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Flea Market


Bedding • Kitchen & Window • Holiday • Accent Pillows & Throws • Bath • Rugs • Handbags




inStore VOL. 02/NO. 03



Spring 2016






8 Travel Accessories Help customers prep for their best trip yet

27 Fashions for Fall

11 Canadian Made A range of goods from far and wide 14 Candles Fragrance and flames for indoors and out 17 Personal Care Luxurious soaps, toiletries and irresistible little luxuries

Three fashion looks we fell head over heels for!

44 Seasonal Sneak Peek

What do suppliers have in store for the 2016 holiday season?

22 Shop Profile A mixture of interior design services, custom furniture and hand-picked giftware is a winning combination for Edmonton retailer Henry’s Purveyor of Fine Things


51 Pricing for Profit Think twice about leaving the mathematical components of your business in the hands of an accountant 52 Returns & Exchanges Retail expert and business coach Barbara Crowhurst on why being flexible with your policies is good for your bottom line

38 A Primer on Calendar Marketing

40 Entertaining Essentials




Stock up your pantry with clever new items for the kitchen and table

7 Hello! Show Business

46 Feather Their Nest

Help customers keep their interiors fresh with these trendy new home décor pieces

18 News & Notes New lines, launches, industry goings-on and upcoming trade shows FEATURE

34 Mix & Mingle

How to silently upsell customers using a tabletop display as your base By Leslie Groves

48 Las Vegas Market

Record attendance at the Winter Las Vegas Market solidifies this event as a mustattend for furniture, home décor and gift buyers

How to create a calendar marketing plan, and some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing By Marilyn Nason

inStore. Spring 2016


inSpire. inForm

Stop Making

Decisions in the Dark Managing your business shouldn’t be a guessing game. Join the hundreds of retailers who have turned around struggling businesses with the expert advice of business coach and trainer Barbara Crowhurst.


Editor & Publisher Erica Kirkland Design & Layout JM Design Contributing Editors Barbara Crowhurst, Leslie Groves

Advertising Inquiries Editorial Submissions Mailing Address 103 Niska Drive Waterdown, ON L0R 2H3 Contibutors Christophe Benard, Barbara Crowhurst, Castlerock Studios, Will Fournier, Leslie Groves, Marilyn Nason InStore is published four times a year for independent retailers in Canada selling giftware, home décor, fashion accessories and lifestyle items. The magazine is mailed to 12,000 stores including gift, home décor, hardware, pharmacy and florists. © 2016 InStore Magazine. The contents of this publication are the property of InStore. Reproduction or use of the contents in whole or in part, for any reason, is strictly prohibited without the written consent of the copyright owner. The publisher is not responsible for product claims made by the companies mentioned herein.


Visit for an array of articles, digital downloads and articles for small business owners Effective Retail is in the Detail

1 4 Crowhurst2016.indd inStore. Spring 2016

2015-12-22 9:56 AM

Printed in Canada Publication mail #40841587. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: InStore Magazine, 103 Niska Drive, Waterdown ON L0R 2H3. Email

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W H AT ’ S N E X T I S N O W

AUG 20-24 A L L C O L L E C T I O N S N O W I N O N E LO C AT I O N




1765 RIO

inStore. Spring 2016


Back, engravable.

inSight Hello

Show Business A healthy American economy resulted in record attendance at trade shows south of the border while a low loonie boosted trade show attendance at our country’s largest gift show, the Toronto Gift Fair. The common denominator? A healthy market and demand for lifestyle accessories, including giftware, home décor and fashion accessories, from consumers in North America. Canadian store owners who typically attend U.S. markets to score a few unique lines, instead attended the Toronto Gift Fair in droves. At least, this was the consensus among exhibitors and the anecdotal evidence I gathered from retailers. During the Toronto show, InStore hosts an informal networking dinner with current and past Retailer of the Year Award winners (this is an annual award bestowed by the Canadian Gift Association). A contingent of winners has found the ability to freely share information, primarily on best-selling product lines, to be truly beneficial, and the magazine is happy to play host to this always lively event. During the January Toronto Gift Fair, the group of retailers in attendance at this “Meeting of the Minds” talked about how difficult it was to find products at U.S. shows that they could reasonably expect to profit from because of the exchange rate. Of those that attended U.S. markets (a few bypassed them entirely), the budget they typically allocated for these shows was redirected to Canadian shores. Great news for the Canadian trade show market (at least in Toronto – I attended the Alberta Gift Fair and attendance was pretty soft) and fantastic for Canadian exhibitors, many of whom reported a record show in terms of sales. The question I keep asking myself is, “What will happen when the loonie starts to climb back up to par with the greenback?” What can Canadian trade shows and Canadian exhibitors do to keep more of the Canadian retailer’s show budget in our own backyard?

my fav...

Styled by Leslie Groves and photographed by Will Fournier, each issue’s merchandising feature (page 34) is truly a team effort. It starts with a basic merchandising concept – in this case a tabletop display – and a product style or trend we think worthy of highlighting. For this issue, we were inspired by the displays at Fishs Eddy in New York City, and collected a range of mostly kitchen and tabletop items to recreate the store’s flea market air. Bon Appetit!

in this issue Product Parade The lifeblood of every issue is product – it’s what makes the industry go round. We try to cover every major category – gift, home décor and fashion accessories – in each issue,

throwing in a special niche market or two. For this issue, upfront we highlight Canadianmade items (page11), travel accessories (page 8), candles (page 14) and personal care

