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August, 2011

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September 2011
6 Los Angeles
9-12 Denver
10-12 Atlanta
10-12 Dallas
13 New York
12-14 Chicago
15-18 Denver
18-20 Columbus
18-20 Los Angeles
19-23 New York
24 Denver

1-4 Chicago
2-4 Minnetonka, MN
3 Denver
3-4 Seattle
3-6 Dallas
4 Los Angeles
5-6 Denver
11-12 Denver
13-17 Atlanta
16-18 Ohio
21-26 Denver
22-25 Chicago
25-28 New York
27-30 Dallas

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In This Issue:

Survey Includes Encouraging Results for Small Businesses

In a time of growth of Big Box and online stores, small retailers may find encouragment from the results of a new survey by American Express. The study finds that a majority of Americans are willing to spend more to do business with companies that give good customer service and four out of five said that they perceive smaller companies place more emphasis on customer service.

Customers value service over priceAmerican Express polled 1,000 people over age 18 and found that, even in today's shaky economy, 61% said they would spend about 10% more in order to do business with companies that give good customer service. The majority (60%) believe most companies don't do enough to provide good customer service.

"Customers want and expect superior service," said Jim Bush, Executive Vice President, World Service. "Especially in this tight economic environment, consumers are focused on getting good value for their money. Many consumers say companies haven't done enough to improve their approach to service in this economy, and yet it's clear they're willing to spend more with those that deliver excellent service – suggesting substantial growth opportunities for businesses that get customer service right. It's important to see customer service as an investment, not a cost."

The study also found that, in spite of the conventional wisdom, customers are more inclined to talk about a positive experience (81%) than a negative one (52%).

More than 80% have decided to never do business with a company again after a negative experience and more than half said they expect something in return, more than just resolving the problem.

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. 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.

Divinity Boutique is a gift company that is focused on trendy and fun gifts that feature inspirational verse and themes.

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 décorincluding glass, candleholders and candles for garden, lodge, awards, gourmet food, sale items and more.

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 topselling 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.

Nicole Brayden Gifts a bright and trendy collection of stationary and home décorproducts. Lots of fun colors and designs offered. Introducing new and exciting "Purse Pad" stationary assortments as well as the trendy Cheeky Chic collection.

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.

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 makes functional products with fresh designs for companies that sell gifts. Great fun and cute personal accessories designed for the purse, stationery designed for organization and Flip Notes- the best-selling slim notepad consistently ranked by retailers as a top 10 in sell through. Perfect 4th quarter pick up gifts at under $10 retail- a sweet spot with today’s consumer. Now with collegiate logos!

Five Ways to Attract New Customers

By Barbara Wold

I know firsthand the pressure to attract new customers in a challenging economic climate. So you’ve set up your social media empire using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and you’re blogging too. But how do you make it all work together? You want to reach potential clients and establish your authority online, but what’s your plan?

  1. Create a Facebook Fan Page
    There are lots of ways to get creative and engage your customers, and then their friends become your fans and customers too. Facebook offers a free tutorial on how to get started once you log in.

  2. Tweet Special Offers or Advice Daily Via Twitter
    Sprinkles Cupcakes is just one business that encourages customers in its stores and on its Web site to follow the company on Twitter. Every few days, the company sends out messages such as "Celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day! The first 50 people to whisper "rich" at each Sprinkles receive a free dark chocolate cupcake." That gets people into the shop -- and most times they buy another cupcake and a drink.

  3. Encourage Customer Reviews on Yelp
    Some 90 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from people they know, and 70 percent say they trust consumer opinions posted online, according to a Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey.

  4. List Your Business on Google and Yahoo
    When we want to find anything, we turn to Google or Yahoo to search -- and you can't get any bigger in terms of Web sites than these. Google has a Local Business Directory where you can register your business absolutely free. And here's what's most interesting: You don't even need a site to have a strong Web presence. It's open to all types of small businesses -- with hundreds of thousands posted. (Yahoo offers a similar service.) There's no reason not list your business on both sites -- whether you own a mom and pop hardware store or a bar, you want to leverage the extraordinary reach of these search engines. Check out Google's tutorialto help you get started.

  5. Be Your Own Publicist
    Finally, the Web site "Help A Reporter" is a free daily email service that delivers media queries three times a day right to your inbox from among some 70,000 bloggers, authors, TV reporters, and radio producers. Often the requests are for small business owners -- recent listings seek smallbusiness owners to discuss creative financing in this economy; other queries are for gardening experts, jewelry makers; the needs are very diverse. This is a way for you to do your own publicity without the expense of a publicist to get your business mentioned in the media.


"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way."
               -- Babe Ruth, American baseball player


~ Copyright 2011. Reprinted with permission from Barbara Wold's Retail & Consumer Tips, Barbara Wold is a street-smart, down-to-earth business speaker, presenting topics from sales and marketing to customer service and tourism. She is an international speaker who has "WOWED" over 650,000 people from all 50 of the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, India and the United Arab Emirates.

