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Winter 2021

THE DEFINITIVE RESOURCE FOR INDEPENDENT LIFESTYLE RETAILERS

instoremagazine.ca

Stock up season’s

TURNING CALLERS INTO CUSTOMERS

on the

hottest trends!

SURVIVAL TIPS FOR WINTER MARKETING TO THE MAJORITY

Fresh Finds for Spring & Summer


See pages 14 - 25 for CGC’s best-selling programs.


®

AWARD WINNING MANUFACTURER OF 3 DIVISIONS – HOME, WOMEN & KIDS

HUNDREDS OF NEW FALL & HOLIDAY 2021 INTRODUCTIONS ON DISPLAY IN OUR 18,000 SQ FT SHOWROOM

THOUSANDS OF NEW SPRING & SUMMER 2021 INTRODUCTIONS ON DISPLAY IN OUR NEW TORONTO SHOWROOM

FALL/HOLIDAY 2021 PRE-BOOKING INCENTIVES START NOW! SPRING & SUMMER 2021 COLLECTIONS ARE IN STOCK & READY TO SHIP

4

SPRING SHOWROOM DATES: SATURDAY, JANUARY 30TH TO WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10TH SHOWROOM OPEN YEAR ROUND OVER 18,000 SQ FT - LARGEST GIFT & HOME SHOWROOM, IN CANADA Design Home Corporate Showroom 7580 Bath Road Mississauga, ON L4T 1L2 800-663-9950 sales@designhome.ca

inStore. Winter 2021

THREE WAYS TO ORDER

CORPORATE SHOWROOM

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

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

NEW EXTENDED DATING & FREE FREIGHT INCENTIVES AVAILABLE

CONTACT YOUR DESIGN HOME DIVISION 1 & 2 SALES REPRESENTATIVE ORDER ONLINE www.designhome.ca CONTACT US Design Home Gift & Paper Inc. 7580 Bath Road Mississauga, ON L4T 1L2 800-663-9950 sales@designhome.ca

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RAZ IMPORTS IS THE LEADING SEASONAL GIFT & DÉCOR LINE, IN THE MARKETPLACE. RANKED #1 SEVEN YEARS IN A ROW BY GIFT BEAT MAGAZINE

NEW TORONTO SHOWROOM IS OPEN SPRING SHOWROOM DATES: SATURDAY, JANUARY 30TH - WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10TH LARGEST GIFT & HOME SHOWROOM IN CANADA - OVER 18,000 SQ FT

TIERED VOLUME DISCOUNTS

CONTACT YOUR DESIGN HOME DIVISION 1 & 2 SALES REPRESENTATIVES TODAY TO BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT

SPRING SHOWROOM DATES: SATURDAY, JANUARY 30TH TO WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10TH SHOWROOM OPEN YEAR ROUND OVER 18,000 SQ FT - LARGEST GIFT & HOME SHOWROOM, IN CANADA Design Home Corporate Showroom 7580 Bath Road Mississauga, ON L4T 1L2 800-663-9950 sales@designhome.ca

www.instoremagazine.ca

THREE WAYS TO ORDER

CORPORATE SHOWROOM

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

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

NEW EXTENDED DATING & FREE FREIGHT INCENTIVES AVAILABLE

CONTACT YOUR DESIGN HOME DIVISION 1 & 2 SALES REPRESENTATIVE ORDER ONLINE www.designhome.ca CONTACT US Design Home Gift & Paper Inc. 7580 Bath Road Mississauga, ON L4T 1L2 800-663-9950 sales@designhome.ca

inStore. Winter 2021

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DESIGN HOME IS PROUD TO REPRESENT GENTLEMEN’S HARDWARE - THE LEADING LIFESTYLE BRAND FROM WILD & WOLF

SIX BEST SELLING BRANDS - SANTA BARBARA DESIGN STUDIO, 47TH & MAIN, STEPHAN BABY, HEARTFELT, FAITHWORKS & SLANT COLLECTION

SUPERIOR, DURABLE, RESPONSIBLE GOODS DESIGNED TO APPEAL TO INQUISITIVE, ADVENTURE SEEKING & WELL-REFINED GENTLEMEN

HUNDREDS OF NEW SPRING 2021 INTRODUCTIONS ON DISPLAY IN OUR CORPORATE SHOWROOM

6

SPRING SHOWROOM DATES: SATURDAY, JANUARY 30TH TO WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10TH SHOWROOM OPEN YEAR ROUND OVER 18,000 SQ FT - LARGEST GIFT & HOME SHOWROOM, IN CANADA Design Home Corporate Showroom 7580 Bath Road Mississauga, ON L4T 1L2 800-663-9950 sales@designhome.ca

inStore. Winter 2021

THREE WAYS TO ORDER

CORPORATE SHOWROOM

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

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

EXTENDED DATING & FREIGHT INCENTIVES

CONTACT YOUR DESIGN HOME DIVISION 1 & 2 SALES REPRESENTATIVE ORDER ONLINE www.designhome.ca CONTACT US Design Home Gift & Paper Inc. 7580 Bath Road Mississauga, ON L4T 1L2 800-663-9950 sales@designhome.ca

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SWIG HAS THE LARGEST SELECTION OF EYE-CATCHING, WELL-MADE & ECO-FRIENDLY DRINKWARE THAN ANY OF ITS COMPETITORS

SPRING 2021 COLLECTION ON DISPLAY IN OUR NEW TORONTO SHOWROOM

DISHWASHER SAFE & FEATURES SUPERIOR TEMPERATURE RETENTION

NEW EXTENDED DATING & FREE FREIGHT INCENTIVES AVAILABLE

NEW EXTENDED DATING & FREE FREIGHT INCENTIVES AVAILABLE

SPRING SHOWROOM DATES: SATURDAY, JANUARY 30TH TO WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10TH SHOWROOM OPEN YEAR ROUND OVER 18,000 SQ FT - LARGEST GIFT & HOME SHOWROOM, IN CANADA Design Home Corporate Showroom 7580 Bath Road Mississauga, ON L4T 1L2 800-663-9950 sales@designhome.ca

www.instoremagazine.ca

THREE WAYS TO ORDER

CORPORATE SHOWROOM

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

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

PADDYWAX IS THE MOST VERSATILE & FUNCTIONAL CANDLE BRAND IN THE MARKETPLACE, WITH THE LARGEST SELECTION OF HAND POURED SOY CANDLES

CONTACT YOUR DESIGN HOME DIVISION 1 & 2 SALES REPRESENTATIVE ORDER ONLINE www.designhome.ca CONTACT US Design Home Gift & Paper Inc. 7580 Bath Road Mississauga, ON L4T 1L2 800-663-9950 sales@designhome.ca

inStore. Winter 2021

7


Photo: Emily Simms

Spring 2021 Order Online Through ShopZio & Handshake 8

inStore. Winter 2021

www.thetategroup.com inSpire. inForm. inStore. (416)504-8047


contents

inStore VOL. 07/NO. 02

61

83

THIS ISSUE

Winter 2021

56

inSight DEPARTMENTS

12 Hello! Adapting 102 Survival Tips for Winter Retail expert and business coach Barbara Crowhurst on how store owners can prepare now for a COVID-19 winter

inStock DEPARTMENTS

26 Happiness & Rainbows Messages of hope and love 28 All Abuzz Bee motifs abound 30 Freshly Squeezed A juicy trend! 37 Bold Blooms Floral patterns have rebloomed 39 Looking Sharp Keep an eye out for cacti 41 Comfort & Joy Candles, perfume and personal care

inStyle FEATURES

83 Fresh Fashion Finds

The hottest looks of the season

96 Home Décor Trends

What the chicest homes will be wearing this spring

42 Welcome Wagon Our favourite welcome mats FEATURES

61 Table Topics

Trending entertaining themes

www.instoremagazine.ca

FEATURES

inForm

Women influence over 70 percent of all consumer-goods purchasing decisions. Are you doing enough to ensure they choose your store over the competition?