(page 17). Rounding out our product coverage are features on new entertaining products (page 40), gourmet food (page 42), home décor (page 46) and fashion accessories (page 28). If you’re looking ahead to

the 2016 holiday season, turn to page 44 for a Seasonal Sneak Peek of products we think deserve pride of place on your shelves. Happy shopping! inStore. Spring 2016



Travel Gear


What We’re Loving

Prep customers for their best trip yet with cool new travel products


1/ Tour in style with the Multisac Mini Multi Flare, a multi-pocket, lightweight nylon cross-body bag from Cabrelli. $50 retail, 800-784-4750, 2/ Loaded with security features and style, Beside-U bags from ISA Canada include RFID pockets for wallets, click hooks to lock compartments and small, detachable security whistles. $105 to $115 retail for style shown, 877-299-7323,

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4/ Remove yucky allergens and bacteria from the air with travel-sized Airbotics StaBiotic mist and probiotic hand cleaner from Canadian Gift Concept. $20 and $10 retail, 866-411-1043,




3/ Take your entire jewellery cabinet on the road with a leather jewellery roll-up pouch from Ashlin. Includes ring and earring straps, a zippered pouch and a zippered pocket. $62 retail, 888-427-4546,

5/ Leather travel document holders from Ashlin protect credit card numbers from identify theft with RFID-blocking slots. $92 retail, 888-427-4546, 6/ What every girl needs in an emergency – the Damsel in D-Stress kit from Upper Canada Soap & Candle Makers. Loaded with over 20 items, the clever kit packs a large punch in a small pouch. From $20 retail, 800-5484097, 7/ Keep your beach gear clean and contained with this jute tote from Design Home Gift & Paper, featuring a laminated wipe-clean interior. $27.50 retail, 800-6639950,


inStore. Spring 2016

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BONAVISTA BOVI HOME 514 273 6300 / 1 800 361 6695 • Come visit us at the CGTA – Hall 8 Booth 8487


A New Spring Collection Artistic & Luxurious Cuddle Worthy Cushions



Benches, bookcases, tables, mirrors, storage and other accents. Made in Canada using solid wood.


Visit Us: The Canadian Furniture Show • The Toronto Gift Fair Home Hardware Market Canadian artist, Alison Lynch transforms her vibrant mixed media art into stylish cushions to accent your home.


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Burnish&Brush_InStoreSpring2016.indd 1

2016-04-03 4:07 PM 1 (888) 294-6297 inSpire. inForm. inStore.

Made in Canada

inStock What We’re Loving


A wide range of Canadian-made products from suppliers far and wide


1/ Sold individually and in sets of three, plastic tumblers from Polar Magnetics are entirely made and printed in Canada. Available in stock and with name drop. $6 retail each, 800-813-6665, 2/ One-of-a-kind necklaces from Plum & Posey are made by hand from antique wax seals. Each sterling silver pendant is researched and arrives with a meaning card that details its history. From $75 to $200 retail. 902-667-6675,


3/Canadiana pillows from Canfloyd. $80 retail, 800-263-3551,


4/ Decorative natural cotton pillow from Pinetree Innovations. $45 retail, 306-477-3236,


5/ Handmade ceramic wine cooler from Susan Robertson Pottery, $45 retail, 306-867-8011, 6/ Handcrafted tapas platter from Hilborn Pottery shown in grey and white glazes. $56 retail, 877-445-2676,

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7/ Fossil glass earrings from East Coast artisan Lisa Martin of Jeremiah Tree Glass are crafted by placing live plants between layers of glass. From $20 to $25 retail for the earrings shown. 902-664-7102, 8/ Printed on recycled paper, these new greeting cards from Mythical Matters are designed and made in Toronto. Part of the proceeds go to support the Toronto Wildlife Centre. $5.95 retail, 416-655-6984,

inStore. Spring 2016 2015



All a Flame

inStock What We’re Loving 2

The latest in candles and fragrance for the indoors and out

1 1/ Candle Warmer’s two-in-one fragrance warmer can be used to warm a candle or melt wax. A flickering LED light safely provides illumination. From $30 retail. Distributed by Board ‘n Batten, 519-512-2435, 2/ Rust-proof outdoor lanterns from The Amazing Candle Company include LED candles featuring a natural flicker, 1000 hours of battery and the ability to function in all weather conditions. From $35 retail. Distributed by Port-Style Enterprises, 800-2681029,


3/ The ALBA Home Fragrance Collection includes luxurious hand-poured soy wax candles, diffusers (shown here) and fragrance mists. Available through Karl Winters, 514-502-9055,


4/ Laser-etched metal luminaries from Candle Impressions are available in three heights and can be grouped as centrepieces or placed on their own. From $24.99 retail, 888-644-4373,


5/ A vintage-inspired lidded box from Candle Warmers stylishly disguises a plug-in warmer that circulates a fragrant breeze into the air. From $65 retail. Distributed by Board ‘n Batten, 519-512-2435,

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inStore. Spring 2016

6/ The ALBA Home Fragrance Collection includes luxurious hand-poured soy wax candles, diffusers (shown here) and fragrance mists. Available through Karl Winters, 514-502-9055,

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Quality you can trust For the largest selection of therapeutic ◆ Essential Oil Starter Kits grade essential oils in Canada. Talk to ◆ Ultrasonic Diffusers us for all your aromatherapy needs. ◆ Extensive Aromatherapy Range ◆ Entry level Starter Sets ◆ Private Labelling

Call us to discuss your aromatherapy needs today: 1-604 885 5494 e:

Proudly manufactured in Canada: Finesse Home - Sechelt - BC

inStock What We’re Loving 2


Personal Care

Pamper your customers with luxurious soaps, toiletries and other personal care products

