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Winter 2016

THE DEFINITIVE RESOURCE FOR INDEPENDENT LIFESTYLE RETAILERS

instoremagazine.ca

SUMMER ENTERTAINING, FASHIONS, HOME DÉCOR & MORE

GETTING ONLINE TRADE SHOW SUCCESS THE CASE FOR KINDNESS

Going

Coastal


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

CONTEMPORARY

comforts

CHARLOTTE BEDDING & CHARLOTTE SLATE SHAMS

INDEPENDENT STORES • E-COMMERCE • CHAIN MERCHANTS 888.334.3099 / VHCBRANDS.COM


BLOOMINGVILLE IS THE LEADING EUROPEAN DESIGNER OF HOME LIFESTYLE PRODUCTS

TAG IS THE #1 GIFT & HOUSEWARES BRAND IN THE INDUSTRY FALL/HOLIDAY 2016 PRE-BOOKING STARTS AT THE TORONTO GIFT FAIR. OVER 550+ NEW ITEMS AVAILABLE

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SATURDAY PRE-SHOW Jan 30 | 9:00AM to 9:00PM TORONTO GIFT FAIR Jan 31-Feb 4 | Open Early 8:00AM Daily & All Regular Show Hours Front Entrance Showrooms: International Centre, Hall 1, Suites #100 & #100A

THREE WAYS TO ORDER

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REPRESENTING THE BEST HOME, GIFT & LIFESTYLE LINES IN THE INDUSTRY

REPRESENTING THE BEST HOME, GIFT & LIFESTYLE LINES IN THE INDUSTRY

NOW BEING SHIPPED FROM THE U.S. FASTER SHIPPING, HIGHER FILL RATES, REDUCED PACK SIZES & ANTICIPATED 30% PRICE REDUCTION

CONTACT YOUR DESIGN HOME SALES REPRESENTATIVE ORDER ONLINE www.designhome.ca CONTACT US Design Home Gift & Paper Inc. 7580 Bath Road Mississauga, ON L4T 1L2 800-663-9950


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contents

inStore VOL. 02/NO. 02

79

THIS ISSUE

WINTER 2016

56

inSight DEPARTMENT 10 Mailbox Readers tell us what they think about InStore! 21 Hello! 56 Shop Profile

A chain of franchised home décor stores in Ontario, Saturday Afternoons is spearheaded by retail powerhouse Paula Lynn-Meridis

inStock

inStyle

DEPARTMENT

FEATURE

25 Write On

68 Design Directions

Décor trends

Retail expert and business coach Barbara Crowhurst on the nine things retailers need to get right this year

79 Summer Soirées

124 The Last Word

Chic office supplies

31 Noted

Gorgeous journals and notebooks

33 Little Luxuries Bath and body care

36 Summer Scents

Candles and scented products

FEATURE

94 Just For Kids Fun, funky and unique gifts for babies and children

Entertaining in style

102 In Vogue Fashion trends

123 New Year’s Resolutions

DEPARTMENT 40 News & Notes

New lines, launches, industry goings-on and upcoming trade shows

Lulujo’s trajectory from home-based baby business to global brand

FEATURE

64 Shelf Appeal

How to merchandise a table display

FEATURE

112 The Case for Kindness

By Leslie Groves

Building your business with smiles and happiness By Claire Sykes

inForm

88 Getting Online Six simple steps for developing an online presence By Robert Price

116 Trade Show Success

The three stages of show preparation and how to make them work for you By Marilyn and Steve Nason

www.instoremagazine.ca

inStore. Winter 2016

7


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.

THE DEFINITIVE RESOURCE FOR INDEPENDENT LIFESTYLE RETAILERS

instoremagazine.ca

Editor & Publisher Erica Kirkland ekirkland@instoremagazine.ca Design & Layout JM Design Contributing Editors Barbara Crowhurst, Leslie Groves

Advertising Inquiries advertising@instoremagazine.ca Editorial Submissions editorial@instoremagazine.ca Mailing Address 103 Niska Drive Waterdown, ON L0R 2H3 Contibutors Barbara Crowhurst, Castlerock Studios, Will Fournier, Leslie Groves, Marilyn Nason, Steve Nason, Robert Price, Claire Sykes 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.

by Barbara Crowhurst 905-686-8898 retailmakeoverca@gmail.com www.retailmakeover.ca SALES TRAINING • STORE DESIGN • WEB DESIGN • BUSINESS COACHING

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

1 8 Crowhurst2016.indd inStore. Winter 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 editorial@instoremagazine.ca

inSpire. inForm. inStore.


BONAVISTA BOVI HOME 514 273 6300 / 1 800 361 6695 • info@bovihome.com www.bovihome.com Come visit us at the CGTA – Hall 8 Booth 8487


inSight Mailbox

Rise To The Top

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK! Thank you to everyone who took the time to write to us. If you have something you’d like to share, email editor Erica Kirkland at ekirkland@ instoremagazine.ca. FALL 2015

THE DEFINITIVE RESOURCE FOR INDEPENDENT LIFESTYLE RETAILERS

instoremagazine.ca

SPRING FASHIONS, DÉCOR & DISPLAY IDEAS

COLOUR DECODED INSTORE PROMOTIONS

Spring

Forward instore_FALL2015.indd 1

Rise to the top of buying lists by showcasing your company and products in InStore 2015-10-27 2:51 PM

Beautiful Magazine

Congratulations on InStore; it’s a beautiful magazine.

Pansy Russell RJS Trading

Voice for the Industry

You are doing a fabulous job with InStore magazine! I am thrilled that the industry still has a voice and a media platform for both wholesalers and retailers. Well done!

Ross Amyot RepZio

Love It

Thank you for sending me InStore magazine. I love it!

Anna Thomson The Blue House Brighton, Ont.

10

The Definitive Resource for Independent Lifestyle Retailers

inStore. Winter 2016

InStore is mailed four times a year to a guaranteed paid and unpaid circulation base of 12,000 Canadian stores Influence retailers to visit your website or trade show booth with a compelling, colourful and attractive advertisement. For just pennies per store your ad will reach thousands of retailers interested in buying your products.

Learn more about advertising opportunities by downloading our media kit at www.instoremagazine.ca Advertising Inquiries advertising@instoremagazine.ca www.instoremagazine.ca

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Children’s Classics

are New Again ❤ Mary Had a Little Lamb ❤ BINGO ❤ How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?


Introducing

Wellspring Colouring

We are proud to announce our NEW line of colouring books and accessories. Wellspring has a rich history of stationery products and it was an easy decision to bring colouring into the mix. Adult colouring is an exciting trend that helps people relax, have fun and get creative. Bring your customers the gift of colouring today.


NEW TO THE GIFT INDUSTRY MAD MOTION Why you NEED to have athleisure wear in your store today! Be a part of the MAD MOVEMENT!

It’s just a

MAD HOUSE

Mad Patina. Mad Social. Mad Sedona. Bring them all home!

MAD MAN THE LEADER IN MEN’S GIFTS IS BACK WITH BRAND NEW STYLES

Mad Style gives back to man’s best friend

FASHION FOR

EVERY BUDGET

HANDBAGS. ACCESSORIES. APPAREL. HEADWEAR AND MUCH MORE!


my fav...

inSight Hello

When Michael Darwish and Marie-Josee Roy of Bovi Home encouraged me (repeatedly!) to profile Saturday Afternoons, I headed up to the flagship store in Midland, Ont., to interview Paula LynnMeridis, and report on the secrets behind her success at franchising an independent gift store (page 56). My daughter Sophie (pictured here) loves to tour beautiful stores, so she came along for the ride and found a comfy chair to rest in at the gorgeous shop.

Personal Connections In this issue the topic of “personal connections” pops up repeatedly, from the article on Trade Show Planning (page 116) to the insightful yarn, The Case for Kindness (page 112). As computers and wireless technologies continue to replace more intimidate forms of communication, the positive outcomes that result from personal interactions are still necessary to succeed in business today. Whether that’s making the effort to meet with sales reps or taking the time to connect with vendors at trade shows, nurturing relationships is good for the soul and the bottom line. For me attending trade shows is the ideal way to meet new friends and catch up with old ones. I find it impossible to see everybody at just one show, so after the Toronto Gift Fair and Mode Accessories Show in late January, I’m heading out to Edmonton in February for the Alberta Gift Fair and to interview local retailers for the magazine’s Shop Profile. It’s kind of funny to remember that 10 years ago we were all worried that virtual trade shows would replace actual trade shows. Just like Y2K, that fear turned out to be unfounded. Yet, the importance of having a web presence was well founded and remains an important element of today’s business model. It’s not so much a matter of selling online, as simply appearing in the results when people Google you. Today’s youngest consumers immediately head to the internet to research everything. As my eight-year-old daughter Sophie (right) likes to say, “Let’s search it up Mom.” If launching a website is still on your to-do list, see page 88 for a terrific article about Getting Online. Getting back to the subject of personal connections, in this issue I’m pleased to introduce readers to over 100 advertisers. Retailers, please let these companies know you’re reading the magazine and that you discovered their products in the pages of InStore!

