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Go Back to www.IndependentRetailer.com Inteliracer RC Car : 22 | Bike Brightz Lights : 32 | Easy Klaw Grips : 34 | Tool Tether : 38

INDEPENDENT

RETAILER .OVEMBERs6OLUME s .UMBER

Swipe Fee Reform Saves Millions Page 16

Hot Trends in

Souvenirs IGES Spotlight Page 85

Inside QR Codes Page 90

Magazines & Books For Your Store Page 72

Bold Accessories, Big Profits Page 64


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Largest Wholesaler Of Licensed Merchandise On The Web! PERIOD!

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November 2012

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For Industry News & Updates INDEPENDENTRETAILER.com

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64 Bold Accessories, Big Profits. An eclectic array of new fashion accessories includes animal themes, bright baubles and unique smartphone gloves.

72

Make Money Selling Magazines Readers Service makes it easy to profit from magazine sales with credit for copies that don’t sell.

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NCR Silver POP and Data Service Track sales, connect with customers and sell from any location.

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Eco-Friendly Thermometers Solar powered by day, lunar powered at night, never needs a battery, and now packaged for retail.

Solid 85 Rock Sales At IGES Wholesalers unveil new souvenirs at annual trade show.

INDEPENDENT

RETAILER INDEPENDENTRETAILER.com œÛi“LiÀÊÓä£ÓÊÊUÊÊ6œÕ“iÊÓÎÊUÊ Õ“LiÀÊ£Ó

News 8 10 14 16 18

| Small Business Expo | ‘Tis the Season to Hire | 2012 Economic Census | Swipe Fee Reform Saves Millions | Daily Deals Boost Retailers

New Products 20 22 28 32 34 38

| Tuscan Leather Bracelets | Inteliracer RC Car | Fifo Covers iPhone 5 | Bike Brightz Lights | Easy Klaw Grips | Retractable Tool Tether

Product Trends 42 44 46 52 56 58

| Winter Wake App | Necky Warmer | Water Powered Fuel Cell Charger | Battery Power & Bargains | Simple Sucker Smartphone Mount | Nike + FuelBand

Company Update 61 | Universe of Energies Gifts

Marketing 79 | The Future of Cross Channel Marketing 90 | Inside Quick Response

95

ShopKeep POS App New app helps retailers manage inventory, customers, and make transactions all from an iPad or iphone.

92 | Product Spotlight 94 | Tradeshow Calender Facebook.com/IndependentRetailerMagazine @indretailer

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November 2012

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CONKLIN FASHIONS 1-800-437-1161

.......................................................................................... .. ..........................................................................................

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November 2012

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November 2012

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Mixed Loads of Merchandise from Major Retailers for Pennies on the Wholesale Dollar www.continentalwholesale.net SURPLUS WHOLESALE DAMAGED BOXES CLOSEOUTS

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NEWS Ideal For Traveling & Flattering for all Body Shapes. Women’s Fashion Lowest Wholesale Prices! Huge Selection! New Items Added Every Month

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Small Business Expo

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sales@halmarksystems.net

INDEPENDENT RETAILER

SMALL BUSINESS Expo, a production company specializing in B2B networking events, is launching a trade show at the California Market Center in Los Angeles on November 8. Small Business Expo runs 10 a.m. to 5 pm, featuring workshops, seminars, a cyber lounge, speed networking, a business owners’ luncheon, live product demonstrations and more. Topics to be addressed range from legal issues to SEO strategies, with speakers representing top companies such as Yelp and Go Daddy. The keynote presentation will be given by Bill Walsh of Powerteam International, who will discuss, “Success by Design: Three Keys to Building Your Ultimate Success Story.â€? “Our goal at Small Business Expo is to create a fun environment in which to network; something vastly different from the typical trade show,â€? says Zachary Lezberg, producer of the show. “At our New York City events, we put dancing businesspeople in the windows overlooking the street entrance to ensure that all our participants enter the expo in a great mood. In Los Angeles, the dancers will be stationed right in the lobby to greet people as they arrive. We’re hoping that a sense of camaraderie and fun will permeate our Los Angeles show.â€? More information about the show is available at thesmallbusinessexpo.com, on the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages, or call 212-404-2345. â–


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NEWS ‘Tis The Season To Hire ACCORDING TO job listing data recently released by Hound.com, a job search website dedicated to monitoring and reporting jobs online, employers in the retail sector are opting to hire an average of 10 percent more staff, compared with last year’s holiday season. Among retailers studied, Kohl’s, Walmart and Toys“R�Us are projected to make the largest increases in holiday hires, with 5, 000 more people at Toys“R�Us, and an additional 50,000 seasonal employees at Walmart. This data is encouraging for Hound’s CEO, Harrison Barnes, who is, “extremely positive about the job market, not just for retail jobs, but also for jobs in other major sectors.� In a recent 15-day period, the website posted 21, 286 jobs, all listed by employers, not by recruiters.

A similar study conducted by Hay Group showed 75 percent of retailers expect an increase in 2012 holiday sales. Among new employees, the general ratio of permanent to seasonal workers is leaning more in favor of permanent employees, as they are regarded as being more committed to their hiring retail brands. Hay Group’s findings mirrored those of Hound.com, supporting the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ announcement that through the remainder of Q4 and into the beginning of Q1 2013, expanded hiring will result in seasonal jobs for 700, 000 workers. ■For Today’s Business News and Updates Visit IndependentRetailer.com

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A CI

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Manufacturer November 2012

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OUTSIDE NY 800-648-4818  Ê 9ÊÊ­x£È®ÊxÈ£‡£ÎÇnÊUÊ8Ê­x£È®ÊxÈ£‡ÎÈäx

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Introducing

10 witty and powerful designs that embody the fun and friendship girls of all ages share. Colorful, thoughtful, funny - and focused on faith! Wear them to church, to the mall - anywhere at all. “The Cherished Girl line is A-W-E-S-O-M-E! Thanks Kerusso!” -Janet Bokamp

´,QHHGWRJHWWKH¶&KRFRODWH·7HH IRUP\GDXJKWHU6KH·V$OODERXW FKRFRODWHµ -Shelley Loudermilk

“These Tees are so me!” -Heather Minter

From Tweens to Grandmas, this style is sweeping the country! by

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800-424-0943 sales@kerusso.com

November 2012

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NEWS 2012 Economic Census MORE THAN four million American businesses, including 740,000 retailers, are receiving 2012 Economic Census forms in November and December. The census is going to all but the very smallest businesses, and those that do receive forms are required by law (Title 13, U.S. Code) to respond by February 12, 2013. The forms ask for basic information such as location, employment, payroll, and sales by type of product or service. Timely and accurate information is vital to effective public policy, and Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, calls this census, “indispensable to understanding America’s economy.� Taken every five years, Bernanke says

the Economic Census, “assures the accuracy of the statistics we rely on for sound economic policy, and for successful business planning.â€? The Economic Census develops a comprehensive portrait of American business, from the national to the local level. There are many interesting facts about independent retailers from the last Economic Census, available at business.census. gov. Examples on the website illustrate how Census Bureau economic statistics are used by local businesses for marketing and planning, as well as by government agencies and researchers. Watch for and return your Economic Census Form before February 12, 2013. â–

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UĂŠÂ?Â?ĂŠ-ÂŤÂˆViĂƒĂŠ*>VÂŽi`ĂŠĂ€iĂƒÂ…ĂŠ7iiÂŽÂ?Ăž UĂŠ7ˆ`iĂŠ-iÂ?iVĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜ UĂŠÂœĂœĂŠÂˆÂ˜ÂˆÂ“Ă•Â“ĂŠ*Ă•Ă€VÂ…>Ăƒi UĂŠ>Â˜ĂžĂŠ Â?i˜`ĂƒĂŠĂœĂ‰ÂœĂŠ->Â?ĂŒ UĂŠÂ?Â?ĂŠ >ĂŒĂ•Ă€>Â? UĂŠ ÂœĂŠĂƒ} UĂŠ ÂœĂŠˆÂ?Â?iĂ€Ăƒ

