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March, 2009

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May, 2009
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May 6, San Francisco
May.10, San Francisco
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May 31-June 2, Denver

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In this issue:

Advertising To Boomers Is "Booming" During Recession

Baby Boomers are changing the face of aging as well as creating new buying trends.

The 18-35 age group has always been the holy grail for marketers, but the recession may be changing that. Besides the fact that Baby Boomers are a large market segment, during uncertain economic times, they may also be a better bet for retailers. Younger people may be saddled with student loans and consumer debt, whereas many older people have shied away from debt and may even have paid off their houses (source).

The "Baby Boomers" consist of about 75 million people (one fourth of the US popultaion) who were born 1946 to 1964, after the end of World War II. The oldest are now 63 years old and the youngest are 45. 330 Americans turn 60 each hour. And they aren't ready to head for nursing homes either. According to US Census projections, almost 60 million Boomers will still be alive 20 years from now (source). Most Boomers still apply the word "senior" to their parents, many of whom are still alive. With an average life expectancy of 83, Boomers will likely change the face of aging and drive the development of many products and services for years to come.

Boomers expect comfort, convenience and fun, according to Deb Sellers, Kansas State University Research and Extension specialist on adult development and aging (source). Indications are that the Boomers appreciate quality, believing that they should be able to have it all. However, as people age, they tend to move from materialistic to meaningful; Boomers are often cause-driven.

On the other side of the coin, teen spending has dropped, causing mall stores to be nervous as usually brand conscious teenagers become cost conscious because of recessionary uncertainty. "Labels are becoming less and less of a priority for people throughout my school," said Chelsea Orcutt, 17, a senior at the Mount Saint Mary Academy near Buffalo (source).

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

Aspen Bay Candles: The best candles on the market--a result of our continual and diligent application of superior candle science. Take a moment to visit our unique high quality line of candles. Once you have experienced the superb fragrances and long burn times, we are sure you will be back again and again.

Brownlow Gifts: Brownlow produces a full line of inspirational gifts for every occasion. You will find useful and attractive home decor gifts for the kitchen, bedrooms, study and all other rooms in the house. Brownlow is well known for gourmet products, journals, gifted paper items, photo albums, photo frames, decorative sentiment plaques, a variety of stationery, many different ceramic gifts as well as a large assortment of inspirational gift books. Most products are in coordinating themes that retailers can purchase in eye-catching countertop display collections.

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.

Gina B. Designs is an award-winning greeting card, stationery and gift company featuring exceptional art and design. With an array of styles, variety of products and outstanding customer service, Gina B. Designs has “something for everyone.” Online ordering is now available!

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.

Natural Life: Fashionable and fun treasures to share or keep! Whether you’re shopping for friends, family, baby or yourself, Natural Life has the perfect gift for you.

Peking Handicraft, Inc. is a global manufacturer and wholesaler specializing in home textiles decorative accessories and gift items. The company expertise in sourcing, manufacturing and brand development are second to none. Peking’s variety of products consists of renowned designer collections as well as exciting designs from their in-house design studio. Both are trend right and of exceptional quality and value. With over three decades in the home textiles and gift arena, Peking is proven to be a company that you can trust today and in the future.

Regal Art & Gift: Offering unique & colorful Metal Garden Décor, Home Décor and Gifts. Garden items include: 3-D Garden Décor, Garden Stakes, Wind Chimes and Welcome Signs. Home items include: Wall Art, Wall Hooks, Candleholders, Ornaments, Boxes and Photo Frames. Popular themes include: Garden Bugs, Birds, Frogs, Tropical, Coastal, Fish, Suns & Celestial, Southwest, Western, Crosses, Americana, Country, Halloween, Harvest & Holiday

Sample House Take a look at our unique collection of original design gift bags, tissue paper and home to the 2-second wrap. We have a complete selection of Take-Out-Cartons solids and prints, tissue, bags, wraphia and more.

Snuggle World Bring some magic to night and day, rest and play with a little help from the creators of the Original Snuggle Sac New to the USA this award winning British collection is going to become a talking point, so get ahead of the crowd and enter the world of Snuggle Ideas.

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.

Sunset Vista Designs: From the same creative team that brought you Care and Wonder Company; We're back with a fresh new line of the latest in home and garden decor.

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.

Surviving the Recession

Poll: Consumer Confidence Improving, But Sales Still Depressed

According to a Gallup Poll taken between March 17 and 19, consumer optimism in the economy is getting better--though still low. It rose to a 20-month high (source).

However, total retail and food service sales were down in Feb. 2009 compared the previous month and the same month last year according to US Census statistics. Feb. 2009 sales for the market segment totalled $308 billion compared with $318 billion in Jan. 2009 (a decrease of 3%) and $348 million in Feb. 2008 (a decrease of 11%) (source).

March was only slightly better for chain stores with a 1.4% drop from a year earlier during the week ending March 21, according to Market Watch.

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) also reported slight declines in April. The organization attributed part of the decline to a shift in the Easter holiday from March 23 a year ago to April 12 this year. Cooler temperatures may also have been a factor. (source).

Quick Industry News

Items from Mud Pie's "Something Blue" line: "Something Blue" frame and Bridesmaid Triple Notepad Set
Mud Pie Offers Brides-to-Be "Something Blue"
A new collection of wedding-themed gifts accented in baby blue

Tucker, Ga. -- Mud Pie, an award-winning international gift company offering products reflecting current trends and popular design, has introduced Something Blue, a new wedding-themed collection perfect for celebrating the big day! Perfect for fulfilling the last line of the old saying: "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue," this collection boasts one-of-a-kind, trendy gift items for the bride and groom and bridal party. Featuring patent leather panache and polka dot designs on bridal party totes, makeup cases, frames, party essentials and more, Something Blue adds a new twist on traditional wedding gifts and favors.

"We are pleased with the amount of positive responses we have received from customers buying our wedding-themed gift lines," says Fred Pannek, Vice President of Product Development. "Many of today's brides are fashion-forward and are looking for something that reflects their own personal sense of style, regardless of price." (more)