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September, 2007

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In this issue:
  • Retailing in the Crystal Ball
    Study Looks at Future Trends
  • You Aren't Alone Out There
    GiftsWholesale.Com Promotes RetailSpeaks' Independent Retailer Forum
  • Featured Vendors In GiftsWholesale.Com
  • Trade Shows

You Aren't Alone Out There
GiftsWholesale.Com Promotes RetailSpeaks' Independent Retailer Forum

In a world filled with multi-outlet chains and big boxes, independent retailers have been more focused on surviving than thriving the past few years; unlike their behemoth counterparts, businesses under individual ownership lack networking capabilities that offer support, sources, and solutions for day to day operations. In response to that shortage of information, RetailSpeaks was launched, giving independent retailers a safe place to converse online about everything from new sources to business strategy to...well...the sky's the limit.

RetailSpeaks gives independent retailers a private forum where they can learn from their peers.

"During the major shows, buyers are gathered in one place, able to compare notes, and to learn from one another," says founder, Cinda Baxter, an independent retailer of thirteen years. "But then they go home and find themselves battling the retail wars alone. RetailSpeaks gives them a private forum where they can talk openly with and learn from their peers about ways to succeed in today's marketplace."

An annual membership fee of $40 grants access to private, password-protected forums populated solely by members who have been verified as active gift and stationery retailers. For storefront operations, territory protection is an added benefit, preventing nearby competitors from listening in to their conversations something every retailer can appreciate. For additional information and to apply for membership, visit

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

American Picture Company: Great quality framed art at very competitive price points for gift & décor retailers. Primitive, Folk, Americana, Landscapes, etc. Always adding fresh new art images while maintaining top repeat sellers! Available glassed or textured.

Art Glass Imports provides retailers and distributors with reasonably-priced, high-quality gift items. From our gorgeous Designer Collection Perfume Bottles to our incredible Oil Lamps, our imported glass artwork will increase your sales due to their high demand.

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.

Don Mark Lifelike puppies & kittens that actually breathe. These adorable pets offer a real pet ownership experience without the work or expense. Perfect petzzz -------the ultimate pet. We now offer 30 breeds of puppies and kittens to choose from. Visit our web site to see our entire line of petzzz plus over 180 other unique gifts and gadgets.

Frankoma Inc. You can feel the difference when you touch a piece of Frankoma Pottery. Since 1933, Frankoma has the perfect gift. Whatever you’re looking for - heartfelt keepsake, kitchen or home accent, or even a new collectible - you’ll find it here. In fact, Frankoma collectibles are consistently listed among the top ten collectibles on EBay according to Martha Stewart.

Gallery Art Glass is the leading resource for all-weather stained glass - fun and functional garden giftware and home décor. We offer affordably priced, handcrafted home and garden accessories that add beauty and color to any setting. Collections include windchimes, birdfeeders, plant stakes, nightlights, windows, holiday and wine accessories.

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.

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.

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.

Retailing in the Crystal Ball
Study Looks at Future Trends

Important shifts in demographics will have major implications for retailers large and small during the next 10 years according to a study produced by TNS Retail Forward. The study, which compares 2005 with 2015, is titled "Retailing 2015: New Frontiers".

The aging of the Baby Boomers is one of the prime factors in the changes that are coming, according to the study. In 2015, the oldest Baby Boomers will be turning 70, and the youngest will already be 50, which will signal a change in their needs, both in spending levels and the types of products they buy. Health and security will be higher on their priority list as they age.

While Generation X is comparatively small compared to the Baby Boom generation, Gen Y and the Millenium babies will grow to numbers rivaling the Baby Boomers, although their composition and buying habits will be different. For example, in 2015, 79% of the US population over the age of 65 will be white, but only 57% of the population under 15 will be Caucasian. You might not need a study to tell you that the group growing the fastest will have Spanish as its first language. While the over-65 group will be 8% Hispanic, children under 15 will be 22% Hispanic.

In 2015, the youngest Baby Boomers will already be 50

Buying patterns will also be greatly affected by technology. Each successive generation will depend more on the Internet and other forms of interconnectivity in making purchasing decisions. Already, consumers expect to be able to research online before going to a store to buy a product, if they don't actually make the purchase online.

Where people prefer to shop will change as well, as America continues to fall out of love with malls and embrace mixed-use "lifestyle" centers, which combine entertainment, dining, residential and work spaces (see "Are Malls Out, Mixed Use In?" Gift and Home Retailer News, Aug. 2007).