DEPARTMENT

66 Marketing to Women

47 News & Notes New lines, launches and industry goings-on 106 CanGift Connects Hello 2021!

By Claire Sykes

FEATURES

78 Turning Callers into Customers

56 Shelves & Ladders

Proven techniques to help you turn callers and price-shoppers into paying customers.

70 Just For Kids

Our bi-annual gift guide for babies and kids!

104 A Vision to Build Back Better Independent retailer Diane Petryna on how the industry can work together to develop a recovery plan that’s sustainable and profitable for all

VIEW THIS ITEM ON PAGE 84

By Claire Sykes

Easy and inexpensive ways to maximize your fixtures By Leslie Groves

88 Making the Grade

Is your store ‘Instagramable’? By Andrea Hein

inStore. Winter 2021

9


inSpire. inForm

RETAIL MAKEOVER I.T. 2021 will be without a doubt a challenging year for all retail sectors. In light of the evolving events surrounding COVID-19, we are helping Independent retailers and other small businesses survive. We have the plan for you. Your first meeting with us is free.

The COVID-19 Retail Emergency Strategy Survival Plan

Our survival plan is focused on what you must know if you want your Retail Business to survive through these uncertain times.

Plan Today

Barbara J. Crowhurst Leading International COVID Emergency Retail Business Coach, Author, Speaker, Sales Trainer, Retail Store Designer, Merchandising Specialist, Social Media Marketing Specialist Office Line Ext 1: 905.686.8898 Mobile Line: 416.522.8169 Email: retailmakeoverca@gmail.com Website: www.retailmakeover.ca

Website Design, Consulting, Training, Setup, Design, Customizing, Maintenance, SEO Optimization

Contributing Editors Barbara Crowhurst, Leslie Groves

Contributors Barbara Crowhurst, Castlerock Studios, Will Fournier, Leslie Groves, Andrea Hein, Claire Sykes InStore Magazine™ 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 florist.

Printed in Canada Publication mail #40841587. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: InStore Magazine™, 103 Niska Drive, Waterdown ON L8B 0M8. Email: editorial@instoremagazine.ca

Office Line Ext 2: 905.686.8898 Mobile Line: 416.553.8056 Email: retailmakeoverweb@gmail.com www.retailmakeoverweb.com

inStore. Winter 2021

Advertising & Production Coodinator Tina Nicholl tina@instoremagazine.ca

© 2021 InStore Magazine™. The contents of this publication are the property of InStore Magazine. 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.

Stephen A. Crowhurst

RetailMakeover_W21.indd 1

Design & Layout Gerry Wiebe

Editorial Submissions editorial@instoremagazine.ca Mailing Address: 103 Niska Drive Waterdown, ON L8B 0M8

Barbara & Stephen Crowhurst

10

Editor & Publisher Erica Kirkland ekirkland@instoremagazine.ca

Advertising Inquiries ekirkland@instoremagazine.ca 905-690-0492

For more information please write or call us to set up your first meeting. At this time more than ever you want our winning approach to one-on-one business analysis and strategic emergency planning designed just for you and your business.

We are here to help you.

THE DEFINITIVE RESOURCE FOR INDEPENDENT LIFESTYLE RETAILERS

2020-12-18 4:15 PM

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MONCILLO Pure Home Living

New Essential Oils for 2021 ESSENTIAL OILS MARKET

M A DE I N C A NA DA

GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES

With the incredible continued demand for high quality Essential Oils the time has never been better to launch 2021 with the latest range of Moncillo Pure Essential Oils . Moncillo oils are guaranteed to be pure, natural and unadulterated.

This latest range of Essential Oils are now available from your David Youngson

Call your DYA Rep today FREE SHIPPING On Essential Oil Starter Kits - Jan 2021 Only

Representative -

* NEW Retail Counter Display Sets - Complete with tester oils. 100% Certified Pure Essential Oils. Crafted natural wood displayer Selection of the top 10 Essential Oils.

To place your order contact your DYA Rep today or email

e: sales@finesseoils.com www.finesseoils.com www.instoremagazine.ca inStore. Winter 2021 11 Finesse Home - Proudly Canadian - tel: 604 885 5494


inSight

my fav...

Hello

Adapting While the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines on Canadian shores is welcome news, it’s still unclear when most of us will be able to safely travel, gather and conduct business as usual. Retail stores are in and out of lockdown, having to shift between in-store and curbside shopping at the drop of a hat, while trade shows have been cancelled for another cycle, with the hope they will resume this spring. As you will likely notice, this issue isn’t as thick as it usually is. Suppliers, like retailers, are uncertain about what the future holds, and many are reluctant to spend their hard-earned dollars on advertising. That being said, there are still a lot of vendors who are actively producing new products and supporting independent retail accounts by providing inventory when you need it. The results of their relentless effort can be seen in our pages, in both the articles that feature the products they supply, as well as the advertisements they place promoting their companies. Their ongoing support of InStore ensures we’re able to deliver a magazine filled with inspiration and ideas no matter what’s happening in the world. If you source items from our pages, please take the time to share that with the suppliers. Word-of-mouth helps ensure we continue to fulfill the role of Canada’s Definitive Resource for Independent Lifestyle Retailers.

Contributing writer Andrea Hein is always at the forefront of retail trends. As the owner of Andrea Hein Occasions, and the coordinator of Conestoga’s visual merchandising program, she is exposed to the newest merchandising and display ideas from across North America – and she shares them with us! Is this issue she reports on the trend towards stores being ‘Instagramable’ in Making the Grade on page 88.

Erica Kirkland Publisher & Editor

in this issue Summer days are in our sights! From light and breezy fashions to the hottest designs for the home, this issue is focused on the freshest finds for spring and summer. A hot theme this season is happiness, epitomized by

12

inStore. Winter 2021

hearts and rainbows. Plenty of other motifs are in full bloom as well, including bees, lemons and cacti. We’ve selected the cream of the crop from among dozens of submissions to showcase the hottest items in What We’re Loving (pages 26 to 42). In the midst of the winter (and COVID-19) doldrums, it’s

fun to look ahead to brighter days. We hope this issue provides plenty of inspiration.

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“ “Comforting Those “Comforting ComfortingThose Those Who Who Comfort Us.” WhoComfort ComfortUs.” Us.”

