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May, 2007

1-5, Overland Park, KS
2-4, Gatlinburg, TN
4-5, Dallas, TX
10-12, Minnetonka, MN
19-21, New York, NY
20-26, Dallas, TX
23-25, Charlotte, NC
23-25, Denver, CO
24-26, Madison, WI
24-27, Columbus, OH
29-Jul. 1, Las Vegas, NV

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In this issue:
  • Pricing and Profit Margins in a Changing Retail Environment
  • Featured Vendors In GiftsWholesale.Com
  • Trade Shows

Select Featured Vendors in GiftsWholesale.Com
indicates a CAMEO EZ© web site.

Badash Crystal: Our 24% hand-cut lead crystal is produced in the finest factories in Europe by the same artisans that manufacture for Mikasa, Waterford, Lenox, and Sasaki. Every piece is individually and safely gift boxed. We offer superb quality and value for all your gift giving and/or personal pleasure.

DecoBreeze: "Feeling COOL has never looked so HOT!™" San Diego based Global Product Resources, Inc. features a unique new product concept called DECO BREEZE™. This collection of designer portable fans is certain to be one of the most innovative new items to hit the home decorative market in recent times!

Hansen's Christmas Stuff : Everything you will need to make your Christmas season merry and bright. Hansen's is the exclusive distributor in Canada and U.S. for Gnomy's Diaries, handcrafted originals from Annekabouke of Holland. Gnomy's Diaries is a wonderful line of products that has something for everyone. Two sites: US and Canadian.

Mud Pie: Mud Pie products are now featured in three catalogs: Mud Pie Baby, Mud Pie Gift, and Mud Pie Pet. It has always been our goal to offer innovative giftware that's affordably priced and adorably packaged.

Peking Handicraft, Inc. is an international manufacturer and wholesaler specializing in home textiles, decorative accessories and giftware. The company's expertise in sourcing and manufacturing the finest products from throughout China is reflected in over two decades of experience and is recognized throughout the industry.

Spring Street is proud to offer the finest assortment of personal, home, and office accessories. Our extensive product lines are all theme oriented, from baby to bride and beyond. All of our gift items are hand epoxy enameled and adorned with faux jewel encrusted motifs. Many of our designs are inspired from the famed Soho district of New York City where the very real Spring Street is located.

Sunbelt Marketing Group, Inc. is proud announce the launch of our brand new website We are your one stop shop for Retro Ad Graphics and licensed icons such as John Deere, Pepsi-Cola, Chevrolet, Mustang and collegiate. Come check out our new promotions and specials exclusive to the website.

Waybags strives to bring you the most eye catching superbly made handbag or accessory we can possibly make. Way Bags are distinctive fashion handbags, totes and novelty accessories for the gift and fashion retailer. "Pride. Quality. Hard Work. Faith in God."

Wellspring: Stationery products that help keep you organized by giving you fashion with function--wherever you are in your home, office, or on the go. Includes: Pencil Pads®, Auto Notes™, Flip Notes, Wiggle Pens™, note cards, note pads, and recipe books.

Pricing and Profit Margins in a Changing Retail Environment
(from press and online reports)

Profit margins can be tight for small retailers, what with the expenses of retail leases, employees, advertising and taxes, let alone the cost of goods sold. While "Keystoning" (setting prices at double the product wholesale cost) has been a rule of thumb in retail, other factors including what the market will bear, may impact your prices. The need to maintain profit margins is often at odds with downward pressure exerted on prices by the discount chains.

While some retail categories, like apparel and jewelry, have higher standard markups, Keystoning is the starting point for most small retailers. Some experts are recommending increasing the markup percentage, however. This would continue a trend that has been going on for a while.

"There is nothing etched in stone anymore in regard to mark up," says Lance Lambert, a department store manager for 19 years. "Only those with a 'franchise product' in retail can block distribution if [retailers] don't maintain a certain mark up." (source)

According to Tom Ungrodt, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ideation, Inc., writing in GIFTTALK, "A good example of this can be found in the apparel industry. Years ago they started at a 33 percent markup, but over the years this has grown to an 80 percent markup (the equivalent of five times product cost). We should be following this same pattern in the gift industry." The market will bear some increase, he says. "Moving a store from 53 percent Cost of Sales to 48 percent would add thousands of dollars to the bottom line overnight, with all other variables remaining the same."

In other words, if your hard product cost is 53 percent of the price, increase the price enough to make your cost 48 percent of the price and you've got an instant five percent increase in profit. Price increases don't even have to be noticable. Kevin Kemper, a small business and retail consultant, says, "if you are selling a discounted item, going to .49 or .99 rather than the even number above or below is found to be best" whereas "a HIGH end item 'needs to be' an even number often." (source)