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NEWS Swipe Fee Reform Saves Millions OCTOBER MARKED the one-year anniversary of landmark Federal Reserve regulations that cut the average debit card swipe fee collected by the nation’s largest banks, from about 44 cents per transaction to around 22 cents. Reform was the result of more than five years of retail industry advocacy efforts, led by the National Retail Federation (NRF). This debit card swipe fee reform is resulting in savings of about $18 million a day, and retailers are passing these savings along to shoppers, the NRF says. “Depending on the store, shoppers are paying lower prices, getting better service, or avoiding price hikes that otherwise would have come with inflation,” NRF president and CEO, Matthew Shay, said in a statement. “Retailers are simply too competitive not to share savings with consumers, because customer value is one of the key ways they take market share away from their competitors. Retailers know that if they don’t pass along the savings, the store across the street will.” Prior to reform, debit card swipe fees cost retail-

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ers and consumers $22 billion a year, driving prices up an average of $192 a year for each of the nation’s 114 million households. Reform cut those fees by an estimated $6.6 billion, according to Javelin Strategy and Research. Some card processors have yet to pass the full reduction along to retailers. Some merchants have shared the savings with customers in an obvious way, such as Home Depot cutting prices on more than three thousand items, Ikea offering savings vouchers to customers who pay by debit card, or gas stations giving discounts once reserved for cash. Others have taken steps that aren’t publicly tied to debit, but fueled by the savings, such as adding clerks, improving customer service, or turning 25 percent discounts into 30 percent off. The NRF continues to seek a further reduction in the fees. The organization filed a lawsuit last year, saying the Federal Reserve didn’t follow the swipe fee reform law passed by Congress in 2010, and that the 22-cent cap should have been far lower. ■

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NEWS Daily Deals Boost Retailers MORE THAN a quarter (26 percent) of brick and mortar retailers are, “definitely planning to participate,” in an online deal program in the next six months, according to the Local Commerce Monitor (LCM) sur vey, conducted by market researchers, BIA/ Kelsey. Among those responding, 15 percent said they were “very likely,” and 11 percent admitted they were “extremely likely” to offer such a promotion. The Virginia based research firm considers these findings to be strong evidence of small businesses’ interest in daily deals through online marketers. Furthermore, the study revealed that third party online marketing companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial have capitalized on the opportunity to deliver deals to

customers, while at the same time helping independent retailers reach new audiences. BIA/Kelsey went on to state that as a result, local online revenue is projected to reach at least $3.6 billion by the end of this year. “To date, local targeting has not been widely adopted by SMBs or national brands,” states Jed Williams, analyst and program director of

INDEPENDENT RETAILER

social local media at BIA/Kelsey. “However, the paradigm is moving to performance, with Facebook and other networks focused on improving format creativity and consumer targeting to boost rates and drive deeper ad engagement. We expect smaller businesses, especially, to learn how to leverage these features to optimize results.” LCM Wave 16 (Q3/2012) survey results were released at the SMB Digital Marketing Conference in Chicago recently. In its announce-

ment, BIA/Kelsey revealed that online deals will become a mainstay for small businesses focused on building an effective marketing strategy. The release of the survey results coincides with the declaration from Groupon that it has officially started the process of developing its international clout, as the company is now exploring deals that would cross borders. Groupon leaders are hopeful that the investigation of foreign markets will invigorate the mom and pop sector of America’s companies. ■ For Today’s Business News and Updates Visit IndependentRetailer.com


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Tuscan Leather Bracelets MY SHOPPING Tree specializes in personalized products for pets and people, selling collars, charms for collars, and leashes for dogs; halters and their charms, and bridles for horses. For people, the company offers baseball caps, accessory straps for backpacks and purses, and bracelets. “Our newest product is the Tuscan Leather Bracelet with Interchangeable Nuggets,” reveals Shannon Albert, owner. The Tuscan leather bracelet consists of high qual-

ity leather and any of 15 nuggets, including amethyst, aquamarine and diamond jewels; Hopi hand, third eye and man in the moon; and snowflake, sun, sun and moon and skull, which can be easily popped in and out, Albert notes. “These bracelets are all the rage now in Europe, and they’re unlike anything else anyone has in North America,” she says. The band of each bracelet is one inch wide and holds three nuggets at a time. “You can change the look of the bracelet based on your mood, or to coordinate with an outfit,” Albert explains. “If I’m going out and I’m dressed up, I might pick some of the jeweled nuggets, but if I’m feeling a little bit naughty, I might pick the skulls.” Tuscan Leather Bracelets are designed for both men and women. “The black bracelet with the skulls, for example, is perfectly suited to a guy,” Albert suggests. “The bracelet adjusts from 7.75 to 8.25 inches, so it fits just about everyone.” Suggested retail for a bracelet with three nuggets is $35 to $45. Leather bands wholesale for $7, and nuggets wholesale from $1.75 to $2. Retailers can easily double or triple their money, depending on their geographic area and what their pricing demands, Albert states. Retailers who mention Independent Retailer magazine are eligible for a special introductory package, which includes 15 brown continued on page 26

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Inteliracer RC Car WHEN IT comes to satisfying a need for speed, Emirimage Corporation upshifts its innovation by several gears with its extensive line of remote control racecars, helicopters and boats. Never lacking in stylish detail, Emirimage products are made to look as sleek as their real life counterparts. With the company’s latest electronic racecar, the Inteliracer RC Car, Emirimage pushes the limits of what is possible for toy cars, through a number of functional and aesthetic improvements. “Our latest racecar operates on a 2.4 gigahertz capacity, which means users experience less interference while playing with the toy,” explains Eduardo Perl, company president. On the firm’s website, www.emirimage.com, the Inteliracer RC Car, listed as product number TOU2412, is painted bright white with burnt yellow tiger

stripes, and a vivid black and red racing graphic on the sides and hood. The car is available in eight styles and assorted colors, and slick rear spoilers complete the eye-catching exterior on all models. Strips of LED lights along the bottom of the car give it the appearance of having just driven off the set of the latest Blockbuster racing flick. Just as important as its exterior is the toy’s functionality. In line with the rest of Emirimage’s cutting edge items, the Inteliracer RC Car can be operated with a smartphone or tablet, integrated with a free app. Users can view a simulated track on the screen of their tablets, and drive the car with controls on their touchscreens. A new feature with Inteliracer is motion sensitive technology, making the car’s separate remote control continued on page 26

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November 2012

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Tuscan Leather Bracelets

Inteliracer RC Car continued from page 22

continued from page 20

leather bracelets, 15 black leather bracelets, and five of each of the 15 nuggets. The regular wholesale price for this package is $360, but Independent Retailer readers will receive a $50 discount and free shipping. The minimum order is $50. Other recent My Shopping Tree introductions include a line of Swarovski crystal horse brow bands, available in black leather with clear crystals, and dark brown leather with pink crystals; and bracelets that can be personalized with letters or charms. â–

function similar to the remote of a Wii game. By moving or spinning the control itself, as opposed to pressing buttons, the car will respond accordingly. “It is a unique function,� Perl points out, “one which we are sure will be pleasing to our retailers and their customers.� The Inteliracer RC Car is available for a wholesale price of $21.95, and ships in boxes of 24 pieces. Suggested retail is from $59 to $89. While there is no minimum order, the company does require all order quantities to be placed by the full box. ■For more information: Emirimage Corporation 5269 NW 161st Street Hialeah, FL 33014 Toll Free: 877-858-4627 Tel.: 305-500-9860 Email: sales@emirgroup.com Website: www.emirimage.com

For more information: My Shopping Tree 1183 Oak Ridge Road Denison, TX 75021 Tel.: 903-647-3110 Email: Online Contact Form Website: www.myshoppingtree.com

