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November, 2010

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December 2010
2-5, Chicago
3, Los Angeles
6, 7, Dallas
7, Denver
7, Los Angeles
8-10, New York
9, Chicago
14, Los Angeles
18, 19, Denver

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In this issue:

How Will the 2010 Mid-Term Election Results Affect Retail Businesses?

President Obama ran on "Change We Can Believe In" but he may not be too happy with the changes which took place im the November mid-term election. Republicans regained the majority in the House of Representatives by turning over more than 60 seats, a margin even greater than 1994, when the "Contract With America" swept the Republicans into the majority with a 54-seat swap.

Still, most Republicans, which had been the minority in the House since 2006, were quick to admit that their historic majority swing may have more to do with America's reaction to the Democrats and less to do with enthusiasm about Republican policies.

So what now? The recession appears to have bogged down the economy in part because of uncertainty about mandates for businesses to provide health care, increased reporting to the IRS and huge tax increases on businesses operating as sole proprietorships or "S" corporations if the Bush Administration tax cuts are allowed to expire. Can we see into the legislative future any more clearly?

In addition, the Senate is expected to vote on a China currency bill similar to a measure passed in the House in September that could lead to higher tariffs on merchandise imported by retailers. Senators are also expected to approve extension of trade preferences programs that are a priority for retailers, and House-passed legislation backed by NRF that would create an Organized Retail Crime unit at the Department of Justice could see a vote as well. (source).

  • Health Care Reform: Repeal of "Obamacare" is unlikely, but Republicans have promised to attempt reversal of some of its more problematic features, such as the requirement that businesses issue Form 1099s to all vendors to whom they paid more than $600 during the course of the year. It is difficult to imagine what this has to do with healthcare, but it will multiply the paperwork burden on businesses by a factor of at least two, adding to compliance expense and reducing profits, thereby insuring that layoffs will increase.
  • Taxes: As already mentioned, the Bush tax cuts may be extended to small businesses now that the Republicans can apply pressure. Obviously, a tax increase would cut into already shaky profits and perhaps precipitate the dreaded "double-dip" recession. Other concerns are on the horizon, however. Several proposals for a Value-Added Tax (VAT), essentially a Federal sales tax, have been put forward, including one from a Republican, which would replace the corporate income tax, so it might be invisible to the consumer. However, there could be unintended consequences from such a change (source).
  • Trade: The picture is unclear on International Trade because the President has not made it a priority thus far and Democrats and their union supporters tend to be protectionist. Retailers who depend on imported goods will need to watch for action on tariffs.
  • Credit and Debit Card Swipe Fees: In this election cycle, Wall Street shifted its support from Democratic to Republican candidates while calling for less government involvement in banking operations and specifically urging lawmakers not to take additional steps with respect to credit card fees. The change in control will make it much more difficult to achieve additional reforms on card fees. But divided government also means financial industry efforts to repeal or scale back reform retailers have already won – such as the Durbin Amendment requirement for “reasonable and proportional” debit card fees – are likely to fail (source).

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

Aspen Bay Candles: It’s not hard to see why Aspen Bay Candles are simply better. Our candles are poured with a clean burning soy wax blend and use recycled materials wherever possible. We hand-pour all of our products in our factory in Mississippi. The result is a line of premium candles with quality you can see and most importantly smell.

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.

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. CAMEO EZ© member stores can now log into a site one time and place orders from several manufacturers. This is a newly introduced site, so check back often to see more lines. One Login – Multiple Shopping Carts – Easy Checkout. - For companies wanting to liquidate discontinued items, possibly through a third party, OmegaNet offers new closeout services. Get special deals!

Don Mark Mi Pet Dancing Speaker - “THE HIT OF THE PARTY” These adorable Puppies and Kittens have a built-in speaker that plays music from your iPod / MP3 player or most any other music source. Our soft synthetic fur pets will dance to your music or press the left paw and just use the Mi Pet in speaker mode only. The arms are posable and the dance feature will automatically turn off after an hour or so to conserve battery life. Comes with one audio connection cable and uses 3 “AA” batteries (not included) plus features a 4.5v DC power jack for use without batteries (Adapter plug not included). MiPets come in four breeds and are beautifully gift boxed. Each pet measures approximately 12” tall.