in this issue Bursting at the Seams The days spent knee-deep in Styrofoam peanuts, tearing apart paper-wrapped parcels twirled a few too many times around a tape gun, proved worthwhile because it resulted in an inspiring mix of vibrant product stories. This issue is www.instoremagazine.ca

truly bursting at the seams with hundreds of fantastic new items, conveniently grouped into product categories and trend stories. Some of my favourites include Skeem candles from The Tate Group (page 36),

the new fairy door line from Candym (page 40), storage tins from DecorSense Imports (page 71), colourful glasses from David Shaw Designs (page 83), whale bowls from Kikkerland (page 85), wood serving paddles from Abbott (page 87) and

baby blankets from Indaba Trading (page 95). Happy sourcing!

inStore. Winter 2016

21


A Division of Norcard Enterprises Ltd.


get to work

inStock What We’re Loving

Keep clutter contained and the work service stylish with chic office accessories

1

2

1/ Store pencils, scissors and more in a multipurpose metal caddy from Decorsense Imports. $22 retail, 613-909-7295, decorsenseimports.com

3

2/ Kikkerland’s magnifier boasts 3x magnification in a cute beech wood frame. $22 retail, distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857, www.youngson.com

4

5

3/ Louise Fili’s pencil collection from Raincoast contains 12 double-sided pencils in six tutti frutti shades, ideal for drawing or writing. 800-663-5714, www.raincoast.com 4/ Marimekko pencils from Raincoast feature the design house’s most beloved patterns in five colours. $18.50 retail, 800-663-5714, www.raincoast.com

6

5/ Unleash creativity with Kikkerland’s safari animal pencil set. $5.50 retail, distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857, www.youngson.com 6/ Corral batteries in this nifty utility box from Decorsense Imports. $34 retail, 613-909-7295, decorsenseimports.com

www.instoremagazine.ca

inStore. Winter 2016

25


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noted

inStock What We’re Loving

A grouping of gorgeous notebooks and journals

1

2

3

1/ DIY planner from Life in Colour, a collection designed and printed in Canada, distributed by Candym. $22 retail, 800-263-3551, www.candym.com 2/ Novel Journals, distributed by Raincoast Books, feature the entire text of popular books in teeny tiny type with key quotes highlighted. $23.95 retail, 800-663-5714, www.raincoast.com

4

5

3/ A striking laser-cut cover marks this modern journal from San Francisco-based designer Molly McGrath. Distributed by Raincoast Books. $23.95 retail, 800-663-5714, www.raincoast.com 4/ Write Now journals from Compendium help customers celebrate a variety of occassions, distributed by Design Home Gift & Paper. $10.50 retail, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca 5/ Genuine leather notebooks from Galerie Indra are available with a variety of cover designs. $32 retail, 800-207-7416, www.galerieindra.com

6

7

6/ Stone Journals from Xonex, distributed by Market Expressions. The silky paper inside is made from stone and is waterproof, tear-resistant and earth friendly. $12.50 retail, 800-663-6668, www.marketexpressions.com 7/ A scrapbook-inspired travel journal from Indaba Trading. $12 retail, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com

www.instoremagazine.ca

inStore. Winter 2016

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NEW

Smart Scent™ Vent Clip

Come visit Yankee Candle at the show

HALL 2, BOOTH #2020 Yankee Candle Canada Sales: Shadowbox Toll Free: 800.370.4857 Toll Free Fax: 866.441.6324 www.shadowbox-youngson.com

Drive up incremental sales! Priced right for quick purchase, these ingenious designs produce sales and let your customers freshen or fragrance their car with their favorite Yankee CandleÂŽ scents.


little luxuries

inStock What We’re Loving

Pack a powerful bunch of little luxuries in your personal care department

1

2

1/ Handcrafted soaps from Bulles et Molecules are made with natural essential oils and lightly scented. $7 retail, 418-861-9692, bullesetmolecules.com 2/ Luxurious hand creams from Lafco, distributed by Market Expressions. $22.95 retail each, 800-663-6668, marketexpressions.com

3

4

3/ Bamboo charcoal sponges from Konjac are ideal for acne-prone and oily skin. Distributed by The Tate Group. $15 retail, 416-504-8047, www.thetategroup.com 4/ A sweet little cosmetics bag from Indaba Trading. $19 retail, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com

5

6

5/ The Aloe Vera skincare range from Finesse Oils is packed with vitamins, designed to penetrate and moisturize the skin. $16.50 retail, 604-885-5494, www.finesseoils.com 6/ Duckish, a new line of all-natural skincare, includes lotion and diaper rash sticks along with the tea tree body butter shown here. 902-802-5544, www.duckish.ca

www.instoremagazine.ca

inStore. Winter 2016

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CHOOSE FROM OUR LARGE SELECTION OF WILDLIFE AND SCENEIC IMAGES


summer scents

inStock What We’re Loving 2

Pretty candles and luxurious scents for the spring and summer season

1 1/ Tiny jar candles with floral patterns from Indaba Trading. From $13 retail each, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 2/ Yankee’s Scenterpiece collection has been expanded to include 12 new warmers and a variety of new EasyMeltCup scents. Distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857, www.youngson.com

4 3

3/ Reusable specimen jar candles from Skeem, distributed by The Tate Group. $25 retail, 416-504-8047, www.thetategroup.com 4/ Print Block Candles from Skeem, distributed by The Tate Group, are topped with a stunning etched wood lid. $60 retail, 416-504-8047, www.thetategroup.com

6

5

36

inStore. Winter 2016

5/ Beautifully crafted – and scented – soy candles from Lifestyle Market. $25 retail, 647-779-8206, www.lifestylemarket.ca 6/ Pink jar candle from the Cobi Style collection from Canfloyd. $20 retail, 800-263-3551, www.canfloyd.com

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TORONTO GIFT SHOW Toronto Congress Center Board-N-Batten | Booth 8351 January 31th thru February 4th Orders Only Fo l l ow U s O n : Inis_inStore_HP_6.pdf

1

03/12/2015

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Exclusively distributed in Canada by www.BoardnBatten.com


inForm News & Notes

News & Notes THE GOODS

Inside Track NEWS IN BRIEF Midwest-CBK Now Warehoused in Canada This year, Noelle, Midwest-CBK and G! products will be warehoused and distributed by Ganz in Canada and available for purchase in Canadian dollars. The complete Simply Noelle line joins the Ganz family of brands with sales handled by Ganz’s sales team while Midwest-CBK and G! will continue to operate independently and be sold by the Midwest Independent Companies. 800-263-2311, www.ganz.com

Enesco Acquired by Balmoral Balmoral Funds, a Los Angeles-based private equity fund, has acquired Enesco. Todd Mavis, an operating advisor for Balmoral, was named as Enesco’s new CEO. Outgoing CEO Tom Bowles has retired but will continue working with the company in a consulting capacity to help ensure a smooth transition. The company’s portfolio includes companyowned brands Gund, Department 56, Our Name is Mud and Gregg Gift and licensed brands Jim Shore, Disney, Britto, and Peanuts. 800-263-7095, www.enescocanada.com

Open the Door to a Magical World The Irish Fairy Door Company is now available in Canada exclusively through Candym Enterprises. The range of handmade wooden fairy doors help fairies to relocate into human homes, classrooms, gardens and woods. The magic continues after the fairy has moved in with ongoing magical messages, play ideas and stories delivered to children and parents who register their fairy on the company’s website, app or via email. Since the brand’s creation 18 months ago, more than 200,000 fairies have found new homes around the world. Doors are available in a variety of colours and styles and include a magical key in a bottle, notebook and storybook for a suggested retail price of $39.99. Sold separately are vinyl decals and add-ons, such as fairy doormats, washing lines, and miniature park and garden accessories. 800-263-3551, www.candym.com

40

inStore. Winter 2016

Woodstock Chimes Partners with Evergreen Enterprises Canada Effective January 1, Evergreen Enterprises Canada will support Woodstock Chimes via its marketing and in-house sales force in Canada (U.S. operations remain the same). Under this new sales model, product price points will be decreased in Canada to more attractive rates while Woodstock Chimes fulfills sales generate by Evergreen from its headquarters in New York. Dempsey Distributing, a Woodstock Chimes distributor in Canada, will continue servicing customers in the book industry and accounts in the body, mind and spirit market from its warehouse in Vancouver. 877-509-2955, www.myevergreen.com

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THE GOODS

Inside Track SEE THE FOUTA IN ACTION AS A PICNIC BLANKET IN OUR SUMMER SOIRÉE FEATURE ON PAGE 79!