Interactive,, Interactive,, Interactive,, Stimulating Stimulating Stimulating&&& Comforting Comforting Comforting Dog Dog Toys DogToys Toys Braided Toys Braided Toys Braided Toys

Natural Leather Toys Natural Leather Toys Natural Leather Toys

Plush Toys Plush Toys Plush Toys


inStock What We’re Loving

2 1

Happiness & Rainbows Hearts, rainbows and messages of love abound this spring

1/ Doormat, $30 retail, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com

4

2/ Stemless goblet, $12 retail, Abbott, 800-263-2955, www.abbottcollection.com

3

3/ Guest napkins, $7 retail for 16, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com 4/ Doormat, $35 retail, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com

5

5/ Love pouch, $16 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 6/ Happy sign, $9 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com

6

7/ Linen pillow, $68 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 8/ Sun pillow, $68 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com

7

26

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inStore. Winter 2021

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Spring has

sprung at snoozies!®

Canadian Sales Agency CROSS BORDER SALES 906-417-6332

USA Corporate Office 252-650-7000 ext 215

Copyright 2008-2021 | snoozies!® is a registered trademark of Buyer’s Direct , Inc. | US Patent US D 598,1835 | Buyer’s Direct, Inc. | P.O. Box 818, Elm City, NC 27822 | info@snoozies.com


All Abuzz

inStock What We’re Loving

Bee motifs continue to soar high in popularity

1 2

1/ Enamel pin, $9 retail, Danica Studio, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com 2/ Felt beehive, $17 retail, Abbott, 800-263-2955, www.abbottcollection.com

4

3/ Stemless goblet, $20 retail, Abbott, 800-263-2955, www.abbottcollection.com

3

4/ Doormat, $30 retail, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com 5/ Coir mat, $25 retail, Candym Enterprises, 800-263-3551, www.candym.com 6/ Guest napkins, $7 retail for 16, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com

5

6

7/ Zipper pouch, $17 retail, Danica Studio, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com 8/ Doormat, $35 retail, Abbott, 800-263-2955, www.abbottcollection.com

7 8

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inStore. Winter 2021

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INTRODUCING

Curated. Focused on handmade. Sourced with care.

info@danicaimports.com 1.888.632.6422

danicaimports.com

@danica_heirloom


inStock

Freshly Squeezed

What We’re Loving

1

2

Peel back the layers of this juicy trend

1/ Salt and pepper shaker set, $15 retail, Abbott, 800-263-2955, www.abbottcollection.com 2/ Apron, $25 retail, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com 3/ Napkins, $15 retail for four, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com

3

4/ Planter, $8 retail, Abbott, 800-263-2955, www.abbottcollection.com 5/ Lemon jug, $50 retail, Abbott, 800-263-2955, www.abbottcollection.com

4

6/ A & A Story vinyl placemat, $11.99 retail, Edenborough, 800-265-6398, www.edenborough.com

6 5

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inStore. Winter 2021

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KEEPSAKE CARDS


STATIONERY & PAPER GOODS DESIGNED TO GIVE YOU A LITTLE “PICK ME UP”. •••

www.tiramisupaperie.com MADE IN THE USA


Bella Flor is proud to debut Hopper Studios Greetings!

A Division of Norcard Enterprises Ltd.

Hopper Studios is a sophisticated yet endearing high quality greeting card designed and printed in Canada · 120 designs of cards · 120 designs of enclosures · Cello wrapped · $4.50 retail price

Introductory Offer

· 90 days dating* · Free 72 Pocket Spinner** · Free 32 Pocket Enclosure Spinner** · Free Shipping***

Gift product to follow Spring/Summer!

SOME CONDITIONS APPLY *On approved credit **Must order full rack of cards (432) or enclosures (384) ***On product only, free shipping does not apply to displays

Full colour envelope inside and out ( printed on 70lb Mohawk Felt Paper)

Full colour card inside and out ( printed on heavy 16 pt. Mohawk Felt Paper)


inStock What We’re Loving

2

Bold Blooms Floral patterns are in bloom once again!

1 1/ Tote bag, $20 retail, Danica Studio, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com 2/ Bella Flora matches, $14 retail, Paper E. Clips, 800-660-7068, www.papereclips.com

3

3/ Pinch bowls, $22 retail for six, Now Designs by Danica, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com 4/ Studio Oh catchall, $21 retail, Paper E. Clips, 800-660-7068, www.papereclips.com

4

5/ Journal, $6.50 retail, CTG Brands, 905-761-3330, www.ctgbrands.com 6/ Tea towel, $10 retail, Now Designs by Danica, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com

5

7/ Coir mat, $25 retail, CTG Brands, 905-761-3330, www.ctgbrands.com

6

7

www.instoremagazine.ca

inStore. Winter 2021

37


Looking Sharp

inStock What We’re Loving

2

Keep an eye out for cacti on everything from spatulas to tote bags

1 1/ Tote bag, $16 retail, Now Designs by Danica, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com 2/ Felt ornament, $9.95 retail, Pokoloko, 844-476-5656, www.pokoloko.com

3

3/ Planter, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 4/ Napkins, $24 retail for four, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com

4

5/ Placemat, $8 retail, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com

5

6/ Mini spatulas, $10 retail, Now Designs by Danica, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com 7/ Guest napkins, $7 retail for 16, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com

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inStore. Winter 2021

39


Comfort &Joy

inStock What We’re Loving 2

Soothe and comfort customers with pretty candles, perfume and body care products

1

1/ Paddywax candle, $42 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca

3

2/ Facial mask, $30 retail; avocado butter, $55 retail; Green’s Your Colour, 888-492-9404, www.greensyourcolour.com 3/ Inis shower gel, $22.39 retail; body lotion, $26.99 retail; cologne, $56.99 retail; Edenborough, 800-265-6398, www.edenborough.com

4

4/ Revive & Refocus body polish and body cream from Thymes, $36.50 each, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca

5

5/ Year From Hell Hand Rescue, $17.95 retail, Walton Wood Farm, 844-834-3276, www.waltonwoodfarm.com

7

6/ Studio Oh scented cathedral candle, $28 retail, Paper E. Clips, 800-660-7068, www.papereclips.com 7/ Foot brush and butter set, $28 retail, Merben International, 866-463-7236, www.merben.com

6

8/ Finding Home Farms candle, $34.50 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca

8

www.instoremagazine.ca

inStore. Winter 2021

41


inStock

Welcome Wagon

What We’re Loving

1

Our favourite doormats for spring!

1/ Dog doormat, $35 retail, Now Designs by Danica, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com

2

2/ Black heart doormat, $26 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 3/ Floral “Welcome” doormat, $35 retail, Abbott, 800-263-2955, www.abbottcollection.com

3

4/ Meow Meow doormat, $40 retail, Danica Studio, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com 5/ Curio doormat, $40 retail, Danica Studio, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com

4

6/ “Oh Hello” doormat, $30 retail, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com 7/ Succulent doormat, $30 retail, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com

5

6

7

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What’s new? What’s selling? What product categories are slowing down? Giftbeat tracks sales among hundreds of retail stores across the United States to learn what product lines are selling across more than 50 categories. This vital information is only available to subscribers.

Only Giftbeat Subscribers Receive: • Vital market research on the hottest selling product lines in the United States across 50 categories • Specific, actionable information from U.S. retailers on what to buy • Early insight into the product lines that are selling so you can cash in on the trends • Access to Giftbeat’s active online community board where you can post questions only a fellow gift retailer could answer

Join the thousands of gift industry professionals who subscribe to Giftbeat!

Visit www.giftbeat.com to SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Giftbeat is owned and operated by InStore Magazine Inc.


inForm News & Notes

News & Notes

Inside Track NEWS IN BRIEF

CanGift Announces New Online Marketplace The Canadian Gift Association (CanGift) is partnering with Brandwise, a leader in wholesale ordering technology, to launch CanGift 365, an online marketplace which will connect the association’s gold members with retailers. “We’ve worked extremely hard to find a direction that will create new business opportunities across the country, and I am very pleased to say, this online platform is exclusive to Canada,” said Anita Schachter, president and CEO of the association. Beginning in February 2021, retail buyers prequalified by the association will be able to log into the platform to explore products from CanGift gold members and place orders directly through the site with the opportunity to work with trusted salespeople. “The human connection is the core of our industry and that can’t be forgotten,” said Schachter. “With the cancellation of our in-person trade events because of the COVID-19 pandemic, creating a virtual commerce opportunity was as essential as keeping that personal touch.” www.cangift.org