1/ Inspired by England’s love for bath and body, the Brompton & Langley collection from Upper Canada Soap & Candle Makers includes uplifting fragrances and floral-patterned packaging. 800-548-4097, 2/ Dazzle beauty bags from Jelly Cat are fully lined and adorned with individually silkscreened images. Distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857,


3/ Ylang Ylang and Citronella soap from Lifestyle Market are made in Canada from all natural ingredients. $9 to $11 retail, Lifestyle Market, 647-779-8206,


4/ Aromatherapeutic foot soaks from Nature’s Essential Garden are at once relaxing and yet stimulating to tired feet and legs. Available in peppermint and lemon mint. $6.99 retail, 877-445-0292,

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5/ Makeup remover cloths from Upper Canada Soap & Candle Makers remove all types of cosmetics, including waterproof mascara, without the use of harmful chemicals or synthetic makeup removers. From $15 retail for four cloths, 800-548-4097, 6/ Trendy train totes from Upper Canada Soap & Candle Makers are awash in a haute mix of hot pink, orange and shimmering gold. From $30 retail, 800-548-4097,



7/ Delicious eye masks from Upper Canada Soap & Candle Makers are shaped like yummy snacks, including donuts, popcorn and pizza. From $5 retail, 800-548-4097, 8/ Handmade soap bars from Napa Soap are made with natural ingredients and are rich in antioxidant agents like grapeseed oil, essential oils and Vitamin E. Distributed by Karl Winters. 514-502-9055,

inStore. Spring 2016



Inside Track

News & Notes

News & Notes

NEWS IN BRIEF Tracy Grozik-Daley Purchases Board ‘n Batten Board ‘n Batten’s national sales manager, Tracy Grozik-Daley, has purchased the business from founders Vera Cline-Hayes and Joyce Suckel. Launched 24 years ago, Board ‘n Batten has developed a reputation for distributing a variety of well-known giftware and jewellery lines. Tracy has been in the gift industry for 20 years as a sales representative and most recently as the company’s sales manager. 519-512-2435,


Ganz Appoints Larry Neary to Vice President of Sales Larry Neary has been appointed to vice president of sales for Ganz in Canada. Larry brings over 30 years of sales experience in the gift business to this position, having worked at all levels including independent agent, major account and national sales manager. 800-2632311,

Bonbon Bonbon, the newest colour to adorn Le Creuset Canada’s assortment of cookware, bakeware, tableware and accessories, adds a bright and beautiful dimension to homes and kitchens. The colour captures both soft and vibrant tones of pink that evoke romance and decadence. Bonbon will be available in all product categories. 866-666-6162,

Onyx by Gunther Mele Luxurious wood jewellery boxes from Gunther Mele are available in elegant ebony and natural grey elm. Earring, pendant and ring boxes are offered in the line. 888-486-8437,


inStore. Spring 2016

Chantelle Tersigni Promoted to Vice President of Marketing Over the past 14 years Chantelle Tersigni has been an integral part of Upper Canada’s management team. In her new role as vice president of marketing, Chantelle will be responsible for developing and executing marketing strategies, while continuing to pursue her passion at the forefront of product development. “This is a very exciting time at Upper Canada and I am delighted to assume these additional responsibilities to bring us to the next level,” said Chantelle. “My personal growth at Upper Canada has been a direct result of meeting and working alongside the most brilliant minds in this fascinating industry and I look forward to continuing to work and play with such remarkable people.” 800-548-4097, Chéné-Sasseville Under New Ownership Francoise Sasseville, the co- founder of home décor and bedding manufacturer Chéné-Sasseville, announced her retirement this spring. After a year of transition, the company’s new owners, Gilles and MarieEve D’Amours, will continue to operate the business under the same name. 800-463-1237,

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Show Calendar


Trader’s Forum May 9 - 11, 2016 National Stationery Show May 15 – 18, 2016 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market July 12 – 19, 2016 Fun Flex This innovative new line of baby toys features a patented universal clamp which allows the toys to be attached to a variety of surfaces including strollers, highchairs, car seats, tables and more. Distributed in Canada by Do-Gree Fashions. 800-839-8808,

Las Vegas Market July 31 – August 4, 2016 Toronto Gift Fair August 7 – 10, 2016 Alberta Gift Fair August 14 – 17, 2016

Stand-Up Pouches New stand-up pouches from B2B Wraps are available in clear, white, black and Kraft in a variety of sizes. The bags are popular in both food and retail packaging. 905-696-8111,

Seattle Gift Show August 19 – 22, 2016 NY Now August 20 – 24, 2016 Tendence August 27 – 30, 2016 Colour-Changing Mug Colour-changing mugs are a new offering from Think, Pray, Gift. Each mug is adorned with a solid colour and a powerful quote. Once hot water is added, the story unfolds and the artwork transitions. Distributed in Canada by Kalyn Imports. 800-387-6214,

Vancouver Gift Expo September 18 – 19, 2016

inStore. Spring 2016


Inside Track

Inside Track



Mode Accessories on the Upswing During the Winter 2016 Mode Accessories Show, attendance and orders showed positive gains. During the three-day trade show for fashion accessories, a total of 3230 buyers attended, representing an increase of five per cent compared to January 2015. On offer from the show’s 200 exhibitors were nearly 600 lines of jewellery, handbags, scarves, legwear, belts, hats, gloves, shoes, sweaters and other apparel items. “Most exhibitors approached the show with an open mind and modest expectations in view of the unsteady retail conditions in the marketplace,” according to show producers. “However, many finished the show with unexpected increases in the orders they wrote.” The next edition of the Mode Accessories Show is scheduled for August 7 to 9 at the International Plaza Hotel in Toronto. 416-510-0114,