Fouta: A Truly Multipurpose Product Initially used in Tunisian public baths, the fouta is finding a new purpose and prominence in the 21st century as its proves to be such a versatile product, at once suitable as a bath or beach towel, a wrap or scarf, a picnic blanket or a throw. Canadian start-up Famille Nomade, produces its range of beautifully patterned foutas in Tunisia. Handcrafted from soft, natural 100 per cent cotton, the edge-toedge finishes and twirled fringes are all handmade. The principals behind Famille Nomade were inspired to create the brand as an expression of simplicity, authenticity and refinement. 877-943-2333, www.famillenomade.ca

The E-Cloth Revolution Making waves across the pond in the United Kingdom, the company behind the popular brand E-Cloth is now available via E-cloth Canada, a division of Derco Horticulture. With a few E-Cloths and an E-Cloth mop the company promises consumers the ability to clean their entire home with just water. Simply spray water on the surface to be cleaned and the E-Cloth will remove over 99 per cent of bacteria from hard surfaces. 819-395-4559, www.e-cloths.ca

www.instoremagazine.ca

NEWS IN BRIEF Candym Rebrands Lady Rosedale Collection After successfully streamlining the operation of Candym and Canfloyd into one corporate office and 10,000-square-foot showroom, the company has turned its attention to its line of textiles. “In keeping with our focus to modernize our business, the time was right to transition our made-in-Canada textiles from Lady Rosedale to a new brand, Ninety Five & Co.,” explains vice-president of merchandise Kathryn Hunter. “The name reflects the vitality of our design team and our desire to continue manufacturing goods locally, which is why our brand name is a play on our Canadian address.” Retailers can continue to expect the same high-quality indoor and outdoor textile collections while the new Ninety Five & Co. brand accentuates updated design approaches and on-trend colour palettes. 800-263-3551, www.candym.com

New Deals for Cottage Life Line New wholesalers have joined the Cottage Life licensed merchandise program, adding a number of new categories to the collection: • Home décor, glassware, serving ware and gardening accessories from Abbott (www.abbottcollection.com) • Natural home cleaning products from Bebbington Industries (www.bebbingtonindustries.com) • Natural bath soaps and body wash from Pearl and Daisy Natural Soap Company (www.pearlanddaisy.com) In addition, existing licensee Orange Crate Food Company is expanding its Cottage Life product line to include breakfast cereal, pancake mix and hot chocolate. The companies join existing partners RuffSawn Furniture, Country Home Candle, Brunelli, and Dundalk Leisure Craft. Cottage Life Media publishes Cottage Life and Cottage Life West magazines, broadcasts the Cottage Life television channel across Canada and produces the Cottage Life Shows in Toronto and the Cottage Life & Cabin Show in Edmonton.

inStore. Winter 2016

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CANADIAN GIFT CONCEPT


inForm

THE GOODS

News & Notes

Inside Track NEWS IN BRIEF

Chene-Sasseville Adds Wool Bedding Bedding specialist Chene-Sasseville is adding wool to its collection for the first time. The new patterns Madison and Malcom (shown here) are made from a blend of polyester, acrylic, cotton and wool. The easymaintenance material can be washed in cold water and hung to dry. 800-463-1237, www.chenesasseville.com

Luv2Pak’s Newest Eco Gift Bags Dini & Co. Named Canadian Retailer of the Year A destination store for locals and visitors in Georgetown, Ont., Dini & Co. has been named the Canadian Gift Association’s 2015 Retailer of the Year. Established in 2011 by Dini Lamers, Dini & Co. has developed a reputation for stocking original products. The store carries a variety of home décor items, fashion accessories and giftware, and recently added fresh flowers and event accessories to the mix. From visual merchandising and product selection to the music played in the store, the atmosphere at Dini & Co. is a welcoming and enjoyable experience for patrons. With large picture windows on the façade, passersby are invited to shop the ever-changing displays. Many of the displays use salvaged wood furnishings from the old menswear shop that used to occupy the space. To give the store an added sense of charm, a local violinist plays on weekends and a student designs and creates sandwich board advertising placed on the exterior sidewalk. To complement her retail operation, Lamers provides design services for small private events, weddings and theatre productions. She is also an associate editor for the Health, Home & Family Magazine, has her own line of custom gifts and home accents and is a member of the Georgetown BIA and the Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce. The Retailer of the Year awards recognize leading retailers in the Canadian giftware industry. A panel of judges and a secret shopper analyze each entry for criteria including visual merchandising, store design, business achievements, advertising and public relations, community involvement, innovation and originality.

www.instoremagazine.ca

Blue Blossom is the latest addition to Luv2Pak’s Eco Mod Bag line of recyclable, statement-making bags. The graphic floral pattern in bold cerulean blue is available in three sizes. The bags are made with recycled paper and are biodegradable. 888-588-2725, www.luv2pak.com

inStore. Winter 2016

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inForm News & Notes

Inside Track NEWS IN BRIEF

Abbott, Lug and DecorSense Named Leading Giftware Suppliers

LEFT: Alana and Marco Niederegger RIGHT: The Abbotts BELOW: Jason and Ami Richter with their children

The Canadian Gift Association has announced its 2015 Suppliers of the Year. Across the large, medium and small categories, the winners were nominated by retailers across the country for their product selection and customer service. The large Supplier of the Year recipient was Toronto-based supplier and manufacturer Abbott. Previously awarded in 2009, 2010 and 2013, Abbott’s collection of 4500 products proves to be perpetually popular with retailers. The Supplier of the Year in the medium category was Lug Canada, a manufacturer and distributor of bags and accessories designed for savvy travelers. Since its start in 2005, the company has grown into a lifestyle brand with a focus on functionality and fun. Ottawa-based Decorsense Imports, a distributor of stylish and functional storage solutions, was named the Small Supplier of the Year. Owners Alana and Marco Niederegger established Decorsense in 2011 and started selling to Canadian retailers in 2012. www.cangift.org

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inForm

THE GOODS

News & Notes

Inside Track NEWS IN BRIEF

Collection Supports Missing Aboriginal Women Canadian Art Prints is working with Manitoba-born artist Maxine Noel in support of Sisters in Spirit, an initiative run by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) to raise awareness of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. Noel, who is a member of the Sioux Nation, created Not Forgotten, an image which remembers and honours the spirits and presence of the missing and murdered. Noel’s royalties from the collection will be donated to Sisters in Spirit and Canadian Art Prints will be matching Noel’s donations. Not Forgotten will be available as an art card in two sizes, one being a limited-edition run of 975. The story that inspired Noel’s creation is printed on the back of each card. Retailers will have the opportunity to meet Noel, learn more about Sisters in Spirit and have an image signed during the upcoming Toronto Gift Fair in Canadian Art Print’s booth. 800-663-1166, capandwinndevon.com

State of Industry Report Released by IHA The International Housewares Association (IHA) in partnership with Raftery Resource Network has released the 2015 IHA State of the Industry Report. The publication compiles data from the association’s annual membership survey as well as from several authoritative sources, including the U.S. Government, industry trade journals and industry data services. Findings Include: • Global housewares market retail sales increased by 2.6 per cent in 2014 • Total housewares expenditures in the United States increased 2.3 per cent in 2014 • The average size of IHA member companies increased to $19.5 million The median size remained in the $2 to $4.9 million range. • U.S. mass merchants and supercentres were the sales leader in fewer housewares product categories in 2014. Specialty stores, the overall number two channel in housewares sales, became the sales leader in three categories while catalogues and television led in two. • U.S. non-store retailing had the largest share of housewares sales in 2014. E-commerce retail sales continue to post yearly total sales gains. When combined, these housewares retail channels reached 21.8 per cent in share of total housewares retail sales versus 15.5 per cent in 2013. • The top three categories for 2014 were cook and bakeware (16.5 per cent), kitchen tools and accessories (14.5 per cent) and tabletop (12.7 per cent). Kitchen electrics slipped to number four (10.4 per cent).

www.instoremagazine.ca

Gourmet du Villages’ New Cake Mugs New cake sets from Gourmet du Village include a ceramic mug and enough mix for two mug cakes – vanilla or chocolate. Suggested retail is $13.90. 800-668-2314, www.gourmetduvillage.com

Pepperhead’s Multilayered Gourmet Food Using locally grown Habanero Pepper, Nova Scotia gourmet food producer Pepperhead is focused on providing unique, multilayered fruit and hot pepper blends in versatile shelf products. Products include jellies, chutneys and maple syrup. 902-986-2335, www.pepperhead.ca

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Show Calendar

inForm News & Notes

JANUARY

Inside Track NEWS IN BRIEF

Las Vegas Market January 24 – 28, 2016 www.lasvegasmarket.com Christmasworld, Paperworld, Creativeworld January 29 – February 2, 2016 www.messefrankfurt.com NYNow! January 30 – February 3, 2016 www.nynow.com Mode Accessories Show January 31 – February 2, 2016 www.mode-accessories.com ByHand January 31 – February 3, 2016 www.byhand.ca Toronto Gift Fair January 31 – February 4, 2016 www.torontogiftfair.org FEBRUARY Atlantic Craft Trade Show February 6 – 8, 2016 www.actsshow.ca Ambiente February 12 – 16, 2016 www.ambiente.messefrankfurt.com

Fashion Trends for 2016 Fashion trends have been zipping through each season at a dizzying pace as retailers are kept breathless trying to stay ahead of the curve. With a myriad of fashion intel and options at our finger tips, we’re in a constant state of fashion ADHD, leaving our senses a bit blurred and fatigued. According to the organizers of the Mode Accessories Show the time is right to simplify, bring calm to the frenetic pace and to distill great designs into fashion chameleons that serve multi-purposes and multiple trends. For 2016, cross-over fashion items which transform to suit different trends are poised for popularity while a focus on quality and design, obsessing less with passing fads, is marked to take hold. A key esthetic this year will be Modern Organic, a clever combination of clean design, tactile textures, organic material and craftsmanship. Taking place at the International Plaza Hotel in Toronto from January 31 to February 2, The Mode Accessories Show will give retailers a good overview of the season’s collections from nearly 200 fashion accessory suppliers.

www.instoremagazine.ca

Alberta Gift Fair February 21 – 24, 2016 www.albertagiftfair.org Vancouver Gift Expo February 28 – 29, 2016 www.vancouvergiftexpo.com MARCH International Housewares Show March 5 – 8, 2016 www.housewares.org

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inForm News & Notes

Inside Track NEWS IN BRIEF

Canadian designers Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander have been named ambassadors for the Toronto Gift Fair

Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander Named Show Ambassadors for Toronto Gift Fair The Canadian Gift Association has named Canadian designers Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander as show ambassadors for the Toronto Gift Fair. Co-founders and principals of design firm Peloso Alexander Interiors, Glen and Jamie are frequent TV guests on the Marilyn Denis Show, Global Morning News, Breakfast Television Toronto, HGTV and the Food Network. Their work has been featured in numerous print publications. Glen writes a regular design column for the Toronto Star, while Jamie contributes biweekly to the Toronto Sun. With a combined 40 years’ experience, Glen and Jamie plan to bring a rejuvenated look to the show. Retail buyers and exhibitors can expect to see their new design concept revealed at the Spring 2016 Toronto Gift Fair, which will take place from January 31 to February 4.