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Fifo Covers iPhone 5 IN BUSINESS over a decade, Fifo Wireless is a manufacturer and distributor of wireless phone accessories for independent retailers and big box stores across North America. The firm goes to great lengths to live up to its reputation for creating products that fly off of retailers’ shelves, and has developed a unique program allowing business owners to test its products against existing wireless accessory stock, using only one square foot of retail space as a testing zone. “Our products typically win, and those retailers switch to Fifo Wireless,� says Gary Rep, VP of sales and marketing. “Most of the time, our new accounts come to us in that way.� Fifo regularly comes out with new products, and recent additions have included an assortment of new chargers and a three-inone charger. The most exciting new addition to Fifo’s inventory may be its line of accessories and

cases for the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5, which charged onto the mobile scene with enough force to yield $5 million in sales over the course of three days, is larger than previous models, and customers can’t use their old cases. Fifo picked up on this and has released bamboo cases through its XA Wireless line. The cases come with a variety of etchings on the back, meant to inspire and motivate customers, while making the iPhone 5 more decorative. Naturalistic and appealing to image driven millennial customers, the product is a unique alternative to the everyday plastic or rubber case, and provides protection to the phone without sacrificing style. To order, Rep recommends that retailers call first, then visit the website. “Calling

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no minimum order unless they wish to become a distributor as well. Occasionally and exclusively for mom and pop stores, Fifo runs specials on its merchandise, and buyers are encouraged to inquire about current or possible deals. â–

Fifo Covers iPhone 5 continued from page 28

For more information: Fifo Wireless 10900 NW 21st Street #210 Miami, FL 33172 Toll Free: 800-922-1602 Tel: 305-592-7906 Fax: 305-592-7908 Email: Online contact form Website: www.fifowireless.com

first allows us to set up the customer account to allow access to product details and pricing,� he explains. “We can offer new customers a temporary login and password if they would like to look around our online store, and we’ll help them in any way necessary. We are not about simply selling wireless merchandise, we’re here to help.� Fifo guarantees its products will sell, in part because of their bright, trilingual packaging, which is especially useful in convenience stores, and also because of the price. “Customers see products retailing for $11.99, which is half the price they would pay elsewhere, so they don’t hesitate to make the purchase,� Rep points out. Retailers pay $6 per accessory as part of the Fifo wholesale program, with

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Bike Brightz Lights WHEN ERIC Finch was a boy, he dreamed of having a bed that had lights strung around the frame, so it would look like a car from the film, “Fast and Furious.� He asked his father, Ron, an electrical engineer, if it was possible to make his bed look like a movie prop, and his dad set to work. “When I saw the light strip my dad came up with, I said, ‘I want those on my bike!’� Eric recalls. Ron Finch, now president of the company, developed a strip of small LED lights that could be attached to the body of a bicycle, and tried his prototype out on his son’s bike. The accessory would soon become the pair’s eye catching new product, Bike Brightz. It was an instant hit among the neighborhood bike lovers, and when

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the requests came pouring in the Finches knew they were onto something. Weatherproof and durable, Finch constructed the device from ABS plastic, tough enough to endure even the most rambunctious rides. While adult riders love the safety Bike Brightz offers, children and teenagers are attracted because it’s a, “cool and interesting product,� says Finch. “Everyone who sees it wants to know what it is, and where they can get one.� Voted Most Innovative Product by the Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing group, and endorsed by the Today Show, Bike Brightz are lighting up twowheel transit. Bike Brightz fit on any size bike, and continued on page 36

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Easy Klaw Grips front pocket where the cane would rest became easy to put together,� says Cutler. Canes and crutches can be just as cumbersome as the symptoms they alleviate, but with Easy Klaw, Cutler found relief through a simple solution. In addition, Easy Klaw can be used to prop up sports equipment, mops and brooms. At first glance, Easy Klaw resembles a paperweight in the shape of a puzzle piece, cut to be just under one inch thick. One end rests on any flat surface, such as a tabletop or counter, while the other end hangs off the edge and provides a v-shaped resting place for canes or crutches. The extra wide opening means easy access for larger canes or walking sticks, and makes it possible to stand continued on page 36

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LIKE MANY guitarists, Jeff Cutler and his business partner, Dave Trombetti, were all too familiar with the hassle of propping up their guitars securely to make sure they didn’t fall on the floor. As a result, Cutler and Trombetti were inspired to invent a product for musicians called the Axe-Handler, and since their business’s launch in 2009, Re-Axe Products has branched out to other markets. Cutler, managing partner of Re-Axe through his consulting business, ThInc Tank LLC, now reveals that Re-Axe’s newest product is a rebranded, reshaped version of the original Axe-Handler, dubbed the Easy Klaw. This helpful tool is designed to assist people with canes or crutches. “Since I was using a cane at the time, the shape of the


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Bike Brightz Lights

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continued from page 32

continued from page 34

can be installed in less than 30 seconds without any specialized tools. Using two AAA batteries, one strip can last for up to 15 hours when set in any speed of the three flash modes, or constant mode. Bike Brightz have a set minimum price of $14.99 for retailers selling the product online. In stores they retail for $10 to $15. The wholesale cost is $6.25 each, and the Finches have found that the product sells well as an impulse buy on a countertop, when showcased in a Bike Brightz floor or winged point of purchase display. Orders are shipped within one or two business days. ■

up multiple items at once. Due to the weight of the Easy Klaw, the device requires no fastening to keep it from slipping. “It’s scientifically designed to grip and stick,” Cutler points out. Easy Klaw is designed and manufactured in the USA, and suggested retail is $16.95, with wholesale at $7.75. Easy Klaw is sold in cases of eight, which run $62. “There are different pricing points based on whether we pack the product in the display rack card or sell them loose,” Cutler adds. Products with multiple applications can be easily rebranded and sold in a variety of markets. ■ For more information: Re-Axe Products LLC 4135 S. Power Road #133 Mesa, AZ 85212 Tel.: 480-751-6863 Email: Online Contact Form Website: www.easyklaw.com

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Retractable Tool Tether ANDY GORMAN was an asphalt paver for 20 years, and every time he bent to hook up a trailer to a truck, use a tool, or work on any number of blue-collar tasks, his cell phone would flip out of his shirt pocket, plopping precisely into a mud puddle. Every time he bought a replacement cell phone, it too would fall out of his pocket, only to be found crushed beneath a truck, ruined in water, or caught under machinery. “For the past several years, I also encountered situations in which I needed security clearance to get onto a job site, which meant I needed to think about how to protect and carry a security badge,” Gorman shares. While paving the Portland International Airport, he noted that coworkers who dropped and lost their security badges would

subsequently be prohibited from the job site until a replacement badge arrived, losing up to 10 days of time and income while they waited for a new badge. Gorman decided to take action. He invented the retractable tool tether and became the co-owner of AGC Enterprises NW, LLC. The retractable tool tether is like having an extra set of hands and arms attached to the wearer’s bag or belt. The apparatus comes in light and heavy-duty editions, and features a vinyl coated 22-inch steel cable that retracts into a small container that clips onto any belt, purse or jacket. “As an avid hunter and fisherman, I realized it worked for any number of small personal accessories like bincontinued on page 40

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Retractable Tool Tether continued from page 38

oculars and wrenches, and lipstick and pepper spray for women,” Gorman says. The product is available in 13 colors and can be customized with a company or team logo, printed on the compartment piece where the retracted wire is stored. Units come in three models; one with a Velcro strip, one with a red and blue flashing LED “Safety Alert Light,” and another with a white LED (Pe e k-A-B oo f lashlight.) The product appeals to several markets, from cyclists to construction workers, and Gorman has created unique package designs for each, to encourage sales in a wide spectrum of retail settings.