Daniadown Receives RDS Certification Canadian manufacturer of down products for the home market, Daniadown is the first Canadian brand to receive Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certification. RDS covers animal welfare practices in the sourcing of down, evaluating conditions and identifying where auditing is required to certify that livestock is treated humanely and that there is no live-plucking, forcefeeding or any other mistreatment of animals, from gosling to finished product. 800-663-9088,

Toronto Gift Fair Confirms Spring Schedule The Canadian Gift Association recently announced that the five-day pattern will be maintained for future January Toronto Gift Fairs. To fully understand the needs of the industry, the association undertook a telephone survey of exhibitors and retailers who regularly attend the show. In a communique, the association stated that, “The phone survey was initiated to garner input from a larger group of members and it succeeded with 64 per cent of exhibiting members weighing in on the issue. While there were a number of exhibitors preferring four days, based on the rentable space, the majority of exhibitors preferred five days.” The results of the retail survey indicated a clear preference for a five-day show. Over half of the retailers contacted indicated that the potential impact of severe winter weather was a motivating factor, with others pointing to the tight timeframe with other shows, primarily New York, having an impact. Retail buyers also noted that they need flexibility in the days offered to buy at the show given their store and staffing schedules. The larger buyers do not feel four days is enough time to meet with exhibitors and place their orders. After consideration of all the factors involved, the association’s board of directors made a decision to maintain the five-day pattern for future January Toronto Gift Fairs. Trader’s Forum Sets New Dates for Spring Show The Spring edition of Trader’s Forum will run from May 9 to 11 at the International Centre in Toronto. Targeted to value-oriented buyers, the event will present thousands of new products for seasonal and everyday needs. Attendees will benefit from free parking and a free shuttle bus between the show and its official show hotel, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Toronto Airport. Traders Forum currently produces nine trade shows annually in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Calgary and Edmonton, in addition to Traders Forum magazine which highlights the suppliers and importers who exhibit at the shows.


inStore. Spring 2016

House of Koopslie Celebrates Year of Growth Monika Kupczak Ainslie is like most moms who want the best of both worlds. She wants to make a living and be there for her children. In 2010, Monika started House of Koopslie, a line of headwear for boys. The idea was initiated after she wasn’t able to find fun and cute accessories for her little boy. The line eventually evolved to include headwear for girls and last year she added an everyday headband for adults made from fleece-lined bamboo. This one product alone has increased House of Koopslie’s retail footprint from 24 stores in Canada to over 100. 780-937-8035, Peugeot Expands to Canada PSP USA which markets Peugeot pepper and spice mills and wine accessories in the United States has expanded its direct sales to include Canada. The corporate name will change to PSP North America to reflect this move. SBO Distributors will be managing sales and marketing of the Peugeot brand in Canada, showing the line at the Toronto Gift Fair. 877-777-5914,

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805-529-7400 |

inStore. Spring 2016


inSight Shop Profile


ELEGANCE Customers at Henry’s Purveyor of Fine Things in Edmonton are inspired by the store’s beautifully merchandised vignettes

At Henry’s Purveyor of Fine Things in Edmonton, co-owners Kirsten Proulx and Janice Funston have created a robust retail business by combining walk-in customers and interior design clients

Henry’s Purveyor of Fine Things A combination of interior design services, custom furniture and hand-picked giftware is a winning mixture for this Edmonton store Photography by Christophe Benard


inStore. Spring 2016

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The Old Tin Shed From a teeny backwoods shed to a soaring setting in a century-old building, this rural Ontario store has witnessed tremendous growth


oused in a stunning glass building in downtown Edmonton, Henry’s Purveyor of Fine Things uses its beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows to full advantage, enticing passersby inside for a closer look. Once through the doors, visitors are treated to a bright and airy retail space with white walls and balmy turquoise ceilings. Meandering through the various vignettes in the 3500-square-foot store, potential clients are introduced to a carefully curated and exquisitely merchandised selection of furniture,

home décor and giftware. Large furniture pieces, lighting, window treatments and floor coverings ground the displays, while a variety of accessories complete the homey feel. Over 200 suppliers are sourced for both the furniture and gift side of the business; however, if a customer can’t find the right item or the exact shade from the offerings on display, the staff are happy to source and custom order products. The store acts as a great marketing piece for the design services provided by the interior designers on staff, co-owners and sisters Kirsten Proulx and Janice

“We always kind of dreamed of owning our own design business,” says Kirsten.

inStore. Spring 2016


top trend for 2016? the headband! handcrafted with love in edmonton, canada


(keep for inspiration)

Helping women see how bright they can shine

guide to looking epic

guide to looking epic the everyday every wayvoted headband ‘best

the everyday every way headband 2

what’s the skinny 4


oh so boho

Handcrafted with love in Canada using eco-friendly bamboo

full on under

90 degree twist 6

retro under



of the west’


sides-a-part full on over

halfway twist

2 minute updo

2 years in a row


side twists

one headband, endless looks

“House of Koopslie headbands are in that perfect $20 and under category.” – Sean, Owner at The Tin Box, Canmore, AB

780-937-8035 /



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Co-owners Kirsten Proulx and Janice Funston