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“We couldn’t be more excited to be working with the Toronto Gift Fair,” said Peloso. “We’ve been attending this show for the last 20 years and have a unique perspective being designers and retailers, as well as having been wholesale buyers over the course of our careers.” “We’re looking forward to making this show better than ever by bringing to life a vibrant and fantastic experience for retailers, designers and association members exhibiting at the show,” added Alexander. “The Toronto Gift Fair is the largest buying forum in the Canadian gift industry,” according to Karen Bassels, vice-president of the association’s trade shows. “Working with well-respected designers like Glen and Jamie allows us to create a new level of inspiration for the retailers who attend the show.” www.pelosoalexander.com www.cangift.org

inSpire. inForm. inStore.


inSight Shop Profile

CASUAL COTTAGE CHIC A laid-back mix of casual chic furnishings and accessories can be discovered in each of Saturday Afternoons’ five locations in Ontario

At Saturday Afternoons’ flagship store in Midland, Ont., Paula Lynn-Meridis test drives products for the franchised locations

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Saturday Afternoons A chain of franchised home décor stores in Ontario, spearheaded by retail powerhouse Paula Lynn-Meridis

B

orn and raised in Midland, Ont., an hour’s drive north of Toronto, Paula Lynn -Meridis discovered her fondness for decorating at a very early age. “While my friends were into Michael Jackson, I was into Martha Stewart,” says Paula, who kept a scrapbook throughout high school of interiors and homes she coveted and found on the pages of home decorating magazines.

more valuable than her university degrees. After graduating, Paula was faced with a mountain of debt and no job offers. She was working as a receptionist in a local law firm while at the same time creating stunning bows and floral arrangements for weddings and special events. Her employer recognized her entrepreneurial spirit and encouraged her to register a business. Saturday Afternoons was born.

Retail Trenches

Paula’s post-secondary foray into retail came when a friend’s parents asked her to help them open a new home décor store, Megs, in Midland. By then Wybridge Country Home had closed, and Paula went on to help the couple open two additional Megs locations. At the same time she opened her first Saturday Afternoons. It was 1998 and a retail space became available on the main street. Not wanting to compete with Megs, clothing was the product focus at Saturday Afternoons and the two stores shared customers. It was a customer who approached Paula with the idea of opening another Saturday Afternoons in Bala, Ont. Paula talked the idea through

At the tender age of 17, Paula’s merchandising chops were discovered in a trial-by-fire retail encounter. Her then boyfriend’s mother, Gail White, owned Wybridge Country Home in Midland and needed somebody to remerchandise a room in the store while she was at a trade show. Paula was enlisted and Gail was impressed. When she returned from the show, Gail hired the teenager on a part-time basis. For the next 10 years, Paula was a fixture at Wybridge’s, working to pay her way through university and teacher’s college. As it would turn out, Paula’s real-life education in the retail trenches proved

www.instoremagazine.ca

Franchising

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with her husband and together they came up with the concept of franchising. The first Saturday Afternoons franchise location opened in 2000. Paula eventually sold the clothing store, opened Saturday Afternoons’ flagship store in Midland and an additional four franchise locations (Aurora, Huntsville, Orillia and Port Dover. The Bala location has since closed.) The franchise agreement is “basic” says Paula. The 30-page document isn’t filled with mind-numbing legal jargon, but rather outlines the simple structure of Saturday Afternoons’ franchising concept whereby Paula (aka head office) is responsible for purchasing and providing merchandising inspiration, allowing the 58

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franchise owner to benefit from a proven product mix, freeing them to concentrate on providing customer service, along with unique products and services suited to their individual locations.

Merchandising

Franchisees are also given ongoing merchandising support and inspiration, with Paula’s flagship store in Midland held up as the example for the others to follow. When asked what her rules for merchandising include, Paula says, “Never put product on the floor. If you wouldn’t put it on the floor in your home, don’t put it on the floor in your store.” “I also want customers to feel calm

when they enter the store so I hide colour in displays which aren’t visible when they walk in.” Keeping like products together in the same display (colour blocking) and displaying products simply – “like a glorified grocery store” – aids in creating that calm atmosphere.

Buying

While her franchisees focus on their customers, Paula’s energies are spent finding unique product for the stores. The bulk of buying is completed twice a year at trade shows in the winter and summer. “I’m not a booth snob,” she says of her trade show shopping habits. “I go into inSpire. inForm. inStore.


ENRICHED

with Aloe, Vitamin E and Shea Butter

FREE

from Parabens and SLS


every booth, no matter how dilapidated it looks. I’m looking for treasures.” Throughout the year Paula uses social media sites like Pinterest and blogs to keep on top of trends. “I dabble in trends, in order to show our trend-forward customers that we are educated, but I buy to appeal to the masses and the smaller communities the stores are located in.” In Midland, the competition is quite

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stiff. There are another four home décor stores on the main street and a number of suppliers who apparently aren’t interested in respecting territories. Paula quickly cuts these lines from Saturday Afternoons’ product base, sometimes to the chagrin of her franchisees. It isn’t about being retaliatory, rather it’s about approaching her business with a short-term pain and long-term gain mentality. If everybody else in town is

selling the same items, customers will gravitate to the store that has different and new products. “I might have to replace a greatselling line or supplier with six or seven other lines, but in the end it’s worth it because Saturday Afternoons keeps its edge and we keep customers coming back for something new.” www.saturdayafternoons.ca

inSpire. inForm. inStore.


includes

Order online at www.uppercanadasoap.com or contact customer service at 1.800.548.4097 • email@uppercanadasoap.com CHECK US OUT AT THESE UPCOMING SHOWS: ATLANTA GIFT MARKET Showroom: January 12 to 19th, Alexander Terry Associate Inc. Building 1, Suite #10 C-5 Temporaries: January 14 to 18th, Building 3, 5th Floor, Booth #51200 TORONTO GIFT FAIR January 31st to February 4th, Toronto Congress Centre, Booth #11147


Come and visit us at CANGIFT Spring 2016 Jan 31 to Feb 4 Toronto Congress Center Hall 9 - Booth 9177 www.agenceviva.com - info@agenceviva.com

PROMO WEB VIVA6102


Summer in Full Swing www.instoremagazine.ca

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Shelf APPEAL HOW TO

merchandise a table display

Level Headed When using a table to display items, never use just the top surface, doing so eats up valuable square footage.

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Styling a Table Display 1. Optimize the display by adding levels (we used a crate) and backdrops to hang items, like the way we used a slab of barnboard to hang the wall art. 2. Ground the display with a rug or painted floor. 3. Tell a story by incorporating a variety of product categories. It’s okay to overlap pillows, kitchen containers, dishes and artwork, as long as the items are connected. Introducing customers to a variety of products and possibilities in one display will increase sales.

Back to Basics Draw attention and add texture to a table display with a unique backdrop. The addition of this barnboard adds height and an interesting element which complements the story, and provides another surface on which to display products.

Styling and text by Leslie Groves Photography by Will Fournier www.instoremagazine.ca

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Lower Your Sights The brightness of light decreases as it travels down, so products in the lower levels of displays can suffer from poor sales if the items get lost in the shadows. Avoid this detrimental effect by reserving the bottom shelf for larger items in light colours which capture more light.