Quick Industry News


Perpetual Calendars from Gina B Designs

Plymouth, MN - Aug. 17, 2011 - Gina B. Designs releases 4 new Perpetual Calendars, available for delivery September 1st. Great for keeping track of birthdays and anniversaries, without having to transfer dates to a new calendar every year.  Free Display with purchase of 15 calendars.  SRP $16.00


Refreshed, California-centric positioning along with increased traffic, healthy order-writing, innovative product concepts and authoritative presentations set stage for 2012 expectations

LOS ANGELES, CA August 15, 2011 - MMPI and California Gift Show® (CGS) report a robust Market experience with positive indicators on multiple fronts defining an encouraging CGS trajectory. The show's California-centric focus delivered, in a uniquely L.A experiential manner, a broad array of new and on-trend merchandise across all of the most popular, volume generating categories. More than 10,000 lines from over 1,200 temporary exhibitors and permanent showrooms, at two dynamic venues, provided buyers a myriad of product offerings, with emphasis on the region's emerging product designers, artists and craftsmen.

"We are extremely pleased with the performance of this July Market," said Jeff Sampson, vice president marketing L.A. Mart/CGS/L.A. Mart Design Center. "Placing greater import on California as our brand position differentiated the overall show experience, emphasizing the significance of this region to the gift industry and beyond. Redefining CGS as a celebration of California style and innovation supports our permanent showrooms and temporary exhibitors as they continue to present innovative concepts in the most sought-after categories with the modern retailer in-mind."

A 24% increase in traffic over July 2010 reinforced the strength of CGS and the California marketplace as a unique and highly desirous resource destination among buyers from across the country and around the globe. Attendees from as far east as New York and Boston in the Northeast, to Atlanta and Miami in the South, joined buyers from New Orleans, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas and more, representing 42 U.S. states seeking what only CGS can offer.

International attendees in search of California's mystique were also present in force. North American neighbors in Canada and Mexico shopped side-by-side Pacific Rim buyers from Hawaii, Auckland, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul, as well as Middle East retailers from Dubai and Kuwait.

Manny & Simon Named “Bloggers’ Best”

NEW YORK, NY, August 17, 2011 Five companies were presented with Baby & Child Best New Product Awards today, with Manny & Simon receiving the “Blogger’s Best” distinction for its collection of eco-friendly, wooden push toys in vehicle shapes. Baby & Child, one of 10 divisions presented semi-annually at the New York International Gift Fair® (NYIGF®), runs through Wednesday, August 17, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

In addition to the “Blogger’s Best” distinction, Baby & Child Best New Product Awards are presented semi-annually in four categories: toy, décor, gear and apparel. A panel of editors from trade media, kid-centric blogs and websites selected products which exemplified innovation, design and style.

“Baby & Child is a juried division, so the product caliber is already quite high,” said Randi Mohr, Baby & Child Sales Manager. “These products were called out for their superlative design characteristics, quality and aesthetic appeal.”

The summer 2011 Baby & Child Best New Product Awards winners and finalists, selected from 119 products, are:

Manny and Simon (San Diego, CA) for its collection of eco-friendly, wooden push toys in vehicle shapes (helicopter, fire truck, dump truck and tow truck). The collection is made from 100%, post-industrial recycled wood residuals and is non-toxic, with ultra-low order paint and zero VOC.

Winner: Kidzaw® (Oak Park, IL) for Master Kitz: The Starry Night, an educational artist’s kit with paper, paint and simple tools to inspire children ages 4-8 to create their own interpretations of Van Gogh’s masterpiece.
Finalist: anamalz™ (Nashville, TN) for anamalz barnhouse
Finalist: Be.Retail PTY LTD. (New York, NY) for Cooking Club for Kids: Cupcake Kit

Winner: 3 Sprouts (Toronto, Canada) for Storage Boxes, with reinforced cardboard sides that allow the box to lay flat when not in use and featuring one of three signature 3 Sprouts eco-spun felt appliqués of a brown dog, orange kangaroo or blue peacock.
Finalist: Lazzari® a Brand of FOPPAPEDRETTI (New York, NY) for CASA Toy Container
Finalist: P’kolino® (Fort Lauderdale, FL) for New Little Reader Chair

Winner: Finn + Emma (Montclair, NJ) for Stoller Sac, featuring wooden snaps and a sophisticated floral pattern and doubling as a sleepsack when on the go.
Finalist: CBHStudio – Little Packrats (Groton, MA) for Little Packrats OWL Backpack
Finalist: My Blue Bumbershoot™ (Philadelphia, PA) for My Blue Bumbershoot

Winner: Magnificent Baby (New York, NY) for Smart Close Magnetic-Fastening Reversible Cardigan, a 100 percent cotton cardigan featuring magnetic closures to easily dress baby in seconds.
Finalist: Class Attire (Merritt Island, FL) for The Box Chalkboard Tee
Finalist: Patouche (Toronto, Canada) for Poncho

The summer 2011 Baby & Child Best New Product Award judges were: Melody Udell, Baby & Kids; Angela Velasquez, Earnshaw's; Lynda Johnson,; Jenny Heinzen-York, Kids Today; Elina Furman, Mamaista; Joanna Dreifus,; Caroline Kennedy, Playthings; and Leesa Valentino,

Baby & Child features 150 companies offering sophisticated and purpose-driven products for children 0-10 years. The winter 2012 edition will take place Saturday, January 28, through Wednesday, February 1, 2012, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.