Suggested retail for retractable tool tethers with Velcro is $14.95, and both flashlight models retail for $17.50. First time customers receive a 10 percent discount, and while there is no minimum order, Gorman generally accepts orders in boxes of 25 pieces, which range from $200 to $237, with Velcro models priced at the lower end. Gorman recently added a pre-Christmas Sample Six Pack to the selection, and retailers can call him directly to request tethers. ■

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PRODUCT TRENDS Winter Wake App THE FIRST days of November signal the coming of fall leaf cleanup, Thanksgiving, snow tires and inclement weather in the northern hemisphere. Daylight hours are shorter, and getting out of bed in the morning feels more like getting out of bed in the middle of the night; but small business owners know the importance of braving the elements. Come frost, snow or wintery apocalypse, someone has to open the store on time. Fortunately, more and more smartphone apps are coming to the rescue in myriad ways, most recently in the form of The Winter Wake Up by Boondoggle, which makes punctuality easier than ever to achieve. The Winter Wake Up is designed to compensate for time lost cleaning off vehicles and driving below the speed limit. To start, the app is set in the same way as any other smartphone alarm clock. During the night

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November 2012

the app tracks weather information around the user’s location, and sounds an alarm earlier in the morning if bad weather is likely. The app then offers three options: one that will wake you five minutes earlier, to leave time for scraping frost off the car; one that wakes you 30 minutes earlier, to leave time for digging out from beneath a blanket of snow; and one reserved for dire days when the weather is severe enough to warrant staying home, in which case the app turns the alarm off altogether, according to a screen that reads, “Don’t bother waking me up, I’ll make up the hours on Saturday.” Both effective and coy, the app has been a popular addition to the iPhone and Android families. It is available for free through iTunes and the Droid Marketplace, and proves an excellent tool for retailers who cope with regular wintry mornings. ■

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PRODUCT TRENDS Necky Warmer THE NECKY, touted as, “More than just a scarf,” is a lightweight, polar fleece clothing accessory worn under a coat or jacket. Attached with a Velcro fastener behind the neck, the product covers the entire chest and neck area to keep users warm, whether they are skiing, snowboarding or just have to be outside in colder climates. “I work in sales, and men’s dress coats typically have an open front with a very long V that comes down to mid chest,” explains Paul Boccardi, product designer, and co-owner and president of BOC Ventures LLC. “I found traditional scarves long and annoying, and I thought there should be something that covers you in one seamless piece, with no gaps for wind to get in, that is easy to put on and take off.” The patented product also has a pocket, which makes

continued on page 53

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PRODUCT TRENDS Water Powered Fuel Cell Charger ENERGY COMPANIES continue to investigate new ways to power our daily lives, turning to wind and solar energies as alternatives to fossil fuels. While cars are making a shift to electricity in place of gasoline, engineers are actively looking for technologies that free consumers from the need to plug into electrical outlets when charging electronic and mobile devices. Developers have already harnessed solar power for this purpose, going so far as to offer this convenience in the form of a keychain charger. These devices are of particular appeal to emerging markets and outdoor enthusiasts, as well as to those interested in clean energy, but even they still rely on optimal weather conditions. In January 2013, however, Americans will have access to PowerTrekk, the world’s first portable

fuel cell charger that runs entirely on water, delivered by Swedish fuel cell pioneers, myFC. The company was founded in 2005 with the successful development of a fuel cell able to efficiently convert gas to electricity. “The first problem we solved was the gap between energy sources and cellular phone batteries, which couldn’t keep up with the amount of energy that the end user consumes through Facebook, emails and so on,â€? myFC CEO, BjĂśrn Westerholm, explains. “We defined this as the ‘power gap.’â€? In light of the fact that lithium ion batteries have been at a plateau for many years, he knew the firm would be unable to bring a higher volume of power to that type of battery. Westerholm says he needed to find a way to help consumers live

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PRODUCT TRENDS only waste from it is water,â€? Westerholm points out. “When you are on the go you can always find water. It doesn’t matter if you have fresh water or salt, any type is good. It is green even in terms of construction, because we don’t need to use very much material to create sufficient power.â€? Following on the heels of PowerTrekk, Westerholm foresees the market leaning more towards tablet advancements. “There is a different usage pattern going on,â€? he remarks. Although users don’t need as much power for a tablet as for a cellular phone, it is the avenue myFC is considering with its next technologies. â–

Water Powered Fuel Cell Charger continued from page 46

more efficiently off the power grid. “We decided that if we took the technology we had and packaged it in a charger, we could make it such that people could be on the go, without being strapped to a wall.� By running off water instead of electricity, myFC has contributed to closing the power gap. PowerTrekk is a combination portable battery pack, water tank and fuel cell with a “puck� component, all of which fit in the palm of one hand. By filling the PowerTrekk with water and connecting it to any USB mobile charger, whether a USB lamp, GPS or phone, charging begins automatically and shuts down once it has finished. The device has a lighted display on one side that indicates the level of power delivered. PowerTrekk can be operated without the puck, because it also contains an internal battery. The suggested retail price for a PowerTrekk is around $257, and the puck is just under $4. “This is a green product, because the

For more information: Industrial Revolution (myFC U.S. Distributor) 5835 Segale Park Drive C Tukwila, WA 98188 Toll Free: 888-297-6062 Tel.: 425-883-6600 Fax: 425-883-0036 Email: info@industrialrev.com Website: www.industrialrev.com

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PRODUCT TRENDS Battery Power & Bargains AS CONSUMERS flock to local stores in search of the coolest buys of the holiday season, they reach for the most cutting edge electronics, spurring another solid selling trend, the household battery. “You can’t buy an electronic these days without using batteries,” says Cody Grandadam, president and co-owner of Promier Products, generic battery distributor and LED light wholesaler. A solid 75 percent of Promier’s battery sales occur during the last quarter of the year. The sudden and predictable surge in interest increases each year as consumers become more and more invested in battery powered devices, and Promier’s sales show this year is no exception. During previous holiday seasons AA batteries sold the best, and they continue to do so. Grandadam has noticed recently that AAA batteries are catching up as electronic devices are being made smaller. As a result, Promier Products has two best selling products, and the company carries a full range of household batteries.

“Everyone uses them,” Grandadam points out. “They’re a commodity these days, one on which most end customers are looking to save money. If your competitor across the street is carrying the same basic product at a lower price than your name brand batteries, you aren’t bringing any value to those customers.” Rechargeable batteries are the only type that isn’t trending as noticeably, because they fail to deliver the instant gratification of simply switching out dead batteries, and they have a higher price tag. The average customer continues to reach for the best price alkaline product. For a minimum order of one case, customers can purchase batteries for $0.60 to $1.30 per pack. “Shoppers who mention the Promier Products ad will receive a blowout price,” Grandadam assures. Retail pricing is suggested as 100 percent markup, which brings the battery price point about 25 percent below

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PRODUCT TRENDS Necky Warmer continued from page 44

Battery Power & Bargains continued from page 52

$9 and retails for $19.95. On the market for just about two years, Necky received national attention when television host, Conan O’Brien, called it, “The hottest item this holiday season.” Necky will be making a follow up appearance this fall or early winter, when it goes on sale at QVC. ■

For more information: BOC Ventures LLC 410-A Queen Street, Suite 222 Southington, CT 06489 Tel.: 203-669-9919 Email: customerservice@neckyscarf.com Website: www.neckyscarf.com

that of national brands on average. Even at a lower price, generic batteries, provided they are alkaline, deliver the same quality power as their brand name counterparts, according to a study conducted by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Since a growing number of end consumers are aware of this level playing field, the buying trend of generic alkaline batteries continues to gain traction. ■ For more information: Promier Products 304 5th Street Peru, IL 61301 Tel.: 815-223-5877 Fax: 866-587-8503 Website: www.promierproducts.com

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PRODUCT TRENDS Simple Sucker Smartphone Mount SMARTPHONES ARE no longer a one trick pony. With the steady stream of new apps and improved connectivity, mobile devices have become the ultimate personal resource. The problem is, even the most convenient tools in the world can be inconvenient to use if they demand at least one of the user’s hands. While pockets, handbags and cases have countered the conundrum of how to best carry a smartphone, as phones have more and more uses the frequently asked question is no longer how to tote a phone, but rather how to keep it in place. Product designer, James Burry, decided to tackle this question hands-on, and launched his business, called Striker, in 2005. Now his answer comes to retailers and shoppers as the Simple Sucker. “People use smartphones for everything from looking at recipes while they cook, to listening to music