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Connect The Dots The difference between an attractive, cohesive display and an overwhelming heap of products is a visual connection. Repeat colours between the various levels. Here, the white and turquoise tins on the top are mirrored by the pillows on the bottom. Also try to create a pattern with the placement of colour. Note how the white tins connect to the pillow on top and the pillows below creating a zigzag pattern. Patterns create energy. Large curves read soft, parallels and straight lines read fast and diagonal or zigzag lines add excitement to the composition.

www.instoremagazine.ca

Pillows (lower shelf), Bovi Home, 800-361-6695, www.bovihome.com; Tins, Decorsense Imports, 613-909-7295, www.decorsenseimports.com; Dishes, fish, whale pillow, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca; Trays, North American Country Home, 888-303-2221, www.northamericancountryhome.com

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Design Directions Throws, furry cushions and bowls, Bovi, 800-361-6695, www.bovihome.com; Patterned cushion and white mugs with gold lettering, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com

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Four dĂŠcor trends to note for the upcoming spring and summer selling season

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Gold Rush Metallic gold is still trending in an upward trajectory 1/ Taxidermy magnets, $18 retail, The Tate Group, 416-504-8047, www.thetategroup.com 2/ White cups, $10 retail each, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 3/ Patterned pillow, $50 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com

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Fresh & Fun The warmer weather unfailingly ushers in bright, bold hues, a welcome respite from dull and dreary weather 1/ Lanterns, $16 retail, Ganz, 800-263-2311, www.ganz.com 2/ Cushion, $50 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com

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3/ Lemonade clock, $85 retail, Candym, 800-263-3551, www.candym.com 4/ Decorative metal storage tins, $44 retail, Decorsense Imports, 613-909-7295, www.decorsenseimports.com 5/ Cushion, $50 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 6/ Colourful pots from Magnet Works, $6 retail, Premier Gift, 800-387-1282, www.premier-gift.com

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Bringing Inspiration to your Home

Come visit one of our showrooms or ask a Roman Sales Rep for our exciting new 2016 catalogs; Christmas, Fontanini速 and Giftware. ATLANTA | DALLAS | LAS VEGAS | MINNEAPOLIS | WINDY CITY WWW.ROMAN.COM | RETAILERS.ROMAN.COM | 1-800-SAY-ROMAN |

/fontaniniroman

/roman1nc

PINETREE Page 72

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2 1

Green Thumb Rustic, garden-theme dĂŠcor are fitting accents for rustic interiors, cottages and cabins 1/ Cabinet, Forpost Trade, 800-269-1167, www.forpost-trade.ca 2/ Garden pillow, $53.95 retail, Alkaso, 877-496-4008, www.alkaso.com

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3/ Fairy garden home, $39.95 retail, Axicon World Imports, 800-465-5587, www.axiconworld.com 4/ Wall dĂŠcor, $40 retail, Candym, 800-263-3551, www.candym.com 5/ Wall art, Forpost Trade, 800-269-1167, www.forpost-trade.ca 6/ Garden pot, Abbott, 800-263-2955, www.abbottcollection.com

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YOU LOVE

DESIGN? SO DO WE!

DISCOVER THE SPRING COLLECTION AT THE TORONTO GIFT SHOW! The International Centre Booth # 2116 - Hall 2 CAR RULERS

WOOD SIDE TABLE

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NEW DESIGNS! NEW CUSTOMERS! Mention this ad and get Free Shipping on your first order at the show. SHOW SPECIALS AVAILABLE Kikkerland is represented by David Youngson and Associates.

SQUARE ALARM CLOCK

800 370 4857 – kikkerland.com

CACTUS PILLOW

indaba

TORONTO GIFT FAIR: BOOTH 8337 featuring spring 2016 + fall/holiday 2016 collections

www.indabatrading.com // 1 (800) 746-3222

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Sea Side Beachy décor is now an entrenched trend for spring and summer interiors 1/ Decorative fish, $45.50 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca 2/ Pillow, $72 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca 3/ Lantern, $40 retail, Canfloyd, 800-263-3551, www.canfloyd.com 4/ Cotton throw, $39 retail, Alkaso, 877-496-4008, www.alkaso.com 5/ Wall art, $15 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 6/ Multi-purpose ‘fouta’, Famille Nomade, 877-943-2333, www.famillenomade.ca

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We Make the Wind Sing!™

C

®

Corinthian Bells

®

Premium, hand tuned wind chimes. Made in the USA & NAFTA certified. See us at the Canadian Gift Fair! Toronto: Jan 31- Feb 4 Hall 2, Booth 2375

800.345.2530 www.qmtwindchimes.com sales@qmtwindchimes.com inSpire. inForm. inStore.


SUBSCRIBE TODAY! insight * inspiration * information* Don’t miss a single issue! Subscribe to InStore

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1-year subscription: $22.60 CDN includes GST Make cheques payable to InStore Magazine. Mail completed subscription card and payment to:

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PROVINCE

Payments received by Jan 30, 2016 will receive the next issue – Spring 2016.

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Sara Cucina Introduces:

High quality, innovative baking goods and accessories. Distributed Exclusively By:

www.saracucIna.com info@adamoimport.com www.adamoimport.com


Summer SOIRテ右S Kick off the outdoor entertaining season in style with four key trends

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3 1

Picnic Time 2

Evoke warm memories of summers spent picnicking with a crisp clean palette of blue, white and red 1/ Marshmallow roasting stick, $11 retail, North American Country Home, 888-303-2221, www.northamericancountryhome.com 2/ Picnic set, $95 retail, North American Country Home, 888-303-2221, www.northamericancountryhome.com 3/ Blanket/throw, $40 retail, Famille Nomade, 877943-2333, www.famillenomade.ca

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4/ Barbecue skewers, $22.99 retail, David Shaw Designs, 800-489-7429, www.davidshawdesigns.com 5/ Screen printed canvas bag, $35 retail, Lifestyle Market, 647-779-8206, www.lifestylemarket.ca

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2.100 Exhibitors from 6 Continents 62.000 Professional Attendees from Over 125 Countries

Where High-Design and Intelligent Innovation Are on Display World-Class Education and Benchmarking Opportunities

Show information and free online pre-registration Visitors: www.housewares.org/attend Exhibitors: www.housewares.org/exhibit

5 – 8 March Chicago, USA

innovation

design For travel arrangements contact: onPeak, Housewares Official Housing Partner, Tel: +1 312 5277300, Email: housewares@onpeak.co

technology

style


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Cheeky & Cheerful 4

Inject an element of whimsy into summer displays with fun products in bold colours 1/ Paddle ball set, $13.50 retail, Kikkerland, distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857, www.youngson.com

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2/ Winking condiment bottles, $23.50 retail, Kikkerland, distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857, www.youngson.com 3/ Luxurious linen-like paper napkins, $19.99 for 20, David Shaw Designs, 800-489-7429, www.davidshawdesigns.com 4/ Ceramic coasters, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com 5/ Glass tumblers, $5.99 retail each, David Shaw Designs, 800-489-7429, www.davidshawdesigns.com

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beautifully designed products from the brands you love.

www.davidshawdesigns.com | 800.489.7429 | info@davidshawdesigns.com DavidShaw2016_2.indd 1

Now available from E-cloth Canada (a division of Derco Horticulture)

277 Beauchesne, St-Germain, QC J0C 1K0 | Tel: (819) 395-4559 Fax: (819)395-4560 | Email: sales@e-cloths.ca www.e-cloths.ca

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2015-12-18 1:36 PM

Visit us at the Toronto Gift Fair- Congress Centre South (Booth 8200) and at the Alberta Gift Fair- Hall E Booth 2516

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Just Beachy Head to the sea side with a refreshing mix of blue-hued items

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1/ Glass tray, $45.50 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca 2/ Serving bowls, $16.95 each, Kikkerland, distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857, www.youngson.com 3/ Water bottles with built-in citrus reamers, Zing Anything, 800-573-0052, www.zinganything.com

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4/ Tin mug, $16.50 retail, Kikkerland, distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857, www.youngson.com 5/ Tea towel, $10 retail, Canfloyd, 800-263-3551, www.canfloyd.com 6/ Cork-backed serving tray, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com

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So much more than picnic...

CHECK US OUT AT THE TORONTO GIFT SHOW BOOTH 7035

CRAFT BEER FLIGHT S K U#: 601-05-512 Two-tiered acacia tray with four 4-oz. beer glasses suspended in top shelf, a chalkboard panel, soapstone pencil, and hollowed areas to hold beer caps. 12” x 4.4” x 5.3”

GROWLER TOTE S K U#: 610-00 Insulated carry tote with adjustable shoulder strap, designed to hold a 64-oz. glass or stainless beer growler (not included). Made of waxed canvas. 5.5” diameter x 9”

PILSNER S K U#: 602-06-512 Attractive boxed set with two tall 12-oz. glasses, two real cork coasters, and bottle opener. Case made of solid acacia. 12” x 10” x 5.3”

888-742-6429

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|

sales@picnictime.com

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|

w w w. p i c n i c p r o m o t i o n s . c o m

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Oh Natural Beiges, browns and whites are a soothing alternative to brightly-hued summer housewares

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1/ Cheese paddle with dome, $79.99 retail, David Shaw Designs, 800-489-7429, www.davidshawdesigns.com 2/ Stone serving platter, $50 - $100 retail, Summer Kitchen, 866-909-9005, www.summer-kitchen.com 3/ Wooden serving trays, $150 retail, North American Country Home, 888-303-2221, www.northamericancountryhome.com

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4/ Marble board, $40 retail, Canfloyd, 800-263-3551, www.canfloyd.com 5/ Tea strainer, Tea Forte, distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857, www.youngson.com 6/ Wooden serving paddle, Abbott, 800-263-2955, www.abbottcollection.com

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Originally published in Canadian Retailer magazine, Volume 23, Issue 1

etting Online Six simple steps for developing an online presence By Robert Price

C

anadians use the web more than any other country in the world. We spend most of our time on social networking sites and researching everything from daily trivia to our next big purchase. At the same time, about half of Canadian small businesses are operating without an online presence. Why the disconnect? Research suggests that Canadian businesses are tentative about the costs and the returns of going online. For retailers wanting to develop an online presence and connect with web-hungry consumers, the Retail Council of Canada compiled the following information and was gracious enough to share it with InStore’s readers.