Craft Alliance Launches Virtual Marketplace Craft Alliance Atlantic Association is helping small-scale producers in Atlantic Canada turn a new leaf in 2021 and beyond with the launch of the Craft East Virtual Marketplace. The platform will enable wholesale producers of handmade goods in Atlantic Canada to display their products to qualified retailers year-round. The alliance is hoping the virtual marketplace will serve as a much-needed boost to producers who were hit hard by widespread retail closures in the wake of COVID-19. Industry research conducted by the group in April indicated the economic impact of the pandemic to be $56.5 million in the Atlantic provinces – approximately $17.8 million in losses for craft producers and $38.7 million in lost income for craft retailers. “For artisans seeking to connect with buyers – whether at the wholesale level or at the retail-consumer level – an online presence is absolutely crucial,” said Dave Belt, co-proprietor of Seafoam Lavender Company, who is hopeful the new platform will be another successful tool in his marketing belt. www.marketplace.crafteast.ca

www.instoremagazine.ca

Upper Canada Acquires Brands from Wild + Wolf Wild + Wolf recently announced the sale of its Wanderflower and Yes Studio brands to Upper Canada Soap. Based in Toronto, Upper Canada Soap designs, manufactures and supplies products across the bath, beauty, wellness and gift categories under brands such as Aroma Home, Danielle Creations, Therawell, Studio Dry and Brompton & Langley “We’re thrilled that Upper Canada Soap through their UK subsidiary, Danielle Creations, are taking on these two brands,” said Paul Taylor, CEO of Wild + Wolf. “Yes Studio has been consistently ranged by more and more retailers globally since its launch two years ago and Wanderflower’s recent launch in 2020 exceeded all expectations. Upper Canada Soap is well-placed to continue the momentum inherent in these brands and I look forward to seeing their ongoing development in 2021.” Stephen Flatt, president of Upper Canada Soap, said, “We are excited to bring Wanderflower and Yes Studio into our portfolio of brands. Wanderflower is a great addition to our beauty and wellness collections which continue to be the growth drivers of our business. With Yes Studio, we will leverage our depth in product development with a brand that’s positioned to a more youthful customer. We look forward to building on the foundation that Wild + Wolf has created with these two brands.” www.uppercanadasoap.com

Correction! In the Fall 2020 issue of InStore, a news brief indicated that the Davidoff brand of products would be available through Burney Giftware on August 1. To clarify, the product was available through Burney Giftware as of August 1, 2020. www.burneygiftware.com

inStore. Winter 2021

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PLACE YOUR ORDER FOR YOUR 2022 CALENDARS TODAY!

Candym

Canfloyd

PINE RIDGE ART - producing top quality fine art calendars and artist inspired collections. Shop in the comfort and safety of our new showroom or visit our website to link to Shopzio to place orders online!

49 Riviera Drive, Markham, ON L3R 5J6 | Order Desk 800.263.3551 | www.candym.com


Candym

Canfloyd

YOUR CHRISTMAS HEADQUARTERS - BRINGING YOU THE VERY BEST FOR CHRISTMAS 2021 Shop in the comfort and safety of our new showroom or visit our website to link to Shopzio to place orders online!

49 Riviera Drive, Markham, ON L3R 5J6 | Order Desk 800.263.3551 | www.candym.com | www.canfloyd.com


inForm News & Notes

Inside Track NEWS IN BRIEF

Danica Gives Back to Food Charity in Canada When the pandemic hit, Danica decided the moment called for decisive action. To ensure their community had an adequate supply of facemasks, the Vancouver-based wholesaler got busy making cotton masks from unused fabric stock. They also volunteered corporately and individually with the local food bank and committed $1 from every mask sale to Food Banks Canada. To date, Danica has raised enough to fund over 98,000 meals. www.danicaimports.com

In Memory: Thomas Lowery September 1932 – October 2020 Tom Lowery, the founder of Lowerys of London, died in October. Along with his son Glen, Tom was a long-time gift show exhibitor until the business recently ceased operations. Tom is survived by his wife Maureen with whom he regularly sailed the Caribbean Islands and will be missed by his sons, daughters, grandchildren and their respective families.

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inForm News & Notes

Inside Track NEWS IN BRIEF

In Memory: Dennis Tiplady March 1939 – October 2020 Veteran retailer Dennis Tiplady died in October at the age of 84 after a terrible fall. Dennis and his wife Karen built a lucrative empire of 17 stores in the London, Ont. area over 37 years and received many awards, including the Retailer of the Year Award from the Canadian Gift Association. Their retail establishments included Brandy Tree, Pippens Bath Shop, Baker Street Kitchen Store and three Hallmark card locations. Dennis is survived by his wife, daughters Debbie and Kristen and their respective families.

Louenhide’s Spring Collection Marks Shift in Marketing Beginning with their spring 2021 collection, Louenhide, an Australian line of handbags and accessories, is making a shift in marketing. Swapping out models for real women, the brand has the same great photography, but the focus is now on everyday women who appreciate quality and value for money and who love pieces that are versatile. wholesale.louenhidenorthamerica.com

HANDCRAFTED IN CANADA ORDERS@KITRAS.COM CONTACT US FOR CURRENT SPECIALS AND PROMOTIONS!

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inForm News & Notes

THE GOODS

Milla Gives Back Eight-year-old Milla wanted to do something to help the less fortunate, so she got to work. With her entrepreneur mom, IT whiz dad and 10-year-old brother by her side, she started a business. Milla Gives Back makes trendy clay earrings and donates 25 percent of profits to charities which support the homeless. The designs and colours are on trend and come carded. 780-953-8035

RainCaper Scarves Measuring 32 inches by 72 inches, new silk-blend scarves from RainCaper feature imagery on one side and solid black on the other. The item shown here boasts the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh, one of the many fine-art licenses available in the collection of rain capes, umbrellas, texting gloves, etc. RainCaper is distributed in Canada by Edenborough. www.edenborough.com

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inForm News & Notes

Beard & Shave Oil Walton Wood Farm’s new Redneck Beard & Shave Oil promises to soften-up a rough and tough face. The bourbon and oak pre-shave and beard oil softens the beard while preparing the skin for a close and comfortable shave without leaving a nasty, oily residue. $22.99 retail. www.waltonwoodfarm.com

Sweet Sun Hats Little ones will love rocking these charming summer straw hats from FlapJackKids. Featuring adorable characters and fun prints, the hats are lightweight and breathable, and provide UPF 50+ sun protection. $16.95 to $22.95 retail. FlapJackids is distributed by Kidcentral Supply. www.kidcentral.ca

The Outer Layer

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Flour Power These fun slipper socks from Snoozies tap into one of the biggest trends that COVID-19 has fueled – baking. Its popularity is rising, and these cute foot coverings have style baked in. www.snoozies.com

English and French Awesome programs The best reps in Canada Made in North America Call 800.228.2684 carecat@avantipress.com www.avantipress.com ©2021 Avanti Press, Inc.

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Flower

Power

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Shelves &

Ladders Easy and inexpensive ways to maximize your fixtures

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Off the Wall Use your walls to create a unique display: hang a collection of hats, placemats, baskets, clocks, etc. Using walls as a surface to display products also carries the viewers’ eye into and throughout a tabletop display.

Multiple Levels If your merchandising budget is squeezed, stretch your dollars by investing in multi-purpose fixtures like tables with a lower shelf. Better yet, add a second surface to an existing table. The result in both cases is more surface space to display merchandise.

Hats, bookends, ladder, polka dot mugs, Abbott, 800-263-2955, www.abbottcollection.com; Throws, scarves, bag, pillows, doormats, pouch, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com

Styling and text by Leslie Groves Photography by Will Fournier

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A Step Above Blanket ladders always look wonderful in displays. Try a tabletop version. They’re a great way to extend your display’s height and allow for easy layering of colours, textures and textiles.