Elegant Baby recognizes that today’s babies are stylish, and is committed to providing baby gifts featuring the very best design, quality, craftsmanship and tradition anywhere.

Europa Home decor including glass, candleholders and candles for garden, lodge, awards, gourmet food, sale items and more.

Fiddler's Elbow Our Fiddler’s Elbow doorstops look so real, your cat will do a double take the first time you bring one home. These soft sculptures are handprinted with organic pigments on 100% cotton, cut, sewn and stuffed in our factory in Middle Falls, New York. We offer a variety of cat and dog designs created in collaboration with some of the world’s top animal artists. These unique gifts can hold a door open, function as an accent pillow or catch a passerby’s attention left sitting in a window looking out. Unique gifts made in USA for the past 37 years.

Gina B. Designs is an award-winning greeting card, gift and stationery products 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.”  All products are proudly made in the U.S.A.

The Heeney Company is a wholesale manufacturer and importer of floral and Christmas products. The company distributes, imports and or manufactures floral and Christmas arrangements, silk flowers, foliages and plants, dried materials, ribbons, candles and decorative accessories.

Hook Line Greetings offers the world's first patent-pending "Gift-in-Greet" Fishing Lure Cards. The company's unique and clever greeting cards contain an authentic hand-tied fishing lure as the "gift" that can be taken out for immediate fun and enjoyment. Just "release" the fishing lure from the card, tie on a line and go fish!

Highland Graphics: A leader in functional gift with decorative items for gift giving and kitchen. From our top selling Absorbastone coasters, to our decorative bamboo cutting boards, everything we manufacture is made in the USA. Our high quality plus competitive pricing lets our customers make higher margins. We feature licensed art, official collegiate products and have a full range of custom capabilities with low minimums.

Jeane's Things: A leader in personalized Christmas ornaments and magnets, we can offer any name or saying at no extra charge. All ornaments are $.65 - $1.15! Our products are designed by experienced artists in the U.S. We pride ourselves on being very customer friendly. We are now also offering FREE FREIGHT!

Mary Jane Bags is the premier manufacturer of oilcloth bags including handbags, totes, laptop sleeves, travel pieces and a wide selection of cosmetic pieces. Our oilcloth products are extremely durable while being fun and functional and are ideal for monogramming or vinyl lettering. NEW this year our line of unbelievably soft crocodile bags!

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.

Puzzle Pen The Puzzle Pen is the only erasable, retractable and refillable pen on the market. This product is a great, new break-thru for puzzlers. If your store has customers that play Crossword, Sudoku, KenKen, Kakuro, Magic Square, Acrostic, or any other word or number puzzle, this unique new Puzzle Pen will be a great hit in your store.

Saltbox is a Manhattan-based design studio known for its signature creations in canvas. Regularly featured in magazines such as Oprah, Self, People and Brides, the Saltbox collection is renowned for its alluring prints and colors and is well-loved for its sturdy construction and heavy weight, water resistant canvas.

Shade Tree Greetings' "Actual Pictures" are recognized as one of the best-selling greeting card lines in the industry. Nostalgic photographs and clever, funny verses make these cards a success. Go to our website to browse over 300 styles. GREAT introductory programs and free fixtures.

snoozies!® are not socks and they're not slippers - sort of a crossover between the two and that's why we call them "foot coverings"! snoozies!® are made with a brushed fleece exterior in colorful & fun printed patterns and then lined with a soft Sherpa fleece inside.

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. Licensed functional and decorative giftware for the home and tailored for the men's market, i.e. (clocks, signs, coat/key racks, salt and pepper shakers, bottle openers, shelves, picture frames, games key chains and more). Licenses include Coca-Cola, General Motors, Pepsi-Cola, Farmall Tractors, Shelby and the Shelby Ford Mustang and Dodge. Product mediums include wood, polyresin, and glass and mixed mediums.

Sunset Vista Designs Inc.: offers you extra margin opportunities, and sells thru at retail. They offer innovative designs, in proven products, with space saving merchandising solutions, and attractive package deals that all add value to the quality products we offer. Many say this is the “best ever” line of innovative gift, garden, and home décor.