#1 Establish Goals

The Internet isn’t the guest house. This is one of the most common misperceptions about web technologies — that web stores and social media stand apart from the main business. The Internet isn’t the outhouse either. Think of it as another room in the house. Websites, web stores and social media are channels for reaching customers. They serve as another tactic for enacting the business’s strategy and realizing the business’s goals. www.instoremagazine.ca

And that’s where the planning begins. Before retailers look to build an online presence, they need to review their business goals. A web presence should help to enact strategies and realize these goals. However, getting online is not a goal unto itself, says Leah Skerry, managing partner of Norex, a web design firm in Halifax.

depends on the type of retailer and whether they want the long-term sale or the short-term sale.” When retailers know how they want to grow their business, they can deploy their resources more effectively — to sell, to build a reputation, to cultivate customers or to listen.

The Internet isn’t the guest house. This is one of the most common misperceptions about web technologies — that web stores and social media stand apart from the main business. She also says that succumbing to the urge to “throw something online” without looking back to the overarching business strategy will lead to a dead end. “The first thing is defining what you want to do online and what the goals will be,” says Skerry. “Maybe it’s not to increase revenue, maybe it’s only to build product awareness. It

#2 Secure the Space

Even retailers that don’t have plans for the web should secure their online space. This involves taking ownership of the store’s online identity by buying a domain name. “Protect your trade name,” urges Rick Silver, president of N49 Interactive. He suggests businesses buy two or three domain names inStore. Winter 2016

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CANADA'S CHOICE FOR RETAIL SUPPLIES, DISPLAYS AND STORE FIXTURES

2 LOCATIONS

60 West 3rd Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1E4 14325 Yellowhead Trail, Edmonton, AB T5L 3C4 Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm Visit us at the CanGift Fairs: Toronto (Booth #9206) Edmonton (Booth #1255)

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

Visit Us: The Toronto Gift Fair • Home Hardware Market

www.SpringwaterWoodcraft.com mail@springwaterwoodcraft.com 1 (888) 294-6297 90

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that represent the store. “You don’t even need to have a website,” he says. But you do need to make sure competitors don’t buy your domain name and use it to direct business to their site. Along with securing a domain name, retailers will want to claim other brand-related properties, like their Google+ page and their Twitter handle. Even if the retailer has no plans to use these tools, taking control of the pages can help to protect the store’s reputation.

#3 Google Yourself

Another aspect of securing online space is searching the store. “Google yourself,” Silver advises retailers, and look for two areas of concern in the search results. The first is competition. “When you google yourself, are you coming up or are your competitors coming up?” Silver asks. “Are competitors buying ads under your name?” The second thing to look for is presence. Retailers want to make sure their store appears at the top of the search results. “That first page on Google should be you,” says Silver. The page shouldn’t be filled with information about competitors or stores with similar names. If the store appears at the top of the search, retailers will want to know what these search terms say. Are they positive? How do they reflect on the business? How will potential customers interpret the search findings? www.instoremagazine.ca

Stores with existing home pages need to know how Google recognizes the page. Does Google have the store’s web address in its memory? Has Google categorized the store properly?

#4 Launch a Basic Site

A website doesn’t need to have the capabilities of Amazon, but it does need to exist. Even the smallest, most independent of independent retailers needs a website. “Here’s the thing: you can have social media, but if you don’t have a website you’re losing credibility,” says Skerry. A retailer today without a web presence is like the man selling stereo speakers from the trunk of his car. “It’s the same thing. You’re selling products from your car rather than having a place where people can go,” she says. “You’re losing credibility.” The best plan for an independent retailer is to start with a basic site, says Silver, a five-page website that includes store hours, a link to Google Maps, a phone number, the store’s philosophy and other details that distinguish the store like its history or contribution to the local community. Retailers might also want to post their customer service, return and shipping policies. These policies are a selling point, lend credibility to the store and help to make customers comfortable. Once a retailer has a basic site, they can look at adding to it over time. “We often run into trouble with clients who think they need everything from the get-go. Maybe they’re looking inStore. Winter 2016

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Toronto Gift Show Hall 1 Booth 1118

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Extended hours during the show 92

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at a competitor who is much further ahead. It is often the case where they will exceed what they are capable of doing,” says Silver. “That may not be the best first step for that retailer. Getting a simple website with a simple online presence so you come up in Google — that is square one. People aren’t going to the phone books anymore. They are going to the Internet.” So the message is: start small, be realistic, but have a vision for where the site will go. Refer back to the goals when thinking about expanding the website.

#5 Stay Active

“It used to be about getting them in the showroom. Now it’s about getting them to the website, engaging them on the website and then getting them in the showroom,” says Silver. To get them onto the website, never let it go stale, and never let the investment into online promotion lapse. Here are two reasons why. Retailers with old content look old. That’s the first reason to allocate resources into keeping the website or the social media presence active. Effective online communication and customer service needs a line item on the budget and a column on the time sheets, and the investment needs to be continuous, not when it’s convenient or when there’s budget. It needs to be in the budget. The web works differently than it used to. That’s the second reason for staying active online. “Being on Google used to be about stuffing keywords in meta tags. Now it’s really about the social element,” says Silver. “Are people talking about you? Are you talking about yourself?” How often does a website need to change? It should www.instoremagazine.ca

stay current with customers, seasons and promotions. Retailers should budget to keep social media updated daily.

#6 Engage Social Media – Strategically

Independent retailers need a website of some kind, but what about social media? That’s where the choice can become overwhelming and the workload immense. Skerry says that with a little research and pointedly directed resources, retailers can contain social media bloat and leverage social media to their purposes. First, retailers should avoid the mistake of getting into everything. Not only is a broad reach ineffective, it’s exhausting. Independents should research what social media networks their customers use. Talk to customers, conduct checkout surveys, surf the web and see what social networks local competitors use. Go where your customers go. “If your customers aren’t using a social media, like Foursquare, don’t be there,” says Skerry. Second, retailers should plan to use their resources to contribute something relevant to conversations regularly. In an era where people use the Internet for research, retailers should strive to become a source for knowledge. “Social media is not about self-promotion,” says Skerry. “It’s about having real dialogue with customers and using it as a customer service tool.” Use social media to talk about product, category news and customer-oriented store news. Talk about what will benefit customers. “It’s not about how much money you spend, it’s about how relevant the information is and how often you update it,” says Skerry. Not only will customers notice what’s new and relevant, so will Google. For other Retail Council of Canada resources, visit www.retailcouncil.org/training. inStore. Winter 2016

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Just for KIDS! 1

Gift Guide

Sugar & Spice

2

Pretty and perfect gifts for little girls 1/ Slippers, $40 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 2/ Plush doorstopper, $34 retail, North American Country Home, 888-303-2221, www.northamericancountryhome.com 3/ Convertible bike, $129.99 retail, Stortz and Associates, 866-747-4191, www.stortz.ca 4/ Knit bunny, $50 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 5/ Knee-high baby socks, $8 retail, The Tate Group, 416-504-8047, www.thetategroup.com 6/ Baby blanket, $40 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 7/ Siliskin spoons, $14.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca

3 4

8/ Baby paper, $6.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 9/ Bamboo footed sleeper, $29 retail, Silkberry Baby, 604-761-9308, www.silkberrybaby.com 10/ Kids headbands, $20 retail for two, House of Koopslie, 780-937-8035, www.houseofkoopslie.com 11/ BabyLegs leg warmers, $13.95 retail, Baby’s Best Designs, 604-682-7281, www.babysbestdesigns.com

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Just for KIDS! 1

Gift Guide

Snips & Snails Cheeky and cheerful gifts for little boys 1/ Soother, $13 retail, The Tate Group, 416-504-8047, www.thetategroup.com

2/ Knee-high baby socks, $8 retail, The Tate Group, 416-504-8047, www.thetategroup.com 3/ Silikids bib, $15.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 4/ Bandana Bibs, The Tate Group, 416-504-8047, www.thetategroup.com 5/ Baby Opticals, $22 retail, The Tate Group, 416-504-8047, www.thetategroup.com

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Just for KIDS!

Gift Guide

2

1

1/ Night light, $70 retail, The Tate Group, 416-504-8047, www.thetategroup.com 2/ Sippy cup, $19.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 3/ Lulujo bamboo swaddles, $17.99 retail each, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 4/ Aloka Sleeplight, $49.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 5/ Diaper covers, $7.50 retail each, Ganz, 800-263-2311, www.ganz.com

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Just for KIDS!