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Pull Out a Chair Chairs are the perfect platform for hanging and draping items as well as for stacking. Take your displays to the next level by hanging chairs from walls and ceilings.

Mix & Match Add interest to displays by using a variety of techniques: layering the pillows, stacking the bowls and rolling the textiles.

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Table

Topics Styling by Leslie Groves Photography by Will Fournier www.instoremagazine.ca

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Greek Isles

Table Topics

1/ Disposable dinnerware from Sophistiplate, plates from $8.50 retail, napkins, $9.50 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca

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2/ Disposable cutlery from Sophistiplate, $19.50 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca 3/ Flamingo wine glasses, $20 retail for two, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com

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4/ Tea towels, $18 retail for three, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com 5/ Tumbler, $12 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 6/ Paper runner from Santa Barbara Design Studio, $26.50 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca

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Table Topics

Bright &Sunny 2 1/ Avant bowl, $12 retail, Abbott, 800-263-2955, www.abbottcollection.com

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2/ Striped cup, $15 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 3/ Frida mug, $10 retail, Danica Studio, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com 4/ Round tray, $60 retail, Abbott, 800-263-2955, www.abbottcollection.com 5/ Mango wood salad servers, $28 retail, Danica Studio, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com 6/ Pitcher, $80 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com

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7/ Saffron cup, $15 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 8/ Spoon rest, $13 retail, Now Designs by Danica, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com

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What Women

Want W

omen buy or influence 70 to 80 percent of all consumer-goods purchases. With so much power in their hands, store owners can’t afford not to market to them. As more and more retailers focus their promotional efforts on women, they’re realising it enhances the shopping experience for all their customers while increasing their sales.

VIVE LA DIFFERENCE

A 2019 survey by First Insight, a retail data and analytics firm, revealed that men and women stand on equal footing percentage-wise when making mobile purchases. But in many cases, the sexes differ in terms of how and where they shop. The firm reported that the percentage of women who shopped online dipped to 40 percent in 2019, compared to 46 percent the previous 66

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year. And women are shopping less often than men across most online and traditional-retail channels. There are good reasons why women differ from men in the way they shop. Chances are they answer to more than just themselves in a Western culture that has appointed them the nurturer role, whether they have children or not. Unlike most men, women tend to be responsible for more people at once. Though they may be married with kids while working a 40-hour-a-week job, most of them are still doing the bulk of the housework and childrearing. They’re more than busy! And they’re often thinking about others’ purchasing needs while they’re shopping. Women are also more interested in researching products and services before they buy, while men tend not to ask for help. Because women are more peopleoriented, they’re more open to advice from friends and family and salespeople.

Marketing to the Majority BY CLAIRE SYKES

While they’re shopping, they learn even more, adding details to their purchasing decisions and taking longer to buy. They consider the entire shopping experience, from how comfortable they feel in the store or on the website to how easily they can make returns.

KNOW YOUR WOMEN

Clearly, women and men differ, but neither are a single monolithic group. Women’s shopping priorities and habits are as varied as their ages, lifestyles and personalities. Some prefer downtown and neighbourhood independent retailers over big-box stores and malls. Others opt to fill an online shopping cart rather than push one in a store. While inside, there are women who love to linger and those who want to quickly buy and leave. Marketing to women does not mean targeting a niche market – that’s not what they are. Instead, marketing to inSpire. inForm. inStore.


women means making their concerns a priority in your total marketing strategy. It’s not about getting them to buy the products that a store like yours sells. They’re already doing that. It’s about getting them to buy from your store. Look at how you’re already marketing to women and where you need to ramp it up. Get to know your customers and what they want from your store through casual conversation, informal questionnaires and focus groups. Do a monthly walkthrough of your store. Watch how your customers navigate the aisles and interact with other customers and sales staff. Visit your competition with an eye toward the same things.

that you’ve listened to them in the past and made the right changes, and that you’re listening to them now. But just because women differ from men as consumers, doesn’t mean you should marginalize them in your marketing strategy. Avoid visual and verbal clichés and anything that comes off as patronizing to women. In other words, “don’t paint your store pink.” Avoid flowery designs in your ads and displays. Those only insult women – and alienate men.

MARKET WITH MEANING

Advertising. Do more than put images of women in your ads and on your website. Include pictures of men too. Take a story-telling approach by portraying products within the context of people’s lives. Focus on what’s special

It’s simple. Give women what they want. For starters, they want to be heard and perceived as important. Convenience and saving time also count, as does good customer service. They want to know www.instoremagazine.ca

TAKE NOTE OF THESE SEVEN AREAS OF YOUR MARKETING PLAN:

and interesting about your store - what sets you apart from other retailers. Give enough information, so people can determine whether it’s worth their while to shop at your place. Promotions. Don’t bombard women with bulk emails and direct mail. Instead, send out an email or paper newsletter just a few times a year. Create a customer-loyalty program and offer discounts for customers’ birthdays – price-sensitive shoppers especially appreciate this kind of generosity. And make sure your website includes your newest offerings, useful blog articles, space for customers to rate their experiences and their testimonials. Store appearance. Store aesthetics matter to women, who are often more aware of how things look, sound and smell than men. Let your store make the best impression. Ensure that parking is inStore. Winter 2021

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convenient and well lit. Avoid clutter and clatter. Keep things clean. Wide aisles are easier to navigate, especially with a stroller, wheelchair or walker. And the right lighting can showcase your products, not just illuminate them. Product displays. Because women tend to buy things in context with how they’re going to use them, display merchandise within environments that inspire women to buy. For instance, scatter vases around the store, mixing them with companion products in dining room and bedroom displays. Products should be easy to find and easy to pick up and admire. Staff. Hire people who reflect your customers and relate to them. Whether they’re millennials or middle-aged women, make sure some of your employees are of the same generation. Train your sales staff to understand and thoroughly present your products. Impress upon them that the conversation to have with women needn’t be chitchat, but rather a chance for your employees to gather as much information about their purchasing needs as possible. Patience is key. Customer service. The cost of products matter less to women than other things. In general, they appreciate good customer service more than a discount. And continuity carries weight, from the first hello to product returns. If you don’t handle returns well, they just might go elsewhere. The way you deal with dissatisfied customers can also make a difference as to whether they return to your store or not. Sales process. Avoid the hard-sell approach. Instead, help women with the product research they like to conduct prior to purchasing. Offer as much information as you can about the items and give them product brochures if you have them. Also, remind them of your website. Women will often go into a store, think about buying and walk out with nothing. That doesn’t mean they won’t come back. Make sure your salespeople understand that they’re in it for the longterm, not just to make a weekly sales quota.

REVEL IN THE BENEFITS

When you gear your marketing strategy toward the concerns of your female customers, they’ll speak well of your store. Women like to swap shopping stories more than men do. Positive word-of-mouth is crucial if you want to win them over. And since they’re more likely to ask for what they want, your male customers, will only benefit from the improvements you make whether they notice them or not. Just like your business, your customers needs are always changing, so remain aware of what they want. What they don’t want is to struggle with finding the best place to buy the perfect gift or pickme-up present. When you direct your marketing efforts to women, you make it easy for them to choose your store. Claire Sykes is a Portland-Ore.-based freelancer who writes on a variety of business topics. sykeswrites.com

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Styling by Leslie Groves Photography by Will Fournier

Just Ki GIFT GUIDE

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for

Kids

Our bi-annual gift guide for babies and kids!

