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November 2023


Holiday Shoppers Predicted to Spend More this Season

But They Will Be Looking for "Deals"

The National Retail Federation (NFR) is predicting 3%-to-4% growth in consumer spending during 2023's holiday shopping season. NFR forecasts that consumer will spend $957 billion which would be as much as $30 billion more than last year, but economic factors also come into play.

Cheerful young woman with colorful shopping bags having fun in the city street at Christmas time.
Predictions are for a good holiday shopping season. Photo

While that sounds good and in line with what was seen before the pandemic, that increase is far less than what was seen during 2021 and 2022, which saw spikes of 5.4% and 14.1%, respectively, which followed an 8.2% growth in 2020. So this year will be more "normal," rather than the "boom" years druing and immediately following the pandemic.

Consumers Are Resilient

"In spite of the uncertainty in the economy and the challenges that households are facing, we’ve seen strength and resilience across the consumer sector," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a recent press conference announcing the results of NFR's holiday forecast.

Last year's prediction had to be revised downward. NFR had forecast 6%-to-8% growth, but the reality was 5.4%.

Looking for Deals

CNBC noted that, even though inflation is cooling, many gift-giving items and food cost more. As of September, inflation is up 3.7% compared with a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s consumer price index. That is about half the 7% inflation rate of 2021, which was the highest in 40 years. CNBC also expects consumers to be cost-conscious and looking for bargain because of economic concerns.

One factor fueling the preference for bargains is greatly increased credit card balances. According to CNN, during the third quarter, credit card balances hit a fresh high of $1.08 trillion. This represents a rise of $48 billion from the prior quarter and a record increase of $154 billion from the year before, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit released Tuesday, Nov. 7. Higher interest rates, which the Fed is using to tamp down inflation, make this problem worse for consumers.

Mall Optimism

ICSC, the trade group representing malls, shopping centers, and other marketplaces, predicted last month that holiday retail sales will be up 3.8%, with food and beverage sales up 7.6%.

Gift cards were mentioned by those surveyed as the most popular gift, with 55% saying they would like to receive them, followed by clothing and accessories (49%), books, video games and other media (28%), and personal care and beauty items (25%).

NRF’s latest consumer survey was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

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Quick Industry News



Mills Gourmet Home PageMills Gourmet has a new CAMEO EZ© wholesale website. Mills Gourmet says, "Our products are available in our local area and throughout the US! Every gourmet mix we cultivate is made from scratch right here in our kitchen with the same needs in mind---taste, quality and affordability. We are proud of every single product in our inventory, and we promise our unique blends will give you a taste of real goodness!"


GiftBeat: Hot Summer May Have Caused Sales Downturn for Some

GiftBeat reports that many stores blame a hotter-than-usual summer for a downturn in sales during the summer. A store owner in South Carolina said, "The heat was terrible. [I think it was] the hottest summer we've ever had." As confirmation, store owners in the Northeast and Midwest reported moderate temperatures and healthy sales gains.The economy was cited as another factor. "Fewer people in the store, high gas prices and back-to-school expenses," said another store owner in Utah.


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EZ Ribbon indicates a CAMEO EZ© web site.