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when they work out,” he states. “The Simple Sucker solves the problem of how to hold smartphones during such activities, and it is inexpensive.” The Simple Sucker temporarily mounts cell phones or music players to desks, treadmills, windshields, counter tops or any smooth surface, quickly and easily. The product is bent, with phone attached, into a comfortable viewing position so people can play videos, podcasts or music. “Our goal is to provide the most innovative designs possible to make tasks easier and more convenient,” Burry remarks. The Simple Sucker is a flexible suction cup mount, made from a solid piece of silicone. Measuring 1.5 inches in diameter and two inches tall, it’s small enough to be portable, and makes an easy impulse buy when continued on page 60

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PRODUCT TRENDS Nike + FuelBand WEARABLE OBJECTS that network everyday processes are of greater interest to consumers, as health and fitness studies make headlines on a regular basis, and widespread concern for physical well being is at an all time high. The American Journal of Health Promotion has released a study highlighting the importance of an active lifestyle, how it differs in rural and urban communities, and the national efforts to increase the number and quality of sidewalks, bike trails and recreational facilities in communities across the country. As consumers move away from the treadmill to the outdoors, there is greater demand for tools that can track the number of calories burned when on the go. Consequently, athletic brands are looking for new ways to synchronize good nutrition, exercise and the other 22 hours of the day. This is where multitasking devices such as the Nike + FuelBand come into play, and this trending accessory

is gaining momentum. The high tech Nike + FuelBand performs more functions than the average watch, pedometer and calorie counting system combined. The majority of multipurpose fitness products begin with the design of a watch, and FuelBand is no exception. Its clean, minimalist design resembles a robust version of the rubber charity bracelets popularized by Livestrong. Appealing to both men and women, the band is available in three sizes. The interior of the band houses a motion sensor that contacts the wearer’s pulse, detects motion and measures the intensity of activity throughout the day. The information is then displayed on an LED panel on the exterior of the band. Water resistant and mobile compatible, the Nike + continued on page 60

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PRODUCT TRENDS Nike + FuelBand

Simple Sucker Smartphone Mount

continued from page 58

continued from page 56

placed on store countertops near checkout. Videos are available online and prove useful if a retailer wishes to demonstrate the product in-store. The Simple Sucker comes in a master pack of 72 pieces, divided into boxes of 12. For retailers, the wholesale cost is $3.49 apiece, with the manufacturerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s suggested retail set at $6.99. The minimum order is $100, which can consist of any combination of Striker products, though Simple Suckers must be ordered by the dozen. â&#x2013;

FuelBand provides wearers with the number of calories burned, the time of day, and a measurement of Nike Fuel, which is Nikeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s way of calculating a wearerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dedication to staying active. Accompanying software and an app offer an easy way to create and track goals with this information. The suggested retail price for the Nike + FuelBand is $149. While Nike does not have a general intake process for new retailers, the company conducts market research and analysis to determine which retailers will carry its products. â&#x2013;

For more information: Striker 200 Overhill Drive, Suite C Mooresville, NC 28117 Tel.: 704-658-9332 Fax: 704-658-0893 Email: info@striker1.com, ATTN: Striker Dealer Inquiry Website: www.striker1.com

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SASSIA HOLLENBERG launched Universe of Energies Distribution in 2006 to provide retailers with unique gifts and jewelry items, many of which are of a metaphysical or Feng Shui nature. The wholesaler’s 2,500 piece line includes bags and pouches, angels and angelic products, books, candles and holders, dream/spirit

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catchers, crystal merchandise, gemstone products, ingots, Himalayan salt lamps, figurines, massage, spa and health, jewelry and more. The Feng Shui line includes money frogs, Ganesh, Kuan Yin, Buddha, Chinese traditional knots, lucky charms and money cats, gemstone jewelry, Herkimer diamonds, Reiki and chakra jewelry, Shiva Lingam, Goddess pendants, crosses, hearts and malas. Having grown up in Germany, where alternative healing was popular, Hollenberg is a Feng Shui practitioner who says she is dedicated to helping storeowners acquire these types of products at reasonable prices. “We are selling a lot of pendulums currently,” Hollenberg shares. “They are used to find problems, or for healing work.” Pendulums vary in size, shape and stone, and are handmade. For the holidays, crystal diamonds are popular, she continued on page 62

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COMPANY UPDATE Universe of Energies Gifts continued from page 61

notes. “They are beautiful and sparkly, and retailers use them for their displays; consumers like them for Zen gardens, kitchens and bathrooms.” The company’s aromatherapy products, Himalayan salt lamps and jewelry are also very popular for the holiday season. Wholesale prices are posted on the company website, and retail markup ranges from two to five times wholesale. “Pendulums wholesale for $1.50 and retail for $10,” Hollenberg reveals. “Crystal globes wholesale for $1.50, and I have some customers selling them for $15.” Universe of Energies offers super bulk pricing, well below wholesale, for large quantities in several

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categories. In addition, the company offers Feng Shui consultation, starting at $55. The consultation includes a review of a retailer’s floor plan and a 30-minute consultation by phone, on ways to improve the flow of Chi and balance the energy, as well as other suggestions for improvements. “The flow in the store needs to be open, and store owners need to be sure they don’t block areas of the stores,” Hollenberg points out. “Clutter in the store or store window can be a problem, and light is an issue in a lot of stores. Light sources should be used to enhance the areas and light up dark areas. Those are things you often see in smaller stores.” ■ For more information: Universe of Energies Distribution, Inc. P.O. Box 12999 Casa Grande, AZ 85130 Tel.: 480-250-1585 Email: sales@universeofenergies.com Website: www.universeofenergies.com

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Fabulous Fashion Accessories! BIG BAGS, bold baubles, custom jewelry creations and animal inspired everything define this seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trendy fashion accessories. Wholesalers are busy gathering unique lines of quality merchandise in a variety of price points, including exclusive Indonesian bead necklaces, clutch bags encrusted with rhinestones, leopard print Pashmina scarves, and cotton gloves that enable wearers to tap touch screens. OPT Fashion Group Inc., founded in 2007, is an importer and wholesaler located in the heart of New York Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s garment district. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s line of fashion and beauty accessories is vast, and includes nail art, jewelry, hair items, hats, leg warmers, earmuffs, gloves and more. OPT recently expanded its line of handwear, with what may become an essential item for tablet and cell phone users, the touch screen texting knit glove. Owner Tony Xian says he expects this product to be very well liked. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nowadays people constantly use their fingertips to text or select buttons on a variety of devices, and in the winter they have to remove

their gloves to do these things. Now we have cotton gloves that have a special material on the fingertips so people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to remove their gloves to use their devices.â&#x20AC;? Available in assorted colors and designs, the gloves wholesale for $14 for a dozen pairs, and retail for $9.99 each. In addition, Xian predicts the popularity of animal design hats and handmade animal print gloves will continue this winter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They were very hot last year, and this year weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve added earmuffs to give customers more choices. They are available in panda, rabbit, eagle, pig and other animals.â&#x20AC;? Earmuffs wholesale for $15 for a dozen pieces, and retail for $6.99 each. Buyers who order by the case receive a discounted price, and those who join OPT Fashion Groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s V.I.P. program get a special member price. The company website has a Deal of the Day, offering merchandise at a deep discount such as 25 percent off wholesale price. The minimum order is $100. Customer service is extremely important to OPT Fashion Group, and if a buyer is not 100 percent satisfied with a purchase, the