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Just for Kids

Pretty in Pink

GIFT GUIDE

2

1

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1/ Loosey Goosey plush from Mary Meyer, $12.99 retail each, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 2/ Hat from FlapJack Kids, $16.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 3/ Teether from Little Cheeks, from $18 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca

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4/ Swaddle Bag from ergoPouch, $39.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 5/ Cuddle Booties, $29.95 to $39.95 retail, Warm Buddy, 888-649-0649, www.warmbuddy.com 6/ Unicorn tooth fairy pillow, $48 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca

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7/ Bunny Slippers, $29.95 to $39.95 retail, Warm Buddy, 888-649-0649, www.warmbuddy.com 8/ Teething charms from Bumkins, $17.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca

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1. Mary Meyer - Sweet Rainbow Soothie Blanket 2. Juddlies Designs - Cottage Slippers 3. Robeez - Grey Stripe Snap Booties 4. Drink In The Box - 8oz 5. BUMKINS - Dipping Spoons 6. ergoPouch - ErgoCocoon 0.2 tog 7. Fridababy - Head-Hugging Hair Brush + Comb 8. WubbaNub - Elephant 9. FlapJackKids - Kids UPF50+ 3D Cap Shark 10. Lulu & Jo - Lulu Doll 11. Bright Starts - Ford Rattle & Roll F-150 Raptor

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Just for Kids GIFT GUIDE

Baby Blues 4

1

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2 1/ Teething rings from Bumkins, $19.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 2/ Milk Aholic insulated drinkware, from $35.99 retail, Edenborough, 800-265-6398, www.edenborough.com 3/ Teething charms from Bumkins, $17.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca

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4/ Swaddle Bag from ergoPouch, $39.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 5/ Cuddle Barn animated elephant, $53.99 retail, Edenborough, 800-265-6398, www.edenborough.com 6/ Teether from Little Cheeks, from $18 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca

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7/ Fedora hat from FlapJack Kids, $14.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 8/ Reversible coverup from FlapJack Kids, $22.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca

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Just for Kids GIFT GUIDE

Neutral Corner

1 2

3 1/ Giving Bear from Demdaco, $45 retail, Canfloyd, 800-263-3551, www.canfloyd.com 2/ Goodnight Monster plush and storybook from Compendium, $59.99 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca

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3/ Loosey Goosey plush from Mary Meyer, $12.99 each, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 4/ Hat from FlapJack Kids, $16.99 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 5/ Book and plush set from Elegant Baby, $57 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca 6/ Teether from Little Cheeks, from $18 retail, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca 7/ Hat from Babyfield Apparel, Kidcentral Supply, 877-218-0395, www.kidcentral.ca

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Turning Callers into Customers BY CLAIRE SYKES

I

t goes something like this: The phone rings at your store and you answer it. The person on the other end describes a particular line of dishware and it’s clear they’re shopping around. Do you carry it? What’s your price? That’s all they want to know. If the cost suits them, they’ll come into your store. If not, off they go possibly never to be heard from again. Not so fast. Don’t let that person off the hook until you’ve done everything you can to get them into your store or onto your website. The way you handle this kind of call determines whether you make a successful sale, on or off the phone. There are no strict guidelines, only rules of thumb. Whether you give a price or not, in general, the longer you can keep a caller on the line, the better chance you have of reeling them in. The same goes for emails and social media direct messages (DM). With the person in your store, you can suggest that they look at other dishware lines you have in stock or that you could special order. And could they use some wine glasses and dish towels, too? 78

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When you steer shoppers towards the most appropriate purchases, they get what they want and you make a sale. In so doing, you increase the chances of that person becoming a repeat customer at your store.

You get four to six seconds to make a good impression on the phone, compared to 45 seconds in person.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

A potential sale begins the moment you pick up the phone, or reply to a shopper’s email or DM. Your voicemail, phone manner and email could be the person’s first experience with your store. Let it be memorable for them. Nancy Friedman, the president of The Telephone Doctor, a customer-service training company, says, “You only get four to six seconds by phone to make a good impression, compared to 45 seconds in person. So, use this time to your best advantage.” Friedman recommends adopting a three-part phone greeting:

THREE-PART PHONE GREETING:

1. Put out the welcome mat. Choose a buffer – a simple lead-in such as “Good morning” gets the person’s attention for the second part of the greeting. 2. Warm up the call. Say the name of your store. “Without that buffer, your company name could get clipped off, and you might come across as curt or inSpire. inForm. inStore.


rude,” says Friedman. 3. Make it personal. Give your own name first, saying, “This is . . .” Then ask the caller’s name if they don’t offer it. Once you’ve invited the person in and are on a first-name basis with them, make sure you address them by name periodically during the call to build rapport. “That’s really important,” says Friedman. “You’re now beginning a retailer-customer relationship, and this is the first step towards getting the caller into your store.”

BE AT THE READY

In those initial moments of contact, before you even know why the person has called you, they’re asking themselves if they want to do business with your store. They tapped out your phone number or sent you an email or DM for good reason. They’re on a mission www.instoremagazine.ca

to find the perfect set of dishware, and they know exactly which brand and style they want. Now they’re shopping around for the best price. Design a store policy that you and your salespeople can follow when handling sales interactions by phone, email and DM, by following these three steps: • Answer promptly. Maybe the phone rings when you’re busy unloading boxes or arranging store displays, but your customers always come first. “If you’re waiting on someone in person, politely excuse yourself to quickly answer the phone, and assure the caller that you’ll be with them as soon as possible,” says Ginger Johnson, a human connection expert and author of Connectivity Canon. “Reply right away to all messages. And if you use a bot, make sure its responses come across as human as possible.” • Smile sincerely. Aren’t you glad that

customer has contacted you? If you’re running around all stressed out or you’re not having the best day, simply turn up the corners of your mouth. Doing so encourages and enhances a positive and friendly attitude in you. And even though the person on the other end can’t see your expression, they’ll already feel appreciated. “For the same effect, include in your emails and online chat box a photo of you smiling,” says Johnson. • Serve immediately. Maybe you’re the one who answers the phone, but it’s someone else on staff who can best help the caller with their request. Johnson stresses, “The best customer experience comes from a team who’s inspired, more so than motivated, by making connections with customers.” As quickly as possible, get the caller to the right staff person. Select the best employee for responding to that inStore. Winter 2021

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Include a photo of yourself smiling in your email signature and online chat box photos.

When we’re being served, we feel like we’re having a great experience. Let your service be a connection point for the customer and their satisfaction with your store.

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first email or DM. No one likes being put on hold for long or left waiting for a message back only to be passed on to one person after another.

KEEP IT GOING

Now, you have two choices, and depending on whom you ask— retail consultants, fellow retailers or your Aunt Ellen — you’ll get one answer or the other to this question: Should you offer a price over the phone or via message? Either way, yes or no, it’s a risk. Unless it’s a deal, Friedman recommends, “Don’t immediately give a price answer for a price question. You’re likely to lose the call. Instead, ignore price for now and focus on building rapport with the person. Begin by complimenting them on their choice of the requested item. Then start asking questions in a friendly, genuinely inquisitive and nonthreatening way.” Johnson agrees. “Be interested, not interesting,” as she puts it. “Your open-ended questions and active listening let people experience your care and curiosity, which is huge for connecting.” Ask the caller if they have actually seen the line of dishware they’re inquiring about and what they like about it. What similar lines or completely different ones have they considered? Then suggest a few options, describing their features and benefits. You can even ask the person why they phoned or emailed your shop in particular. Just keep the caller talking or replying to your messages and questions. “Your goal is to serve, not to ‘sell.’ A sale is the result of service,” says Johnson. “When we’re being served, we feel like we’re having a great experience. Let your service be a connection point for the customer and their satisfaction with your store.” In-person service is the best, of course. You can more fully establish a customer’s true needs that way than you can over the phone or through words typed out on a screen. Though the person may ask about a specific product, they may or may not have actually seen what they’re requesting. They may be thrilled to know that another item turns out to be more fitting for them. Therefore, do all you can to get the customer into your store so they can shop

inStore. Winter 2021

around and make the best selection. However, if the person on the phone or through their emails and DMs insists — and persists — on wanting just the price of that particular line of dishware, don’t give the price just yet. Find out if the person has received price quotes from other stores. Tiptoe through the competitive terrain by politely asking this savvy shopper which other retailers they reached out to and the prices they gave them. What is the caller not quite happy with concerning these prices? To yourself, you’ll be thinking, “How can I offer the best price, yet still be fair to myself ?” At this point, the customer may say that they just want to find the lowest price. If they ask you to match or beat a competitor’s price, don’t give in — yet! Impress upon the person the services you offer, such as giftwrap, free delivery and easy returns – those all add value to the dollar figure on the sales tag. Know clearly what services you can provide that other stores in your area don’t. Also, offer the customer different dishware options that you (hopefully) have in stock. There may be a better product choice for the person.