Funston. Offering space planning services, colour consultations, home staging and custom window treatments round out the experience. “The interior customer and gift store customer are two separate clientele,” explains Kirsten. “However there is crossover. We have clients that come in to buy giftware then hear about our staging services, and interior design clients that become customers after we do a colour consultation for them.” The combination of interior design and retail sales provides the sisters with two different platforms to market their services and two revenue streams. It’s a unique combination for a retail gift store and one not initially offered at Henry’s as the sisters were not the original owners. They purchased the business one year after it opened, in 2009. Both had spent years working retail for local stores including Chintz & Co., Great Room Co., and Klondike Flowers. “We always kind of dreamed of owning our own design business,” says Kirsten. When Henry’s was put up for sale,

a co-worker encouraged the sisters to bite the bullet and buy the store. “It was a very spur-of-the-moment decision,” says Janice. Together the sisters worked to evolve the store’s initial offerings to include more furniture and design services. “The gift items and home décor are the finishing touches that make a home feel like home,” says Kirsten. To build their customer base, the sisters consistently advertise in Avenue magazine and use Facebook and Instagram. Word-of-mouth has grown to be their most effective marketing method, particularly on the design side. Like most retailers, Henry’s also participates in local events and supports local charities. After six years running the store, the sister’s spur-of-the-moment decision has proven to be a good one. Last year, sales were the highest to date. “As tough as it is, we love retail,” says Kirsten. “It’s energizing.”

inStore. Spring 2016



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Fashion for


Three fashion looks we fell head over heels for!

inStore. inStore. Spring Fall 2014 2016


Moody Blues Sail away to the seaside with deep indigo and fresh water blues accented with coral and neutral accessories

Fringed scarf, Artizan, 877-278-4926,; Silver cuff and earrings with natural turquoise stone, Element Earth, 416564-5322; Blanket throw, Fraas, 416-703-8969,; Leather cuffs, Mistura, 855-602-5400,; Silver ring necklace, Sheerwater Accessories, 800-745-4501,


inStore. Spring 2016

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Navajo! A more masculine take on tribal patterns, these Aztec and Navajo-inspired pieces are well suited to fall wardrobes

Blanket throw, Fraas, 416-703-8969,; Bag and wristlet, Simply Noelle from Ganz, 800-263-2311,; Necklaces, Galeria Indra, 800-207-7416,; Sunglasses, Lifestyle Market, 647-779-8206,; Aztec leather wallet and watch, Mistura, 855-602-5400,;

inStore. Spring 2016



inStore. Spring 2016

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Plum Perfect Deep purples mixed with earthy browns and ivory make for a divine colour combination

Necklace, Euroliving, 905-465-2808,; Blanket throw, Fraas, 416-703-8969, www.fraas. com; Bag, boot socks, sweater, Simply Noelle from Ganz, 800-263-2311,; Earrings, Sheerwater Accessories, 800-745-4501,

inStore. Spring 2016


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inStore. Spring 2016

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inStore. Spring 2016


Mix & Mingle HOW TO

silently upsell customers


inStore. Spring 2016

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Undercover Agent

Styling and text by Leslie Groves Photography by Will Fournier

Merchandising is your silent salesperson, increasing sales by silently suggesting product groupings through cross-merchandising and creative display techniques. Here are three techniques all silent salespeople should utilize:

Installation Info 1. The first objective is to catch the customer’s eye. Displays with too many products and contrasting colours are distracting. Putting everything you have to offer in a jumble sends a convoluted message to customers. Create a compact and impactful story with colour-blocked, monochromatic or tone-on-tone groupings. 2. Cross-merchandise your product categories. Place home décor with fashion accessories and kitchen items with garden décor. Feature displays should present a product or style trend or grouping. By introducing customers to multiple products, your silent salesperson will encourage add-on sales. 3. Create your own product groupings. If you sell single napkins, group them into sets of four to increase your unit sales from one to four. Form suggested collections, even if the products are from a variety of different companies. Only you know where the products came from, so don’t be afraid to mix and match your products into collections to motivate sales.

IDEA! Use old table tops, doors and other flat surfaces as the base for your table displays. Doing so means you control the height. Use crates, boxes, saw horses and cinder blocks to build the table to the desired height.

Textural Contrasts Vintage wood crates and a warm wooden tabletop juxtapose nicely with the cool metal trays and wire frame baskets. The layering of textures creates depth.

Napkins and ribbed placemats (tied with ribbon), ceramic jars with wooden lids, small wood coasters, marble cutting board, Bovi, 800-361-6695,; Herb hanger, glass jars, tea towels, arrow sign, metal trays, plates, wire baskets, phrenology head, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222,

inStore. Spring 2016


A Tall Order Merchandise plates and cutting boards upright to add depth to the display and to ensure these items get noticed from up close and afar. Lying flat, they take up one tenth of the visual presence versus standing upright. Standing at attention demands attention.


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Maximaze Sales Space

Use crates placed under a table to display larger items. Utilize them again on top of the table as a secondary display platform, and don’t overlook the ceiling. In this display we dangled a herb hanger overhead to tie the whole display space together.

inStore. Spring 2016


A Primer on Calendar Marketing By Marilyn Nason

Undoubtedly the least utilized, easiest, most flexible and free marketing tool available to retailers is the calendar. Universal and reliable, annual holidays and special events provide countless opportunities for store owners to increase store traffic and sales.


The basics needed to develop a calendar marketing plan, along with inspiration to get your creative juices flowing


inStore. Spring 2016

Get started by tearing out pages from a calendar, placing each month on the wall or on the desk in front of you. Mark down all the national holidays, special times of year and local events that the store recognizes. Now, step back and behold your future profit and loss statement. When combined with sales figures, this calendar will help you identify the holes in your annual marketing schedule which need to be filled in order to ensure both existing customers and new traffic is enticed into the store

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TAKE NOTE! Use this handy list to kick-start your promotional calendar planning! Each month, post a calendar of upcoming events in the store, by the cash desk and on the door.

