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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 - Cool PHONE Wallet from Charm14
This fashionable new product keeps the PHONE secure on the inside of the bag, while allowing use through the clear plastic window.

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 - 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 - 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 - 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.

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 - 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).

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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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?

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 - 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 - 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 - Nine Tips for Mastering Google Remarketing
Nine Tips for Mastering Google Remarketing - If you are running any Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, and you should be, you cannot overlook what remarketing can do for your efforts

08/01/2012 - Tablets Trump SmartPHONES
Retailers tend to lump tablets and smartPHONES into the same category called "mobile," but that might not be wise, according to the results of a new study by online marketing technology company Monetate.

08/01/2012 - Mobile Online Transactions
Online shopping cart abandonment rates are sky high, topping 70 percent according to some studies, and incomplete sales can be a problem for today's online retailers.

07/01/2012 - Using Social Media to Grow Business
Most small business owners know that social media is an important part of their online strategy, but may not know where to start or have the time to learn. Others may not believe that social media is important at all. The truth is that social media is critical to the success of any business.

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.

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 - Peer-to-Peer Reviews
When it comes to making a buying decision, nothing can be more important in closing the sale than customer reviews. A form of social proof, non-biased peer-to-peer reviews are just as good as getting a referral for a product from a friend. "What online tool most influenced your purchase decision?" The number one answer was product ratings and reviews.

06/01/2012 - Evergreen Arctic Chill Towels
Evergreen Marketing, Inc., launched in 1988 by Joe and Marlene Pachino, strives to deliver products that are fun, functional and funky, and Arctic Chill Towels are all three.

06/01/2012 - Email Marketing: 4 Success Factors
Email marketing is a critical component to building any business. Being at the forefront of your customers?, and potential customers? minds, and those of your potential customers, plays a vital role in generating sales.

05/01/2012 - Western Express For Western Success
The story behind Western Express, the leading wholesale company for cowboy hats, western shirts, belt buckles, and other buckaroo-styled clothing items, starts with a touch of show business.

05/01/2012 - Data Segmentation for Ecommerce
If you only use the standard data gathering and reporting features present in Google Analytics, you are not getting a complete picture of how your business is performing.

04/01/2012 - Online Payment Trends
Online Payment Processing is an ever-changing industry.

04/01/2012 - Flipo Group - Twenty Years of Innovation
Many people start a wholesale business for extra cash, or to try something new. For Jerry Phlippeau, it was a means for survival.

04/01/2012 - Via Trading Liquidation
Via Trading Corp. of California has more than stood up to its company mission during its 10 years of operation: to be the recognized leader in the liquidation industry and to continuously strengthen its position.

04/01/2012 - Google Analytics Custom Reporting
Sure, you can wade through standard reports to gather all the data needed to make a decision.

03/01/2012 - Conklin Fashions
Conklin Fashions offers 10,000 different products, such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pins, novelty items, body jewelry, sunglasses, and reading accessories available at heavily discounted wholesale prices.

02/01/2012 - Pride Products
Pride Products has grown from modest beginnings into one of the largest distributors of general merchandise in the United States.

02/01/2012 - Mobile Cyber Monday
Online spending reached a record $1.25 billion on Cyber Monday 2011, with an estimated 22 percent growth year over year, according to ComScore.

01/01/2012 - Making Your Website Mobile
Designing a website to sell your products used to be pretty simple, because you knew your audience.

01/01/2012 - Personalized DVDs by Mediak
We live in an interactive society where children want to be a part of the action, not just watching it.

01/01/2012 - Mobile Marketing Trends
On a planet with about seven billion people, 2011 saw an astonishing 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions, about 77 percent of the total population.

12/01/2011 - Effective Email Marketing
It seems like many are ready to anoint marketing through social media the wave of the future, and relegate email marketing to a relic of a time gone by.

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