Talkin' Trash Gifts: Harmless Nonsense for Every Occasion. Bring Smiles, Laughter and Sales to your location. Brightly Colored and Artfully Embellished Bar and Guest Towels. Clever Wine Bags, Hilarious and Functional Totes and Cosmetic bags. Humorous Baby Onsies. Fine Quality Gifts that are Priced to sell. The perfect pick-up gift for every occasion. Order yours today and let the fun begin.

Tripar International Inc.: Tripar International is your source for both displays and decorative accessories. Our extensive product line includes a wide assortment of easels, risers, ornament stands, plate racks, mirrors, jewelry displays, and unique display pieces. We are also an excellent source for wine accessories, wall décor, inspirational signs, and cookbook stands. We offer quality with style, low minimums and fast shipping.

Wellspring brings art and organization to everyday life with products in fashion, organization, and home. Check out quick ship items for the holidays that retail under $10- Flip Notes, great lightweight pill boxes and compacts, Auto Notes, lens cleaners and more! Also beautiful curios, scarves, wristlets, and pillows. All great gifts to ship now.

"Black Friday" Better Than Last Year

Early reports of sales on the day after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday", show an 8.7% increase over last year. However, Black Friday is not always an indicator of the overal Christmas Sales cycle because of "Door Buster" deals offered by many large retailers for those willing to get up early.

The average shopper spent $365.34, up 6.4%, according to the National Retail Federation (NFR), which surveyed 4,306 people on Thursday through Saturday and made projections for Sunday. The NRF estimated that total spending for Black Friday weekend would rise 9.2% to $45 billion. (source).

"I started Thursday, and I'm finished," said Tyler Jones, 34, of Manhattan, clutching packages at the Manhattan Mall on Saturday. She said she started shopping online on Thanksgiving, grabbing deals on LCD TVs at, as well as clothing at Gap and Old Navy throughout the night and into Friday. Then she went to the mall. She figures she spent $1,000 on holiday gifts, $500 less than last year (source).

The NRF said one of the biggest boosts of the weekend came from the 22 million shoppers who shopped on Thanksgiving Day, either in stores or online. That figure was more than double the number in 2005. Online sales on Thanksgiving jumped 28% from last year to $407 million, according to comScore, an online-traffic analysis firm.

Quick Industry News


Marketing Veteran Mike Gay Tapped To Lead Marketing Initiatives for Americasmart and its 19 Annual Markets

Mike Gay Named Senior VP of Marketing ATLANTA, Nov. 9, 2010 - Mike Gay has been named senior vice president of marketing at AmericasMart Atlanta, according to Jeffrey L. Portman, Sr., president and chief operating officer of AmericasMart and its AMC, Inc. parent entity. Gay succeeds Mike Turnbull, who has been named senior vice president of strategic relations for AMC, Inc., and its AmericasMart and LIGHTFAIR International entities.

Gay will pilot the charge in strengthening the AmericasMart brand and its 19 annual markets, which attract retailers from every U.S. state and more than 80 countries. He leads a team of Marketing, Advertising, Technology, Retail Services and Publishing professionals—collectively and strategically working together under his leadership to drive the overarching marketing mission.


WHITE PLAINS, NY, October 29, 2010: Nearly 30 educational sessions – addressing home and color trends, sustainability, marketing, retail strategies and more – and a wide range of added-value activities – such as special events, product awards, featured displays and buyer promotions – will be presented in connection with the winter 2011 New York International Gift Fair® (NYIGF®). The Fair runs Saturday, January 29, through Thursday, February 3, 2011, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Passenger Ship Terminal Piers 92 & 94. A full seminar and event schedule is available online at


Philopots Announces Address Change

PhilosopotsPerpetual Calendars Track Important Dates PHILOSOPOTS® has moved it's base of operations to 3283 81st Court East, Bradenton, Florida 34211. Their phone number is 941-748-POTS (7687) and email address is

Philosopots' "little pots for thought" are flower pots with sayings on them.

Gina B Designs Perpetual CalendarsPerpetual Calendars Track Important Dates

PLYMOUTH, MN: Gina B. Designs, Inc. just released 2 New Perpetual Calendars which are available for immediate shipment. Great for keeping track of birthdays and anniversaries without having to transfer dates to a new calandar every year. Free Display with purchase of 12 calendars. SRP $16.00