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company will issue a full refund. Hua Fu International Trading Corporation, launched in 1997 in New York City, wholesales women’s handbags, scarves, sunglasses and wallets. The company’s wide variety of bags and accessories are made of the highest quality materials and workmanship, according to Erxi Chen, company owner. “For winter, the bigger, everyday bags in darker colors are always best sellers. We have a few new bags this winter, and I expect the F57 to sell well. It has long straps so people can carry it easily over heavy coats.” The wholesale price is $16 and retail is $30. Briefcase-like bags and totes are also great for winter, Chen adds. Most of Hua Fu’s bags come in brown and black, as well as a variety of vivid colors. “ Our bags are available in 10 to 15 colors, and hot colors for this winter will be orange and burgundy,” Chen notes. Also available in a large assortment of colors and patterns is the ever-popular Pashmina scarf. Wholesale prices run from $3 to $5, with retail from $10 to $15. “The leopard print is especially popular,” she points out. “And our customers love our flower bags, which come in several sizes.” The wholesale price for flower bags is $5 to $17, retailing from $10 to $35. “Our website is very active,” Chen shares. “We have a Deal of the Day where we offer three bags at a special low price. We also have promotions and we run our ‘$6 sale’ several times a year, where we sell many of our bags for $6 instead of $16. When people subscribe to our mailing list, we send them new arrival notifications and sale promotions.” The minimum order continued on page 66

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Fabulous Fashion Accessories! continued from page 65 is $50, and Hua Fu International ships orders the same day. While many customers order online, many enjoy the opportunity to visit the company’s Sixth Avenue showroom. “We are open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 pm, so it is really convenient for our customers to shop with us,” Chen asserts. “We believe that nothing is more important to our business than a satisfied customer.” Archipelago is a leading wholesaler supplying retailers with a distinctive line of fashion accessories, including jewelry, handbags, footwear, belts and headwear, all handmade in Bali or Java, Indonesia. While the company offers an array of 1,500 accessories, its focus today is on its jewelry line, much of which is custom made. “We were purchasing a lot of things that could be found around Bali,” says Scott Taylor, who with his wife, Emmy Taylor, owns the company. “Now we’re doing things of a more custom nature that you can’t find elsewhere. Many of our products are earrings,

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November 2012

bracelets and necklaces that only we have.” New to the company’s line this fall are earrings made of glass beads and satin string. “They are similar to something I saw that sold for around $400,” Taylor recalls. “I recreated them at an affordable price.” The earrings are five inches long and available in two styles and four colors: white, red, black and brown. The wholesale price is $3.99 and suggested retail is $12.99. Another distinctive product new this fall is a multi-strand, 15-inch long necklace made of gold glass beads and black resin beads. It has a brown leather strap that goes around the back of the neck, and wholesales for $4.99, with retail at $12.99. “We expect these products to be big sellers,” Taylor remarks. “We focus on providing inexpensive but high-end looking products. Both of these products are quite inexpensive, wholesaling for just a few dollars, but look like something that can be worn with an evening dress.” Archipelago’s website, baliwholesale.net, displays detailed product images and information, and buyers can create an account to view pricing and place

INDEPENDENT RETAILER

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Fabulous Fashion Accessories! continued from page 66

orders. The minimum purchase is $150. Taylor will be adding a clearance section to the website as well. In addition, he is preparing to sell product displays. “We’ll have fully stained, beautiful wood displays,” Taylor reveals. “When customers purchase our jewelry, they will have the opportunity to purchase stunning displays for earrings, bracelets and rings.” The company will also begin offering a starter package, containing both jewelry and displays. Harmony Accessory, in New York’s fashion district, is a wholesaler/importer that specializes in custom jewelry. Committed to supplying customers with the latest trends, the company provides a wide range of seasonal, stylish selections. Harmony Accessory’s assortment of necklaces includes a variety of chains and chokers; adjustable and stretchable rings; key chains designed like small handbags; belts, hair accessories and masks; earrings in many styles and colors; and hundreds of bracelets in assorted sizes, shapes and styles, including

chunky cuff bracelets and adjustable leather bracelets. Harmony Accessory is particularly strong in bracelets and stone necklaces, according to Andrew Chung, company spokesperson, and the quality of its merchandise is unsurpassed. “Many jewelry companies carry products made in China. Our jewelry is made in Korea, which has better plating and is much better quality,” he emphasizes. “Our biggest sellers are in the $5 to $10 wholesale price range, and markup varies from two to 10 times wholesale price.” There is no minimum order, and shipping is free on orders over $100. Bossani Accessories, with two showrooms in Los Angeles, launched in 2004 and carries an extensive line of merchandise. The company offers hair accessories, jewelry, watches, belts, hats, scarves, hosiery, evening bags, key chains and cell phone products, in an assortment of styles, colors and prices. Steve Hwang, company spokesperson, says Bossani Accessories recently added cell phone decorations to its line, and they have quickly become top sellers. Boasting bright, youthful designs, these pieces plug into and dangle from phones. Cell phone accessories wholesale for $3 and retail for $6 to $9.

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“We have a lot of new winter merchandise like our heavier scarves,” Hwang shares. They are available in a variety of colors and designs. “Our scarves are always well-liked, and we think our winter line will be very popular, too.” Scarves are sold in packages of 12 that wholesale for $27. Retail price is $6 and up. “Scarves, earrings and necklaces are our main lines,” adds Hwang. “Our necklaces with owls have consistently sold well over the years.” Owl necklaces are available at a variety of price points in assorted colors and designs, including a colorful owl pendant on a 20-inch chain, and a metal owl and chain. These are sold in packages of 12 for $6, and they retail for two to three times wholesale price. Slightly pricier on the spectrum, Bossani Accessories sells numerous fashion necklace and earring sets, such as a 20-inch metallic bib necklace and earring set that wholesales for $8. Prices are posted on the website, along with product images. Volume discounts are offered on a per customer basis, and free shipping within the continental U.S. is included for orders of $300 and up. Merchandise displays are available, such as jewelry holder trees for $7. Secret Light, located in Beverly Hills, CA, brings retailers high quality custom jewelry, as well as fun fashion accessories for hair and nails, designed to bejewel and satisfy the most sophisticated consumers. The company, a division of Power Lines Enterprises, launched in 2011 and is dedicated to delivering the latest trends in accessories, according to Luisa Tovar, business development manager. “We are

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Fabulous Fashion Accessories! continued from page 69

bringing in a line of what we like to call ‘street chic’ fashion accessories, under our Twinkle brand name,” Tovar reports. “The line includes body tattoos with Swarovski crystals, amazing clutch bags encrusted with rhinestones at affordable prices, and metal rings that make a statement.” Wholesale and suggested retail prices are available upon request, and, “we always offer the best pricing to everyone we deal with. We want win-win negotiations,” she adds. Although products are street chic, Secret Light’s merchandise incorporates classic touches as well. “Our designs keep up with the latest trends, and we add our own original style to every piece,” Tovar continues. ”Every item in our collection has meaning for us, and we want our customers to experience the same feeling we get when we look at, and especially wear, our items. Our desire is that our pieces will make customers as happy as they makes us.” Secret Light is in the

process of developing a retail franchise, and currently has retail stores in malls throughout South Florida. “We opened our first international store in Peru, and we’ll be opening more locations in that country as well as Mexico and Costa Rica. We are very excited and proud about this,” Toval adds. “Typically we like to have a set minimum order for retailers, however our main goal is to get our products out there, so we negotiate on a case by case basis,” Toval explains. Some items come with point-of-purchase displays, which are included in the purchase price. “Women of all styles will find something they love among the products we sell. We believe all women want to look beautiful, and we want to help women achieve that goal.” Whether hip and modern or traditionally elegant, accessory options abound this year. And with appealing animal themes appearing on just about everything from shoes to earmuffs, fashion accessory retailers are prepared for successful holiday sales. ■ For Today’s Business News and Updates Visit IndependentRetailer.com