JANUARY New Year’s, National Trivia Day, Resolutions, Health & Fitness FEBRUARY Valentine’s Day, Groundhog Day, Grammy Awards, Chinese New Year

throughout the year. Fill in the gaps – plan on one major and two to three minor special events each month – so that your store stays top-of-mind among customers and prospects. When adding local events to the calendar, target events which draw the types of customers you want to attract. Then figure out a way to get involved with the event. Approach neighbouring businesses to see if they’re interested in crosspromoting an event or promotion. Keep your eyes and ears out for new events to add to the calendar.


Each month, post a calendar of upcoming events in the store, by the cash desk and on the door. Place a schedule of events in every bag, on your website and on social media pages. Two weeks prior to the event, send press releases to local newspapers and magazines. They’re frequently looking for content and are attracted to curious or unusual events. Media coverage will validate your store as an exciting retail destination. For major events, ask a local radio or TV station to cosponsor. In exchange for exposure to your customers, they’ll promote your event for free. Spread the word online by posting event details on your social media

pages, website and within email communications to customers. A few days prior to the event, place sandwich boards outside and create a window display that highlights the event. Prepare to have staff wear a coloured apron, hat, scarf or button during the promotion and a few days before hand.

VENDOR PARTNERSHIPS Vendors want their retail customers to stay in business, so talk with your key suppliers and see what they can contribute to a special event. Maybe it’s a product, a special demonstration from one of their artisans or a taste testing.


In addition to ensuring the store is fully staffed, and offering special product assortments, limited-time promotions and/or special pricing, add a few other elements to make each event extra special. Ideas include extended hours, inviteonly hours, refreshments, prize draws, give-aways, contests, DIY workshops, demonstrations, guest speakers, concerts, book readings and fashion shows. Pay attention to all the details to ensure the event properly portrays and reinforces your brand.

MARCH March Break, Spring Fling, St. Patrick’s Day, Academy Awards APRIL April Fool’s, Easter, Gardening, Spring Entertaining, Earth Day MAY Spring Cleaning , Mother’s Day, Graduations, Weddings, Victoria Day, Kentucky Derby JUNE Father’s Day, First Day of Summer, Graduation, School’s Out JULY Canada Day, Summer Solstice, BBQ , Summer Festivals, Sidewalk Sales AUGUST Picnic, Staycation, Ice cream Social SEPTEMBER Back-to-school, Organizing, Fall Entertaining, Tailgating OCTOBER Thanksgiving, Halloween, Decorating for Fall Holidays, World Series NOVEMBER Holiday Open House, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday DECEMBER Holiday Entertaining, Holiday Decorating, Men’s Night Out, Boxing Day

inStore. Spring 2016


Entertaining Stock up your pantry this fall with these clever new items for the kitchen and table



1/ Beanie-shaped wine bottle stoppers from Jabco are irresistibly cute. Sold in sets of two. $18.99 retail, 877-381-5222, 2/ Tossware, a popular line of shatterproof, BPA free polymer plastic wine glasses from InterContinental Mercantile, can be recycled or reused. $9.95 retail for four, 800-361-0370,


3/ Keep wine contained in a wine bottle holder from Stargazer Originals. $40 retail, 905-670-3346, 4/ Beautiful glass carafes from David Shaw Tableware can be used for hot or cold beverages. The counterweight top allows liquid to pour without having to remove the lid, prevents ice from splashing into the glass, and keeps bugs out when entertaining outdoors. $39.99 retail, 800-489-7429,



5/ The Stack-a-Snack from Fox Run Brands includes a flippable martini-glass stand, a removable bowl insert plus a divider insert for single or two-dip combos, lids for keeping dips fresh until serving and a suction-cupped base for stability. From $11.99 retail, 815-353-2989, 6/ Paddle-shaped spreaders from Abbott are part of the company’s new Cottage Life collection. $20 retail, 800-263-2955,


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8 7/ Award-winning product designer Paul Loebach designed this simple and stylish French coffee press for Kikkerland. $60 retail, distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857,


8/ Hand-printed coasters from F As In Frank Papergoods are made from recycled pulpboard on an antique letterpress machine. $20 retail, 888-512-1889,


9/ Cotton tea towels from Jessie Steele are available in a variety of cotton prints. Matching tea cozies are available. From $20 retail for a set of two, 510-204-0991, 10/ A classic white porcelain cheese set from Wildly Delicious includes a serving plate, two square dishes and two spreading knives. $29.95 retail, 888-545-9995, 11/ Ring in the New Year in style with polka dot champagne coupes from Abbott. $15 retail, 800-263-2955,


12/ Slip on a super sweet beer tie to identify your beer bottle. $5.99 retail for set, MSC International, 514-745-0400,


13/ Peugeot’s new whisky set caters to aficionados with a uniquely shaped mouth-blown glass, metal chilling base and leatherette coaster, all specially designed to bring out the best in whiskeys and spirits. From $50 retail. Available through SBO Distributors, 416-816-3005, 14/ This wine bottle corkscrew from Kikkerland also includes a foil cutter. $15 retail, distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857,

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inStore. Spring 2016



Gourmet Goods 1



1/ This gift trio set from Pepperhead includes the company’s original three products: Wild Blueberry Maple and Cranberry Lemon jellies and Bengali Bluenoser Habanero chutney. $25 retail, 902-830-1280, 2/ Just add cream cheese and whipped topping to Gourmet du Village’s No-Bake Cheesecake kits and fill a pre-made graham cracker pie crust, chill and enjoy. $7.50 retail, 800-668-2314, 3/ For Tea’s Sake, a line of packaged teas from Giftcraft, includes a variety of black and herbal teas. $14.99 retail, 877-387-9777,


4/ Jellies, jams and chutneys from Phyllis Cooks Kitchen are made from locally-sourced ingredients and produced in an inspected and certified kitchen. $10 retail per jar, 705-428-6888,



inStore. Spring 2016

5/ Macaroni and cheese kits from Gourmet du Village make it easy to get great results every time. Each kit makes four generous servings. $6.99 retail, 800-668-2314,

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eak Peek

What suppliers have in store for the 2016 holiday season!