AT THE END OF THE DAY

Let’s say you’ve tried everything to get this person to tell you they’re either coming into your store or about to hit “buy” on your website – and nothing works. You’ve asked the caller all the right questions over the phone and through your emails and DMs. You’ve kept the interaction going. You’ve built a nice rapport with them. But all the caller really wants is a price. At this point, just give it. You haven’t given in or lost the game. Look at your attempts to win this person over as opportunities to hone your skills for improving your ability to connect with customers over the phone and via email and on social media. The more you know how to respond to those who call your store or write asking questions about a certain product, the better you’ll be able to turn the next caller into a customer. Claire Sykes is a Portland-Ore.-based freelancer who writes on a variety of business topics. sykeswrites.com

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PASSIONATE RETAILER ON

Being an independent retailer is not easy; especially during a world crisis. That’s why, independent retailer Diane Petryna launched “The Passionate Retailer” Facebook page. It’s a place where independent retailers can share information and ideas, lend support and encouragement, and raise their voices on issues that matter most.

Be sure to LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. www.facebook.com/passionateretailer *SUPPLIERS AND INDUSTRY REPS WELCOMED TOO.

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Fresh

Fasion Finds The hottest looks of the season

Styling by Leslie Groves Photography by Will Fournier

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FreshFashion Finds

At First Blush 3

1

2 1/ Lotus earrings, $30 retail, Foxy Originals, 866-438-3699, www.foxyoriginals.com 2/ Curio scarf, $29 retail, Danica Studio, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com

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3/ Bella chain bracelet, $40 retail, Jacqueline Kent, 888-963-9097, www.jacquelinekentjewelry.com 4/ Couture facemasks, $30 retail, Jacqueline Kent, 888-963-9097, www.jacquelinekentjewelry.com 5/ Knotted t-shirt from Mud Pie, $62.50 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca 6/ Lush earrings, $30 retail, Foxy Originals, 866-438-3699, www.foxyoriginals.com

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7/ Harlequin bracelet collection, $60 retail, Jacqueline Kent, 888-963-9097, www.jacquelinekentjewelry.com

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FreshFashion Finds

Grey Days 2 1

1/ Bella chain bracelet, $40 retail, Jacqueline Kent, 888-963-9097, www.jacquelinekentjewelry.com

3

2/ Sarong, $40 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 3/ Polka dot sweater from Mud Pie, $94 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca 4/ Flights of Fancy scarf, $29 retail, Danica Studio, 888-632-6422, www.danicaimports.com 5/ Bracelet from Howard’s, $45.99 retail, Edenborough, 800-265-6398, www.edenborough.com

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Making the

Grade

Is Your Store Instagramable? BY ANDREA HEIN

I

t may not be in the dictionary yet, but Instagramable is definitely a word. Actually, it’s much more than a word, it’s a growing trend. Being an Instagramable store is about how your store makes customers look, specifically in their Instagram posts. Retailers have been catering to the selfie trend for the past few years, so this is nothing new. But what is new, is that the trend is growing beyond the selfie. If you went to a pumpkin patch this fall you might have noticed a group of well dressed people in their mid 20s with photo ready hair and makeup, not buying pumpkins or anything at all for that matter. They’re just taking perfect fall photos of each other with the perfect backdrop. Sunflower farms were forced to “close their doors” to the public because people were flooding their fields by the thousands to take pictures amidst the giant beauties. There’s nothing “new” behind the concept of taking pictures beside or in front of something interesting. People have been taking pictures beside landmarks and famous signs for years, but now people want to add more creative and unique elements to their photos. They want backdrops that make their life look bright, interesting and fun.

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The Dr. Suess Experience, Toronto 2019

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Outdoor art at Cub Shrub in Columbus, Ohio

Giant mural of wings in Nashville, Tenn.

Bakeshops across the country have become Instagram-famous for their bright colours, on-trend décor, perfectly branded packaging and oversized desserts. The trend isn’t just happening in bake shops. Themed exhibits and entire museums have been created to cash in on this Instragramable culture trend. The Dr. Seuss Experience in Toronto in 2019 was seemingly aimed at young children, but if you were lucky enough to experience the “experience”, you know very well that the lineups for photo-opportunity hot spots were made up of more young adults than small children. In New York City, the Museum of Ice Cream opened up 2016, quickly becoming the most Instragrammed building in the US . . . at the time. For $39 a person, guests could swim in a pool full of “sprinkles” or sit on a bright yellow banana swing with walls lined with banana peels in the Banana Split room for no other reason than the joy of the experience. In Miami, Iowa and South Dakota, a company called “Selfie Station” has created the first Instagram “mall”, a collection of photo booths each

adorned with its own unique theme for the perfect Instagram post. Big-box retailers have caught on to the trend. For the last few years, they’re putting less product on the floor and putting more focus on the customer experience. The products these stores (Target, etc.) sell can easily be purchased online now. Getting people into a brick-and-mortar store is becoming more difficult every day – and COVID certainly isn’t helping. The overall goal of these stores, and any store, is to sell product. Ultimately these retailers understand that it doesn’t matter if the customer buys the product while in the store or online at home. All that matters is that they do purchase. While customers are in their stores, it’s the retailer’s job to entertain them and remind them of their brand loyalty through the experiences they provide. While this is all well and good for big-box retailers, how can small shops jump on this trend? A four-foot space or even unused wall space is enough to get you on your way. Some quick and easy ideas include: a faux-floral wall, a wall of holiday balls

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in bright colours, a grass wall with your store’s logo or a brightly-coloured mural or vinyl artwork. If a lockdown happens again and your store is restricted to curbside pick up, consider taking your selfie spots outside. The mural of a giant pair of wings in downtown Nashville, with a space left open in the middle for anyone to stand in and “wear the wings”, is recognizable to those who haven’t been to Nashville because it shows up on Instagram so often. I’m not suggesting you paint an elaborate mural, but rather that outdoor art can be just as snap worthy. Cub Shrub, a small independently-owned store in Columbus, Ohio, has cleverly turned their utility meter into a fun robot which serves as both a great photo op spot and a clever way to showcase their merchandise. Andrea Hein is the owner of Andrea Hein Occasions which specialises in custom decor for various sports clients including the Buffalo Bills. Andrea began her career at Walt Disney World and has worked for both boutique and big-box stores. (andreaheinoccassions.com) inStore. Winter 2021

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The magazine Canadian retailers turn to for advice, insight, products and new suppliers.