Gift Guide

2

1

Naturally Curious

3

Gifts for kids that inspire their curiosity about the world 1/ Geo blocks, $22 retail, Kikkerland, distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857, www.youngson.com 2/ Studying insect kit, $68 retail, North American Country Home, 888-303-2221, www.northamericancountryhome.com 3/ Fairtrade rattle from Pebble, $16.95 retail, Baby’s Best Designs, 604-682-7281, www.babysbestdesigns.com

4

4/ Paint-Your-Own-Birdhouse, $25 retail, Wild & Wolf, distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857, www.youngson.com 5/ Wild Habitat socks, $9.95 retail, Chic & Savvy, 888-462-9131, www.chic-savvy.com 6/ Wild Habitat socks, $9.95 retail, Chic & Savvy, 888-462-9131, www.chic-savvy.com 7/ Garden tools, $27.50 retail, Wild & Wolf, distributed by David Youngson & Associates, 800-370-4857, www.youngson.com

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In The Buff

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Go oh naturel with a tone-on-tone palette of metallic and neutrals

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1/ Leaf charm bracelet, $20 retail, Suzie Blue Canada, 613-716-5515, www.suzieblue.ca 2/ Copper earrings, $xx retail, Sheerwater Accessories, 800-745-4501, www.sheerwateraccessories.com 3/ Pewter three-in-one necklace, $108 retail, Anne-Marie Chagnon through SRM Sales Consultants, 613-339-3138 4/ Owen Barry suede purse, $220 retail, Jewellery & Co., 905-333-0063, www.jewelleryandcompany.com 5/ Rose Gonzales handcrafted bracelets, $225 each, Jewellery & Co., 905-333-0063, www.jewelleryandcompany.com

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6/ Scarf, $44 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 7/ Cuff, $20 retail, Canfloyd, 800-263-3551, www.canfloyd.com

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Black & White Crisp white and inky black is a fierce combo for a super stylish fashionista 1/ Handcrafted headband, $20 retail, House of Koopslie, 780-937-8035, www.houseofkoopslie.com 2/ Handmade glass bracelet, SRM Sales Consultants, 613-339-3138 3/ Infinity Scarf, $7.50 retail, Canadian Gift Concept, 866-411-1043, www.cgconline.ca 4/ Inspiration Bracelets by DaVinci, $19.95 retail for bracelet, $9.95 retail per bead, Axicon World Imports, 800-465-5587, www.axiconworld.com

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2

5/ Fairtrade, cotton tunic, $44 retail, World Folk Art Imports, 800-567-2670, www.worldfolkart.com 6/ Bamboo sunglasses, $39 retail, Lifestyle Market, 647-779-8206, www.lifestylemarket.ca

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1/ Poncho, $25 retail, Canadian Gift Concept, 866-411-1043, www.cgconline.ca 2/ Easy-on watch, $12 retail, Bychance, 416-571-8870, www.accessoriesbychance.ca 3/ Clutchette, $69.95 retail, Market Expressions, 800-663-6668, www.marketexpressions.com 4/ Rose Gonzales handcrafted bracelets, $225 each, Jewellery & Co., 905-333-0063, www.jewelleryandcompany.com 5/ Wood bead bracelet, Sheerwater Accessories, 800-745-4501, www.sheerwateraccessories.com 6/ Bangles, $42.50 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca

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Aquaholic Sea-soaked blues and aqua greens for the carefree beach bums 1/ Fitkicks, $27 retail, Canadian Gift Concept, 866-411-1043, www.cgconline.ca 2/ Beaded wire necklace, Sheerwater Accessories, 800-745-4501, www.sheerwateraccessories.com 3/ Scarf, $32 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 4/ Earrings, $19.95 retail, Mermaid Drops, 902-876-0034 5/ Watch, $239 retail Mistura, 647-894-5013, www.mistura.com

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6/ Sunglasses, $189 retail, Mistura, 647-894-5013, www.mistura.com

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7/ Scarf, $18 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 8/ Fairtrade, wood bead necklace, $48 retail, World Folk Art Imports, 800-567-2670, www.worldfolkart.com

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Designs With Swarovski Crystals

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inStore. Winter Quarter page ad: 3.5625”w x 4.5” 2016 h

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The Case f r Building your business with smiles and compliments By Claire Sykes

S

omeone puts you on hold and forgets you exist. A customer comes in with a return and one of your employees grunts in disapproval - within earshot of the customer. The customer begins to raise her voice. You begin to behave harshly, in a huff because you’re in a hurry. Who doesn’t experience episodes of being rude or unreasonable, cranky or cross? We all have our days. A growl may make you feel better, but only temporarily. Meanwhile, it makes others feel bad. Before entering into a funk and getting snarky, try a little tenderness on for size. If we’re kind, rather than caustic, we’re happier and healthier. Being kind improves your physical and mental wellbeing, attracts goodness from others and helps grease the wheels you need to get where you want to go. Linda Kaplan Thaler, chairman of Publicis Kaplan Thaler, a New York advertising agency, says she built her billion-dollar company “not with fear and intimidation, but with smiles and compliments.” In the book that she and the firm’s CEO, Robin Koval, wrote, The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness, they insist on this: “Every time you smile at a messenger, laugh at a co-worker’s joke, thank an assistant or treat a stranger with graciousness and respect, you throw off positive energy. That energy makes an impression on the other person that, in turn, is passed along to 112

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and imprinted on the myriad others he or she meets. Ultimately those favourable impressions find their way back to you. But come on, we can’t always be in a good mood! True. When you aren’t, chances are you’re trying to get something or go somewhere. When you can’t or couldn’t, you get frustrated, and then bad manners get the better of you. You can blame it on lousy traffic or someone else’s tardiness, but biology and evolution also play a part.

become irritable and frustrated, which can lead to being unkind.” Fortunately, we’re also wired for empathy. “As a species, we’ve evolved to require social support, as a survival strategy. And we also have the capacity to provide it,” says Fricchione. “Studies recently have shown that the human brain has what are called ‘mirror neurons.’ Your genes determine the quality and quantity of these neurons, and your upbringing plays a role in how they mature. But basically, when you

Being kind improves your physical and mental wellbeing, attracts goodness from others and helps grease the wheels you need to get where you want to go. Gregory Fricchione, M.D., director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine says, “The brain is outfitted to pursue and protect our basic needs of food, sex, shelter and control over our lives,” whether that’s trying to make it to a meeting on time or asking for a raise. “When your needs are thwarted, there’s a tendency to

observe someone in stress or trouble, the same area of both your brains are firing neurons. This allows you to feel what the other person is feeling, emotionally, and potentially respond with kindness and altruistic behaviour .” When you’re courteous and kind to others, you can expect to get a lot of it back, even if only you know how inSpire. inForm. inStore.


Kindness

nice you are — like when you plug a stranger’s parking metre just for the heck of it or when you spend a little extra time trying to find just the right decorative pillow for a customer, even if it means staying at the store late. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., professor of psychology at University of California, Riverside, confirms that “People who commit kind acts feel generous, optimistic and cooperative, and they look at others more charitably.” When you’re compassionate, your www.instoremagazine.ca

brain releases endorphins and other neuropeptides. “There may even be a ‘giver’s high,’” says Fricchione. “Your brain’s reward and motivation circuitry is stimulated. This not only makes you want to continue being loving and altruistic, but also it controls the way you respond to stress. Since stress is at the root of many health problems, being kind can potentially make you less vulnerable to diseases, serious and minor.” Be kind, and you can put yourself

in friendly contact with those you encounter, from the stranger sitting next to you on the bus to the next customer that walks through the door. “People want to interact with those who are nice to them,” says Ann Marie Sabath, president of At Ease, a business-etiquette consulting firm based in Ohio, and author of One Minute Manners. “Sometimes it’s the small courtesies you extend that go the furthest in building customer loyalty,” inStore. Winter 2016

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says Dan Butler, vice-president of retail operations with the National Retail Federation in Washington, D.C. “All retailers, big and small, create their businesses one transaction at a time, and how you treat your customers during them always determines whether or not they will come back to your store.” When it comes to running your retail gift business, “Treat your customers like old friends,” says Norman Wright, president of the Better Business Bureau of Northwest Florida. “Be nice to your employees, too, because they’ll in turn treat your customers that way.” “Great sales people in retail know that you build a great client list by treating people the way you would like to be treated when you shop,” says Butler. While the Golden Rule works in most cases, sometimes it’s more appropriate to “do unto others as they would want, not as you would want,” as Sabath puts it. “And whenever you think of something positive about someone, share it with the person. It’s unkind not to.” Finally, says Sabath, “Be nice just for the sake of it — because you care — not to schmooze and try to get something from it. Kindness has to come from the core of you.” The best kindness is the type that’s sincere. A word of caution to those that suffer from the disease to please: Being nice is not the nicest thing you can do for yourself. “You take kindness too far if you put others’ needs ahead of your own, at your expense or you’re nice just to avoid conflict, rejection or disappointment,” says Vicki Rackner, M.D., president of Medical Bridges, a patient advocacy company on Mercer Island, Washington. Being nice should replete you, not deplete you. So begin with yourself. “Treat yourself with kindness, grace and consideration,” says Rackner. “That way you’ll have those things to give to others.” 114

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The Six B’s of Kindness

1 2 3 4 5 6

BE GENEROUS. Do more than your share. For example, when a customer wants a scarf in a colour you don’t have in stock, try to find it for her. BE EXPRESSIVE. Smile readily at people. For those who shop your store and buy things from it, send thank-you letters. Give words of encouragement and praise to your employees. And show your appreciation to vendors by paying your bills on time. BE RESPONSIVE. Anticipate and answer the needs of your customers, vendors and employees. When a shopper comes into your store, immediately greet him or her with a smile. Promptly answer emails, letters, text messages and phone calls. BE INCLUSIVE. Inspire a business philosophy that builds community. Order a pizza lunch for your employees, ask your favourite vendor to join you in a game of golf or a night at the theatre and draw in your shy bookkeeper with friendly conversation. BE CURIOUS. Instead of talking about yourself, show interest in others. During breaks and lunches, ask staff about their families and personal interests. Find out about some of your customers’ hobbies, so you can converse with them about them. BE CONSIDERATE. Don’t keep people waiting. Arrive to meetings on time or even earlier than scheduled. When you’re having a conversation with someone, let the person finish his or her thought, without interruption, before you chime in.

inSpire. inForm. inStore.