Ala Carte Alice's mission is simple: to provide the best products and service to their customers and use the freshest ingredients that they can find. Alice Wooten takes great pride in her company, their commitment to customer service and in the products they sell. Ala Carte Alice’s products include savory sauces, red dog rubs, glazes, relishes and jams. Black and Blue Bacon, Creme Brulee and Sante Fe are just some of the yummy cheese balls Alice offers. In addition, there are mouth watering desserts, party dips and awesome entrees. You have go to try Ala Carte Alice for an excellent cullinary experience!
"Beach Walks and God Talks" is a full-color book by Karen Ellison of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The full-color glossy pages of this Christian devotional gift book take your customers on a beach-combing journey where they will find treasures from the sea and for their souls. Each double page spread features an inspirational story set at the beach with stunning photography and enriching sidebars. Your customers will find themselves peacefully reflecting on God's love for them as revealed through His creation. Endorsed by Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, they will want one for themselves and more as gifts. It is an especially meaningful Christian Christmas gift.
Unique and decorative kitchen sink strainers, kitchen sink stoppers and toilet roll holders.
Cindy Reed Wilkins, aka The Chili Queen, is a legend in the chili community. Cindy has won an extraordinary 15 first-place awards, over 100 total, in the world of championship red chili. For 35 years, she's been tweaking her best chili recipe, from the size of her beef cubes to her secret blend of powdered chili spices. Cin Chili & Company has grown since it's conception in 2005, from one awesome product to seventeen and counting.
Drew DeRose's lines run from tabletop to decorative figurines and include candle holders, cannisters and cookie jars. All products are colorful and original. The company has a creative staff that designs merchandise for Drew DeRose Designs.
Dutch House Caramels was founded in 1997, when the owners of Bayfields Bake Shop & Grill, in Alexandria, Minnesota developed a recipe for caramel candy and started making the product in the restaurant. Today the company features caramels in a variety of assortments and gift boxes.
EMV's products are deeply inspired by nature with an emphasis on creating beautiful lasting memories. The company's vast selection of unique products complements fine jewelry stores or gift/souvenir shop. EMV jewelry is perfect for any occasion, ranging from formal to casual events with specialization in Hawaiian Koa jewelry and also offering: license plates, shells and pearls jewelry, sterling silver/stainless steel/tungsten/wood collections, assorted natural gemstones and stone fashion jewelry.
Fancy That Gift & Decor, Inc. celebrated its 18th anniversary in August, 2019. Owners, Steve and Carmen Mendelson, have used their experience in gift and home decor to build a company that takes pride in providing quality Coastal Decor products and service with the highest levels of integrity always at the forefront.
What started out as a snack to take to the field, quickly turned into other paratroopers at Fort Bragg, NC, wanting to purchase the snack. Over the next year, pounds and pounds of GI Jerky was made in the 82nd Airborne barracks and sold to soldiers all over post. G I Jerky says "We manufacture all of our jerky to the highest USDA standards. All of our jerky is sliced, smoked and then bagged in a USDA facility. When you open a bag of GI Jerky, you can be sure that you are eating the highest quality jerky that money can buy!"
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.
Global Building Blocks features the D'Ora Bamboo line of garment racks with shelves. A family-owned business founded in the United Kingdom, Global Building Blocks' the prime objective is to offer a range of household products made using sustainable alternatives. The company is dedicated to ensuring your purchase meets our three core goals of which are quality assured, authentically pleasing and durability.
JTP Wholesale is a wholesale website offering monogrammed coasters, IcyBags, and Keeping It Positive affirming sheets and pillowcases.
At Magnolia Lane, our desire is to produce gifts that become part of celebrations, memories, and family treasures. Our licensed tailgating products, Christmas line, The South collection, and outdoor decor will enhance and compliment every occasion! We are proud of what we do and are ever grateful and dedicated to our customers.
Mills Gourmet says, "Our products are available in our local area and throughout the US! Every gourmet mix we cultivate is made from scratch right here in our kitchen with the same needs in mind---taste, quality and affordability. We are proud of every single product in our inventory, and we promise our unique blends will give you a taste of real goodness!"
Nebibo says, "Our mission is to get kids off their electronic devices and out exploring the world. We'd love for you to come on that journey with us. We started this journey when we realized there was no recognizable and reliable snorkeling brand that parents could feel assured their kids would be safe using. We are that brand!" The product is full-face snorkel mask with a 180-degree view and water-tight seal in the patented shark design. The "fin" is designed to seal in the event the snorkel goes under water. Made of non-toxic materials.
The Pocket Plus is portable pockets that attach with magnets for a convenient way to carry things on the go. The Pocket Plus is made in the USA and comes in seven different sizes and is available in over ten colors – perfect for holding your phone, a water bottle, keys, your wallet, and more! It’s a great, inexpensive gift idea for someone of almost any age.
Pure Factory Naturals collections, including Flip Flop Foot Repair,Splash. The collection includes lip balm, foot repair, body lotion, hand cream, solid lotion bar, salt glow, skin repair.
Pure Mana Hawaii Founders Sue Mandini and Kollette Stith bring the wisdom of living close to the land and in harmony with nature's rhythms to the marketplace in their luxury skincare line. Built from the ground up, the brand features wild harvested ingredients and a synergy of raw, wild macadamia nut oil and green coffee bean oil, grown on their family's certified organic farm, Mahina Mele in Hawaii.
Quintessential Chocolates specializes in the centuries old art form of casting “Liqueur Praliné” or the European style Liquid Center Chocolates (“with a sugar crust”). The process the company uses is more than 200 years old. Quintessential is the only manufacturer of this specialty confection in America and has been creating these chocolates since 1984.
Red Carpet Studios, Ltd. features All Jazzed Up Fashion Accessories for Fall & Spring. A wide range of Giftware for the Home & Garden. Visit our website for New Products & Specials.
Small-batch artisan fruit spreads from Regina's Farm Kitchen® are made from the heart, the old-fashioned way. With only real fruit, no preservatives, artificial sweeteners or thickeners. Each of our unique flavors is carefully crafted to ignite your culinary curiosity or jazz up your next event. We invite you to try us.
Joe and Sue Brielmann have taken their combined experience of over 28 years in personalized products and design to create one of the fastest growing cart businesses in the country. Their creative ability, attention to detail, and the highest standards for quality and customer support, are among the reasons Rudolph and Me has experienced such huge growth.
Sunset Vista Designs 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 decor.
Lines include Tizo and Siena frames in a variety of styles and colors plus elegant candleholders from tea lights to pillar candles. The site also features boxes and trays in a variety of materials.
ZappoBZ features Home to fun handmade accent decors, capiz figurine lamps, and hand-painted bamboo curtains. Categories also include bird feeders and figurines.