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For more information: OPT Fashion Group Inc. 22 West 30th St. New York, NY 10001 Tel.: 212-696-0004 Email: optusainc@yahoo.com Website: www.usaOPTfashion.com Hua Fu International Trading Corporation 875 6th Ave. New York, NY 10001 Tel: 212-268-9985 or 212-268-0888 Fax: 212-268-9828 Email: customerservice@huafu.org Website: www.huafu.org Archipelago 2308 Timberline Way Las Vegas, NV 89117 Toll Free: 877-292-0977 Email: Scott@baliwholesale.net Website: www.baliwholesale.net Harmony Accessory 29 West 30th St. New York, NY 10001 Tel.: 212-725-2123 Fax: 212-725-2126 Email: support@harmonyaccessory.com Website: www.harmonyaccessory.com Bossani Accessories 740 E. Pico Blvd. #101 Los Angeles, CA 90021 Tel.: 213-765-9737 Fax: 213-765-9738 Email: bossaniweb@gmail.com Website: www.bossanishop.com Secret Light, LLC Tel.: 561-274-4441 Or 561-265-3771 Email: sales@secretlight.us Website: www.secretlight.us

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COMPANY PROFILE Readers Service READERS SERVICE, formerly TV Reader Service, is based in Lenoir City, TN and caters to thousands of independent retailers by supplying magazines and paperback books. Retailers looking to do business with Readers Service join a program on the company website, and begin by choosing what type of display they prefer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The choice of magazines is up to the retailer, and they can draw from our assortment of more than 130 titles,â&#x20AC;? says Jeff Noland, general manager. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no need to pay for the copies unless they sell, nor is there an upfront cost for retailers simply trying out the program.â&#x20AC;? Retailers can choose to carry one magazine or one hundred magazines. Each month, the retailer receives a newsletter detailing the latest additions to the pool of titles, but to simplify the

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2 x 2......$3.00 2 x 3......$3.50 2 x 4......$5.00 2 x 5......$6.00 2 x 8......$9.00 2 x 10 ....$10.00 2 x 12 ....$8.00 3 x 3......$4.50 3 x 4......$6.00 3 x 5......$7.00 3 x 8......$10.00 3 x 12 ....$10.00 3 x 20 ....$15.00

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process for customers, Readers Service can also create a customized collection of titles to fill any display. Tim Burkholder, operations manager of North Carolinian convenience store chain, Citi Stop, has personal experience with this facet of the program. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jeff Noland made several trips over to see us and worked with us one-on-one, both in our corporate office and in individual stores with our managers,â&#x20AC;? says Burkholder. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s helped us customize programs that benefit each individual store and its clientele, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been an extremely positive experience thus far.â&#x20AC;? Magazine prices are pre-set by publishers, and start around $2. The profit margin for retailers is 20 percent of the cover price, and they receive complimentary shipping and credit for any copies that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sell. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no risk and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

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COMPANY PROFILE NCR Silver POP & Data Service YEARS AGO, creating a wedding registry required choosing from a small selection of big box stores, then working with an oversized scan gun to make selections. Independent retailers often missed out on this market, due to the fact that the technology required to create and store this data came with a $30,000 price tag. However, when the Cloud began to take shape as a content and software delivery tool, mom and pop stores gained a chance to use technology to help their brick and mortars stay competitive. Once Apple came out with the iPod touch, developers at NCR Silver realized it was the perfect foundation for a point of purchase and data service, because suddenly the device hosting such a service cost a mere $200. “NCR Silver stresses accessibility in two ways,” states Christian Nahas, VP of the NCR Small Business Team. “It’s not enough that our product is economical in price. We also recognize that customers need to be able to take advantage of the power of this system, meaning it must be easy to use.” The system helps

small businesses track sales, connect with customers, and sell from any location, whether a shop floor, behind a counter, at a trade show, or anywhere else. Following extensive market research, NCR Silver found that many of its customers are drawn to Apple systems because of their prevalence in the industry, so all the company’s systems and devices are compatible with Apple products. While the iPad has been a wonderful point of sale countertop device, the iPod touch is an inexpensive tool that allows NCR Silver to put an amazing amount of power in customers’ hands. “As we got our system into small business owners’ hands, they came back to tell us that it helped them get more of their lives back,” Nahas points out. “It frees them from hours and days of paperwork that would otherwise need to be tended to on a weekly basis.” NCR Silver plans to release an Android platform next year, along with more features in the coming months, as the company continues to add functions to the core product. Among the new options are scanning

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COMPANY PROFILE technology and Bluetooth wireless printers, to provide shoppers with paper receipts if they prefer, integration with social media networks and text marketing. “This fall, we’ll also be adding further analytics to our Apple devices,” Nahas reveals. “Small businesses appreciate having this data available via the Apple dashboard, and they have informed company representatives that they want to see that dashboard on their smartphones.” In addition, the company is adding a loyalty function and gift cards. The biggest hurdle the firm has had to overcome was not in perfecting new technology, but rather in branding the product as one intended for serious businesses. “It’s for businesses interested in engaging with customers through e-marketing tools, not just someone who wants more mobility in their payment options,” Nahas explains. “We designed all of the infrastructure ourselves, which removes more costs that would be associated with maintaining a back office of equipment and software, and what once cost any retailer $25,000 or $35,000 now costs $79 per month.” This price includes the point of sale system, the back office hub, the ability to track sales, and access to profitability

figures. Additionally, retailers can track and market to customers. NCR Silver also provides hardware maintenance, replacing any problematic equipment the day immediately following the event of an issue, which Nahas says is rare. “We offer customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he notes. “You will always get a live person at our support desk to help guide you through the process.” ■ For more information: NCR Silver 3925 Brookside Pkwy Alpharetta, GA 30022 Toll Free: 877-630-9711 Email: info@ncrsilver.com Website: www.ncrsilver.com

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COMPANY PROFILE Heritage America Thermometers & More HERITAGE AMERICA by Morco is the new retail division of Morco Advertising Products. Morco has manufactured products in America since 1921, with thermometers and rain gauges among its top selling products. “We’ve sold strictly to the promotional products industry for the last 90 years, and we’re stepping into this new market endeavor with a retail line,” explains David Hart, president of the company. “If you want your customers to remember you, put your name on something they’ll use,” he says, noting that Morco’s thermometers and rain gauges are functional products with beautiful graphics. “We have a wide spectrum of graphics, including military, floral, agriculture, inspirational, religious, states and wildlife, that will touch on anyone’s interests. It’s quite a mix, and we’re adding more and more designs,” Hart notes. Morco’s thermometers are made of heavy plastic so they will not rust, and do not contain mercury. The thermometers are solar powered by day and lunar powered at night (never need a battery), and are safe and eco-friendly.

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“The wildlife series is really popular,” Hart points out. Rain gauges come in a variety of styles and shapes, and the Heritage America product line also includes clocks and license plates. “The biggest comment I get is, ‘Wow, a gift for the guys,’ because there are a lot more gifty things out there for women than for men.” All Morco’s products are made in America, and all products are designed, printed and produced in-house. “We’re proud of that heritage,” Hart remarks. David Hart is also pleased to report that Morco listens and responds to its customers. “At one show, a gentlemen told me that if I had a loon, he could sell it. We put together the graphic and I emailed it to this gentleman and asked him if it looked like what he had in mind. He said it looked great.” The loon is now part of Morco’s wildlife series. Similarly, a customer desired a sunflower design and it is now part of the company’s floral series. “If it’s something someone is interested in and we can find continued on page 78

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COMPANY PROFILE Heritage America Thermometers & More continued from page 76

images that we can use, and we feel it’s something other people would be interested in as well, we’ll add it to our line,” Hart shares. Other recent product introductions include wooden thermometers, small plastic luggage tags, 12-inch rulers, switch plate covers and a 10-inch round slate clock. Morco’s retail website, Heritageamericagifts.com, “is a good place for retailers to see all our product designs,” Hart continues. “We’re adding designs every month, and they aren’t in the print catalog. Retailers can call us and we’ll send them a catalog with wholesale pricing.” Retail pricing generally is keystone, and the 20-inch thermometer, for example, wholesales for $7.50 and retails for $15 to $18. Minimum order is one case of 25 pieces, but customers can mix and match designs. “Retailers could have 25 different graphics in one case; one bald eagle, one white tail deer, one single rose, and so on, so