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Trade Show

SUCCESS The three stages of show preparation and how to make them work for you By Marilyn and Steve Nason

T

he most important factor in retailing success today – the trade show – has been in existence for five centuries, and remains almost exactly as it was when first created, attesting to its sustained global value. Throughout history trade shows have brought buyers and sellers together in one convenient venue at or around the same time each year. When planned correctly, they remain the single best forum for retailers to compare products, trends and price points. Not even the largest retailers can bring together an extensive share of a product category in a trade show format on their own. While the concept is basic, making it work profitably time after time remains forever challenging. There is no simplified game plan or a one-size-fits-all blueprint. How a retailer successfully utilizes a trade show is a dynamic process, constantly changing and evolving as the economy lulls and flourishes, and as consumer’s tastes evolve. However, there are certain elements that never change. The most basic benefits of attending a trade show include: 1. Face-to-face interactions: Meet new suppliers, rekindle old relationships, and remind yourself why you no longer order from certain vendors. www.instoremagazine.ca

2. Tactile examinations: Sure the product looks great online and in the catalogue, but is that gleam the effect of a shiny material or Photoshop? Being able to touch and feel, and compare products can only be done at trade shows. 3. Quiet contemplation: Being away from the daily interruptions of running a store gives owners the chance to analyse their business and plan for the year ahead. The most astute retailers have long realized that the value of trade shows is maximized when divided into three basic stages: pre-show, during and post-show. All three are equally important. Cutting back on show attendance, for example, can seriously destroy the success of this three-part cycle, making it far more difficult for a retailer to remain competitive and profitable. Veteran retailers study trade shows yearround via trade publications, websites and their peers to determine which shows will be the most valuable to them. They also realise that trade shows require a team effort from all store employees, even the ones who aren’t attending. All staff members need to contribute the information which makes the trip worthwhile for those representing their decisions which ultimately will govern the success or failure of the store via its inventory mix. inStore. Winter 2016

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Pre-Show

The pre-show stage requires serious study of the store’s perpetual inventory, including what sold by category at what price points and how quickly after being displayed in the store. Equally important is what did not sell, even after two discounts, but either still remains on the store floor or gathering dust in the stockroom. These “dogs” consistently kill more retailers than the strongest competitor. During this pre-market period, retailers should gather a list of all the trade shows that fit into their market before selecting one or two to attend for the upcoming buying season. Once this is done, the next step is to complete an open-to-buy budget, allotting for the at-show discovery of that elusive “something different”. These allocated dollars become the new face of the store’s inventory. If a new sku is a total departure from the store’s regular inventory it may just prove popular enough to warrant another purchase order in the next buying cycle to determine its ultimate future. At this point, owners should seek input from both full and part-time employees on categories, products, vendors and price points. As the front line, these employees have daily contact with customers, handle the “do you carry?” queries and a variety of other information invaluable in the buying process. Study the show’s website ahead of time and devise a time-management plan long before leaving the store. A full dance card stacked with existing vendors is the most foolish approach and a very ineffective reason to attend a trade show. Rest assured if you miss seeing a vendor at the show, they will follow up with you after the show.

During The Show

The second stage – during the show – can trip up even the most experienced business owner. Being besieged by thousands of new introductions and show-only specials can sometimes lead to even senior buyers straying from the game plan, especially if a glass of wine – or two – is involved. Keep a level head and refer back to your notes. Make sure everyone attending the show has a fullycharged electronic device, so product finds can be shared www.instoremagazine.ca

Unless there is a show special that is truly worth pursuing, wait until a few days after the show to make purchasing decisions. with employees back at the store and so you can call the store, if necessary, for advice. At the end of each day, go through the materials gathered. Sort the information by category and/or interest level for future study back at the store. Unless there is a show special that is truly worth pursuing, wait until a few days after the show to make purchasing decisions. In retrospect, if the show-only special is worthwhile, call the exhibitor and see if the special is still available. It never hurts to ask.

Post-Show

After the show is when the majority of purchasing decisions should be made. This requires significant follow-up in the five to seven days after returning home. Purchase products based on your open-to-buy plan, determine where and how they will be merchandised and what you will sell each item for. Convey all this information to permanent and part-time staff as soon as possible. Product knowledge is another important reason to attend trade shows. If you or your staff can’t tell the full story of why a customer should buy that new pink widget you discovered at the show, don’t expect a customer to buy it. Like a comfortable three-legged stool, adhering to the pre-, during and post-show strategy is a reliable way to safeguard the continuing success of a retail business. inStore. Winter 2016

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inSight Barbara Crowhurst

New Year’s Resolutions

W

ith 2016 upon us, now is the time to create a plan for the upcoming year which ensures you’re on the right track.

Delegate

You can’t do it alone. At the minimum, hire one assistant. Train them to deliver great customer service, keep the shelves well stocked and oversee day-to-day operations.

Always be on the lookout for your next great staff member.

TIME FOR A TUNE-UP Nine ways to fine-tune your business in the New Year

incurred by a business that is general, administrative and which support sales, but not the cost of product.

Create a Promotional Calendar

Review your income statement (profit and loss statement) for an overview of revenue, expenses and profit/loss and cash-flow reports monthly.

Promotions are the engine of your business, and a promotional calendar should outline all the activities and events you plan to hold throughout the year including new product launches, seasonal events and special events.

Set Sales Targets

Managing Margins

Back to Basics

I recommend at least 15 per cent increase over last year. Take this percentage increase right through to your daily sales targets and average sales.

Buying Budgets

Set a buying budget based on 55 per cent of your sales totals. Your budget should coordinate the rhythm of balancing incoming funds with outgoing expenditures.

Employees

Always be on the lookout for your next great staff member. Understand the skills and personality traits you require. Interview a number of people, so you have a broader base to choose from. Ask probing questions. Use a defined job description to ensure they understand what is expected.

Review Operating Costs

In retail, operating costs shouldn’t be more than 40 per cent of sales. Operating costs include every expense www.instoremagazine.ca

Gross margin (sales minus direct costs) is an important number to manage, as it impacts the likelihood of breaking even, the amount of profit earned and directly impacts risk and return.

Accurate Inventory Control

Establishing a buying budget and understanding what’s selling and what isn’t will help immensely in this area. Identify and move out items that have been around for more than 12 months.

Lead the Way

The success of any business depends on the effectiveness of its managers. Take an interest in the people working for you. Compliment your staff and keep them in the loop. Barbara Crowhurst is a business coach and store designer who works with clients around the world. www.retailmakeover.com inStore. Winter 2016

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inSight The Last Word

Baby Boomer Lulujo’s trajectory from home-based baby business to global brand

F

rom one mom’s home in Nova Scotia to the homes of thousands of mothers across the world, the story of how Lulujo grew from a homebased business into a global company potently illustrates that a saleable product alone will not reap success. Lulujo’s start-up story is a familiar one. While on maternity leave from her fast-paced job as a project manager in the IT field, Dawn Marie Pottier’s fruitless search for a trend-forward and functional baby sling prompted her to produce her own. Inspired and named after her two children, Lulujo’s ring slings were followed by wrap carriers and blankets, all manufactured in Dawn’s home. The company’s first step up the growth ladder came in 2010 when Lulujo participated in a variety of trade shows, including the Toronto Gift Fair where Dawn met and impressed Tammy Zilberberg, the CEO of Kidcentral, a leading distributor of baby products in

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Canada. Tammy was taken by Dawn’s passion and persistence and agreed to distribute the line. Lulujo’s first order from Kidcentral was a substantial $30,000. Trouble was there wasn’t a penny left in the company’s bank account to ship the order after it was produced. Dawn’s dad agreed to loan her the money, joking that she could pay him back when Lulujo’s sales reached $1 million a year. That day would come – three years later. By 2012 Lulujo products were being sold in hundreds of retail locations nationwide. Store owners and moms had fallen in love with the well-priced, simple and stylish baby products which were also professionally packaged. Lulujo’s global expansion phase began in 2014 when Tammy introduced Dawn to a Torontobased investor with a vast amount of experience in global distribution

and manufacturing. With additional market insight and leadership from a second silent partner, Lulujo was transformed into a global business, securing a U.S. distributor and placement in 900 stores south of the border in just nine months. The partnership has connected Lulujo with factories and distributers it didn’t have access to before and taken the small business from home grown to international power house with distributors in over 20 countries – from Poland, Korea and Taiwan to China, Mexico and Germany.

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