at FLOMO, a manufacturer and distributor owned by Nygala Corp., with seven of its own factories in operation around the country. Started as a factory-based supplier in 1956, the company won seven national awards for excellence in 2011 and continues to uphold high quality standards.

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 - Ecommerce Holiday Checklist
The holidays are quickly approaching and your business promos should have already begun. Keeping everything in check and making sure you leave no stone unturned can be a difficult task. To help you in that effort, here is a checklist of items you should consider while preparing for the holidays.

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.

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