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Shades of

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Trends

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Grey

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1/ LED solar lantern, $27 retail, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com 2/ Flower wall dĂŠcor from Rosemary & Time, $25 retail, Candym Enterprises, 800-263-3551, www.candym.com 3/ Lantern, $28 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com

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4/ Pot, $11 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 5/ Striped pillow, $76 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 6/ Cross-stitched throw, $68 retail, Indaba Trading, 800-746-3222, www.indabatrading.com 7/ Cotton throw, $140 retail, Merben International, 866-463-7236, www.merben.com 8/ Throw from Primitives By Kathy, $175 retail, Candym Enterprises, 800-263-3551, www.candym.com

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9/ Oversized Turkish towel, $95 retail, Pokoloko, 844-476-5656, www.pokoloko.com 10/ Cadet throw, $140 retail, Pokoloko, 844-476-5656, www.pokoloko.com 11/ Stacking blocks from Mud Pie, $40.50 retail, Design Home Gift & Paper, 800-663-9950, www.designhome.ca

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12/ Irena throw, $110 retail, Pokoloko, 844-476-5656, www.pokoloko.com 13/ LED solar lantern, $27 retail, Harman Imports, 800-363-7608, www.harmaninc.com

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14/ Pillow from Primitives By Kathy, $57 retail, Candym Enterprises, 800-263-3551, www.candym.com

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Home DĂŠcor

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inSight Barbara Crowhurst

Survival Tips for Winter

D

uring the slower winter months, I encourage my retail clients to start chipping away at their to-do lists. To help you survive this upcoming COVID-19 winter, I’m sharing the following suggestions on things you should consider and act on:

GET YOUR REPORTS IN ORDER Your P&L (product and loss) statements are waiting for you.

REVIEW YOUR MARGINS

Is it time to change some of the products you sell? Ask yourself if you’re selling what your customers want now, not what they wanted last year. Reduce inventory in products that customers don’t currently find relevant.

ANALYZE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGIES

If you’re limited to selling virtually, adjust your spending and the theme of your campaigns accordingly. Show yourself as part of your marketing message - either through photographs or videos. Don’t let customers forget you and what you look like.

RECONSIDER YOUR ONLINE OFFERINGS

If your customer base is shopping online and you have not been working hard to get your store’s products online, you’ve basically told them “Our (online) doors are closed to you. Go somewhere else.”

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GETTING YOUR STORE IN ORDER Is your store ready to tackle a ‘COVID-19’ winter?

STAY STRONG ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Thirty-one percent of consumers do their shopping while flipping through their social media accounts, so keep posting on Instagram and hosting shopping events on Facebook Live.

AVOID EXTENDING CONTRACTS

Don’t make any permanent contract-extending decisions on space rental, employees, or the amount and dollar value of your inventory.

SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS

Surveys show most shoppers will shop and support local. Make it convenient for them. Barbara Crowhurst is a business coach and store designer who works with clients around the world. www.retailmakeover.ca

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inSight The Passionate Retailer

A Vision to Build Back Better

T

he global pandemic has hugely impacted independent retailers across the country. While some have flourished, others have been forced to close their doors. Many have required additional financing and developed new business models to stay afloat. The disruption to our industry is far from over but, as more and more Canadians get vaccinated, we can be more hopeful and start making plans to build back. Winston Churchill said, “Don’t let a good crisis go to waste.” So, let’s not. Over the past several months, more and more Canadians have come to appreciate the vital role front-line retail and service workers play in our society. There’s been a growing recognition of the economic importance of shopping local, and the challenges independent retailers face in a world dominated by Amazon, multi-national chains and big-box stores. Political instinct tells me the time is right for independent retailers to come together – to form a group, develop a new vision for our industry, and begin working with governments and our partners to turn our vision into a reality. In other countries, national independent retail associations were formed many years ago. A similar association in Canada would give us the leverage we need to work directly with government on the issues that most concern us. We need to be understood. Despite being an essential part of every community in Canada, independent retailers remain a mystery. In the absence of real Canadian data, the media reports on publiclytraded companies and American retail statistics. A national survey would go far in helping politicians and others understand who we are, what our concerns are, how many jobs we create, the taxes we pay, what trends are emerging, etc. Good government policies and programs begin with good data. We need education, training and mentoring. Many store owners started their business with little or no business or retail experience. Practical training and mentoring programs are much needed, and we need benchmark information and knowledge of best practices. What are the best independent retailers doing to be successful and how do our businesses measure up? We must collaborate as an industry. Independent retailers are not the only ones facing great uncertainty, so are our suppliers, sales reps, brands and show organizers. To build back better, we must work together to develop a recovery plan that’s

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sustainable and profitable for all. Collaboration is key. We need competitive rates. We pay some of the highest fees in the world for credit-card processing, banking, insurance, cellular service and shipping. And, while the biggest retailers in Canada have been able to negotiate lower rates because of their size, independents struggle to compete. By banding together, we could be a real force. Many business sectors enjoy government grants and subsidies which help them offset the cost of research, development, innovation, technology, training and marketing. Without sector-specific funding for independent retailers, it’s far more difficult for us to move forward. We must demand equal funding. We need to become political. I encourage you to reach out to the elected officials in your area and let them know about the issues we’re facing. Most importantly, be kind to yourself and others. Celebrate small successes and let’s make 2021 the year of positive transformation. Please join me and continue the conversation with other independents on The Passionate Retailer Facebook page: facebook.com/passionateretailer. Diane Petryna is the owner of Take A Hike + Take 2 Boutique in Thunder Bay, Ont. She has won numerous community and business awards and in 2012 was inducted into the Retail Council of Canada’s Retail Hall of Fame. Prior to becoming a retailer, she was a self-employed research and planning consultant. inSpire. inForm. inStore.


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inForm CanGift Connects

Hello 2021! By Anita Schachter

T

he start to this new year holds a lot of hope and positivity. Our industry’s creativity will always shine through and CanGift has a few starting points for you to gain inspiration from this year. The association is pleased to introduce CanGift 365. We’ve partnered with marketplace innovator Brandwise, a leader in developing wholesale ordering technology. With a strong focus on Canada’s gift and home décor industry, the Brandwise platform connects wholesale suppliers with retailers. It’s all happening digitally, seven days a week, 24 hours a day on CanGift 365! Launching this February, the possibilities with CanGift 365 are endless and are aimed to enhance our future in-person trade shows.

Now, the association is ready to serve retailers virtually year-round and face-to-face. Retailers will be introduced to the new platform at our next virtual show, February 22 to 25. The CanGift Virtual Show will offer you an opportunity to discover the exhibitors you’re accustomed to finding at the Toronto and Alberta markets. The show has been improved with easier functionality as retailers will now be able to have a real-time chat or Zoom meeting with exhibitors, as well as browse catalogues and videos featuring new products and bestsellers. The most exciting new feature is an ordering button which lets retailers seamlessly order the products they need.

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CanGift is pairing these digital initiatives with a traditional show in Edmonton. The Alberta Gift + Home Market is returning with new dates: April 18 to 21, 2021 at the Edmonton Expo Centre. We’re optimistic about the chance to come together to conduct business again, faceto-face. We’re prioritizing official guidelines and protocol to implement the required safety measures at this market. Now, the association is ready to serve retailers virtually year-round and face-to-face. We’re confident the trifecta of CanGift 365, the Virtual Show and the Alberta Gift + Home Market will set you up for a successful year of business. Whether you’re joining us online or in-person, we wish you good health and wellness going forward. Submitted by CanGift President and CEO Anita Schachter on behalf of the association’s board of directors. For more information about the association, visit cangift.org.

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Winter 2021  

Fresh Finds for Spring & Summer

Winter 2021  

Fresh Finds for Spring & Summer