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1/ Shavings of real Belgian dark chocolate presented in a shimmering holiday tin, $16 retail, 416-675-6363, 2/ Hand-printed foil stamped napkins, $5 retail for 10, F As In Frank, 888-512-1889, 3/ Ceramic plate with wildlife image, $37.50 retail, distributed by Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, 4/ Glass tealight holder, $16.50 retail, Euroliving, 905-465-2808, 5/ Stag plate from Tag, $23 retail, distributed by Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950,


6/ Blank interior greeting cards, $4 retail, Giveable Greetings, 7/ Large snowman globe, $50 retail, Abbott, 800-263-2955, 8/ Maple leaf ornament, $8 retail, Canfloyd, 800-263-3551,


9/ Burlap wreath, VHC Brands, 888-334-3099, 10/ Ugly wine bottle sweaters from Uncle Bob’s, $10 retail, distributed by Canadian Gift Concept, 866-411-1043, 11/ Hand-carved and hand-painted matchbox scenes, $18.25 retail, Euroliving, 905-465-2808, 12/ Canadian-made Christmas greeting card, $4.50 retail each, Jonesy, 416-917-4425,

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13/ Customizable charm gloves from Davinci, $29.95 retail, Axicon World Imports, 800-465-5587, (Charms not included) 14/ Photo booth sets with 20 accessories, $19.99 retail, Jabco, 877-381-5222,

inStore. Spring 2016


Feather Their N Help your customers keep their interiors fresh with these trendy new home dĂŠcor pieces 1







inStore. Spring 2016

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1/ Rose vase, $28 retail, Nostalgia Imports Canada, 800-785-7855,


2/ Love You to the Moon and Back pillow, $25 retail, Stargazer Originals, 905-670-3346, 3/ Handmade pot, from $35 retail, Napa, 888-893-2323, (Plant sold separately) 4/ Decorative pillow, $34 retail, Agence De Vente Viva, 450-836-4455, 5/ Stainless steel bowl, $120 retail, Canfloyd, 800-263-3551,

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6/ Made-in-Canada mixed media throw pillow featuring the artwork of Alison Lynch, $70 retail, 7/ Decorative pillow, $24 retail, Agence De Vente Viva, 450-836-4455, 8/ Cactus pillow from Kikkerland, $22 retail, distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857, 9/ Stretched canvas, $33 retail for 12 x 12, Canadian Art Prints & Winn Devon Art Group, 800-663-1166, 10/ Gold platter, designed by Mats Jonasson, $175 retail, Maleras, 888-545-0057,

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11/ Chalkboard sign, $68 retail, Nostalgia Imports Canada, 800-785-7855, 12/ Black iron mirror, $200 retail, Canfloyd, 800-263-3551, 13/ Throw pillow, $39.99 retail, Chene-Sasseville, 800-463-1237,

inStore. Spring 2016


CANADIAN CONNECTION While the Las Vegas Market typically attracts a lot of Canadian buyers, anecdotal evidence suggests the poorly performing loonie and a soft western Canadian economy kept some Canuck buyers at home this past winter. Market vendors missed their northern neighbours, so much so that during the Summer 2016 Las Vegas Market Canadian buyers will be treated to an array of specials, determined at the discretion of participating vendors, which will include discounts on show orders, freight caps/reductions and waiver of minimums. If you’re interested in learning more, email InStore for details at


inStore. Spring 2016

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Las Vegas

MARKET Record attendance solidifies market as must-attend event for furniture, home décor and gift buyers By Erica Kirkland


hen the Las Vegas Market premiered a decade ago, the concept of permanent showrooms as the base for a new bi-annual trade show had many in the industry scratching their heads. Ten years on and the five million square-foot Las Vegas Market (also known as World Market Center) is the fastest growing gift and home décor market in the western United States and the only home furnishings market in the west. (Canadian retailers and suppliers report that Las Vegas Market is supplanting the Canadian furniture shows with both segments of the market heading to Vegas instead of Toronto.) With a firm grip on the furniture segment, the operators of the Las Vegas Market – International Market Centers – turned their attention to the gift, home décor, gourmet food and tabletop categories. With a dedicated sales push, the leasing team was able to secure 146 new showrooms, primarily in the gift, home décor and casual furniture categories, and nearly 180 new exhibitors in the temporary section, called the Pavilions. The result? An impressive 22

per cent increase in attendance from gift buyers. Similar to Atlanta, the Las Vegas Market exhibition space consists of three interconnected high-rise buildings which contain 40 floors of showrooms and products from over 2450 exhibitors. Then there are the Pavilions – plural. Another second temporary section was added this winter to accommodate increasing temporary space demand. Exhibitors are showing a clear preference for the market, resulting in the slow demise of west coast regional shows. With the rent of a permanent showroom costing as much as temporary exhibit space, many exhibitors we spoke with love the convenience of not having to recreate their booths twice a year. As for buyers, what right-minded retailer isn’t attracted to a convenient showroom set-up with clear aisles? Throw in the location, in the heart of a revitalised downtown Las Vegas, and the market is downright irresistible. Besides the lights and excitement of the city, an absolute glut of hotel rooms makes finding a reasonable rate a breeze – downtown or on the strip.

NEXT MARKET: July 31 to August 4, 2016 inStore. Spring 2016


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Rise to the TOP


Reach 12,000 Buyers Prior To The Summer Shows

The summer trade show season is fast approaching. In this competitive industry, buyers have hundreds of suppliers to choose from. Affordable and effective advertising can put your company on the map and increase the odds that buyers will choose your company over another. InStore is Canada’s only magazine for retailers selling giftware, home dÊcor, fashion and lifestyle accessories, mailing to 12,000 stores across Canada four times a year. Advertising Inquiries Erica Kirkland, Publisher & Editor 905-690-0492


inStore. Spring 2016

The Definitive Resource for Independent Lifestyle Retailers

Summer 2016 Issue Booking Deadline: June 17 Material Deadline: June 24 Mailing Date: July 15

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inSight By Erica Kirkland

Pricing For Profit Think twice about leaving the mathematical components of your business in the hands of an accountant. Understanding these key retail methods are a retailer’s responsibility – and lifeblood.


he essence of retailing is buying something and reselling it for a profit. The pricing of products is where you make your profit. If you don’t have a pricing strategy you can’t expect to be profitable. If you’re thinking, “I just want to sell gifts, none of this matters to me,” think again. “Do you think Bill Gates is selling his Windows software based on doubling his costs?” asks retail consultant Rick Segal. “I doubt it. I’m sure Microsoft calculates the highest possible selling price it can get in order to sell the most it can. The company takes its mark-up where it can and takes less when it has to.” Predominantly, a store’s pricing strategy should be based on overhead costs, which vary considerably depending on location and the level of customer service offered. A store which is offering better customer service, more benefits and a more enjoyable shopping experience, shouldn’t be charging the same prices as a lesser competitor. The increased staffing levels and expenses demand a higher price. Add fixed costs – equipment leases, loan repayments and full-time labour – to the variable costs of inventory, utilities and hourly wages/commissions – to get a base minimum of what pricing strategy will cover these costs. Merely calculating a 100 per cent mark-up doesn’t make sense. “Too many retailers look for ways to lower their prices rather than ways to increase their margins,” says Segal. “That’s why so many small stores go out of business. They focus on the wrong issues. People pay extra money in the right

situations. For example, they may pay more for brands, convenience, packaging, status, hard-to-find merchandise and another 100 or so factors.” Before you determine the price, consider these factors (reprinted from the Retail Business Kit for Dummies) to achieve the maximum mark-up available.

category, what good is it? Know what your customers are willing to pay for various merchandise categories. 5. Store setting: The way your store looks can and will determine the price you can get for your merchandise. 6. Merchandise look: Wait until you

Do you think Bill Gates is selling his Windows software based on doubling his costs?” asks retail consultant Rick Segal.

1. Competition: If other local stores carry the item you’ll likely have to price it at the prevailing rate. But if you’re the only one in the area, you may be able to take an additional mark-up. 2. Perceived value: Does the item look expensive or cheap? If people say, “Is that all it costs?” then you priced it too low. 3. Brand value: Does the brand warrant a prestige price level? Always consider the complete value of an item. 4. Merchandise category: You can make the greatest buy in the world, but if it’s more than your customer is willing to pay for something in that

actually receive the merchandise and can take a look at it before you decide what to price it at. 7. Employee opinion: Do a mini market survey. Never tell your employees what you paid for it – just ask what they think you should sell it for. 8. Market value: Although you should always consider what you paid for an item, the most important thing to consider is what the market will bear. Pricing is an ongoing process. Regularly evaluate prices and be prepared to change them if necessary or appropriate. The consequences of a poor pricing strategy are obvious: Pricing too high may limit sales, while pricing too low may limit profits.

inStore. Spring 2016


inSight The Last Word

Returns & Exchanges

T “

he purpose of a store policy regarding returns and exchanges is to protect the store from dubious claims, but sticking to a store policy no matter the circumstances will affect your bottom line – negatively. Rather than being inflexible with store policies, give your staff the ability to make common-sense exceptions. For instance, if a customer is charged the wrong price for a product but doesn’t notice the error until she gets home, and you insist on giving her a store credit rather than cash because you have a “no refund” policy, I guarantee you that you’ll never see that customer again.

Give your staff the ability to make common-sense exceptions. In a situation where your store is at fault, your goal should be to resolve the situation in a way that is amendable to the customer. In another instance, there is a customer who wants to exchange an item he bought 10 days ago. The trouble is your policy is “no exchanges after seven days.” However, he’s been away on vacation. What do you do? If the product looks like it’s in good shape, exchange it! Let the customer know that you’re making an exception to the normal store policy in order to keep them happy. Being more flexible with return policies is a balancing act. Unless you think a customer is abusing the privilege, in the end it’s better not to hassle customers about returns and exchanges. It costs a lot of money to find new customers, which is why it’s important to keep current customers happy. By all means, be clear about your policies: write


inStore. Spring 2016

FLEXABILITY IS THE KEY TO GOOD STORE POLICIES Store policies exist to protect you from dubious claims, not to punish honest customers

them clearly and state them clearly in the store and on your website, but keep in mind that your end goal should be to make and keep customers happy. Formalized policies give staff guidance when making decisions. To help them understand how you would react to a situation, role play different scenarios with them so they’re prepared to be lenient and resolve situations in positive ways. Make sure your employees know how you want customers to be treated. Barbara Crowhurst is a business coach and store designer who works with clients around the world.

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InStore Spring 2016  
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Home decor, fashion and entertaining essentials for fall