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they have the capability of appealing to anyone that steps into their stores.” Heritage America by Morco also offers name-dropping printing, for which there is a two case minimum and a setup fee. Because the company carries more than 500 items and designs and products are printed to order, it asks for a two-week delivery period. Hart says he is also working on creating a program for in-store displays, and intends to procure a display case, which will be offered to customers at a reduced price with a minimum order. Presently, the company’s thermometers are polybagged, and come in a box with a header card. Along with Morco’s growth and expansion comes the need for additional salespeople, Hart notes. Heritage America is, “looking for some good retail reps,” and interested parties should contact David Hart. ■ For more information: Heritage America Gifts 125 High Street, Cochranton, PA 16314 Toll Free: 800-247-4093; Fax: 814-425-7119 Email: Online form Website: www.heritageamericagifts.com

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MARKETING signage, employee interaction and sales receipt. A number of the retailers surveyed put forth efforts to turn consumers into subscribers, fans and followers; however a surprising number are underutilizing their home-field advantage. Signage serves many purposes in the physical retail environment. It directs consumers where to go, informs them of the latest sales, and ultimately, conveys key elements of current marketing initiatives and the brand itself. These channels remain open for direct communication after the consumer leaves the store. ExactTarget found that 39 of the Hot 100 Retailers sought any sort of digital engagement from in-store consumers. That means that over 60 percent of the retailers surveyed made zero effort to convert in-store visitors to subscribers, fans or followers. Missed opportunities with in-store signage are staggering. Google’s recent report, The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smart Phone Users, found that over 70 percent of shoppers use their cell phones in-store while shopping. Yet only two percent of the Hot 100 retailers sought in-store engagement through SMS,

The Future of Cross Channel Marketing continued from page 79

direct lines of communication to potential customers, they’ll have a distinct advantage over competitors who fail to build such audiences. It begins with in-store optimization. As retailers, you are in charge of the store frontage, window displays, door decals, in-store signage, employee training, customer service and the checkout process. Yes, consumers may have smartphones in their hands, but smart retailers have ample opportunities to develop a deeper level of engagement once consumers step into the store. In ExactTarget’s research report, Subscribers, Fans, and Followers, Retail Touchpoints Exposed, the company tracked and analyzed the marketing techniques of the 100 fastest growing retail chains in the U.S. It began its examination on retailers’ home turf, their brick and mortar stores. Based on this research, ExactTarget found three points of interest that retailers should focus on in order to optimize their in-store environment, and the consumer experience. These are

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MARKETING The Future of Cross Channel Marketing continued from page 80

and only five percent promoted a proprietary mobile application. Instead of combating the in-store plague of smartphone enabled comparison shoppers with mobile calls-to-action, retailers studied are currently ceding that ground to third-party apps and competitors. If it is the job of the retailer to create and enhance the customer experience, employees are fundamental to that experience. ExactTarget documented employee behaviors both in-aisle and during checkout, and found that of the Hot 100 Retailers with physical stores, 62 percent had employees trained to seek data from consumers at point of sale. However, only 44 percent of the retailers with stores asked for a customer’s email address at point of sale. In many ways, the best store associates help create an environment in which consumers not only want to purchase, but also want to engage with the brand in a deeper and more meaningful way, granting permission for ongoing communications. The sales receipt presents two distinct opportunities

for marketers. First, it is a face-to-face opportunity to secure permission to send a post-sale communication in the form of a digital receipt via email. When purchased items are expensive, under warranty, or have a possibility of return or exchange, consumers view the email receipt as a customer service engagement. Nevertheless, ExactTarget found that only two of the Hot 100 Retailers with physical stores offered digital copies of receipts via email. Retailers who offer email receipts create an immediate and permission based opportunity to communicate with each customer. While each receipt is a one-off communication, the retailer can also include a call-to-action to subscribe to ongoing email communications, engage via Facebook or Twitter, and even rate products online. As ExactTarget’s anonymous shopping efforts revealed, even the fastest growing retailers have ample room to improve their in-store audience building efforts. Just capturing the attention of 10 percent more of a store’s foot traffic could translate into thousands more subscribers, fans and followers with whom the continued on page 84

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MARKETING and social engagement. Remember, your stores provide you with a distinct home-field advantage. Put it to good use and build your in-store audience, and business can’t help but boom.

The Future of Cross Channel Marketing continued from page 82

retailer could communicate directly. Therefore, brick and mortar retailers must: • Be Bold and Strategic with Signage. The mere fact that a consumer walks through your doors indicates some level of interest in your brand. Put calls-to-action along their in-store path that conveys how, where and why to engage with you via email, SMS, Facebook or other digital channels. • Get Creative with SMS. A majority of cell phones these days have low-cost or no-cost text messaging capabilities. Test in-store SMS calls-to-action that encourage customers to try new products, shop clearance items, and purchase your overstocked items. • Optimize Email Receipts. As the tangible evidence of a sale, receipts are something consumers have a tendency to review and keep. Leverage that behavior to your advantage by offering digital copies via email, and by promoting your preferred channels for feedback

As Principal of Marketing Research and Education at ExactTarget, Kyle Lacy leads an effort to build and distribute an ongoing research series that sets aside theories and assumptions about consumer online preferences, and focuses instead on solid data collected through a combination of focus groups, experiential research, and online surveys. He is the author of three books: Twitter Marketing for Dummies (2009), Branding Yourself (2010), and Social CRM for Dummies (2012). Prior to joining ExactTarget, Lacy co-founded a marketing technology company, helping over 350 clients build and deliver digital marketing experiences. Follow him on Twitter at @kyleplacy or visit his blog at KyleLacy.com. ■ For Today’s Business News and Updates Visit IndependentRetailer.com

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Rock Solid Sales At IGES RETAILERS SELLING products to souvenir seekers can profit from a diverse customer base. Some travelers collect spoons and others seek commemoratory shot glasses, but no matter what a tourist’s taste, the love of a great souvenir is universal. At the International Gift Exposition in the Smokies (IGES) in Sevierville, TN November 6-10, wholesalers from across the country are doing some traveling of their own to attend the souvenir and resort gift industry’s premier affair. Hundreds of wholesalers at IGES showcase the latest and greatest items for gift shops, tourist destinations and vacation spots. Among this year’s exhibitors is Rick Conway, who loved to collect rocks as a young boy. He bought his very first collector rock on an elementary school field trip to the Evansville, Indiana Museum of Art,

History and Science. “When my aunts, uncles and grandparents learned of my love for rock collecting, they would send me rocks from their trips,” he says. Now as the owner of Squire Boone Village, one of Conway’s most beloved divisions of the firm is the Earth Exploration Company, which supplies souvenir shops with more than 100 different varieties of collector rocks from all over the world. As a whole, the company is in tune with the latest souvenir trends, including Hitchers Plush Animals, custom made postcards, candies and location themed jewelry. A hot seller is Squire Boone Village’s line of soybean wax candles, made with wax from soybeans grown by American farmers. “Our candles are hand poured in the heart of Indiana soybean country,” Conway reveals. The continued on page 86

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Rock Solid Sales At IGES continued from page 85

candles are available in four categories: Home Scents, Fireside Lights, Spa Lights and Rainforest Lights. Free private labeling is offered with a $300 minimum order, and minimum orders vary by product. Free freight is also available across the board. Retailers can view several of Squire Boone Village’s new products at IGES, where it will have 16 booths. “All of our products sell well in virtually any store that sells souvenirs,” Conway points out. “Anyone who can benefit from selling souvenirs in their store should make a trip to IGES.” Retailers at the event will receive limited-time prices on many items exclusive to the show. Access to show pricing is just one of the many benefits of making a trip to IGES, and SJT Enterprises is another wholesaler offering special promotions. With four trade shows already lined up for 2013, SJT Enterprises plans to offer exclusive deals at each event. “Our minimum order is only $100,” points out Tim Smith, company president. “Our best selling item in the

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souvenir sector is our line of wooden plaques, featuring dog breeds. Many of our customers say it’s their number one selling item, season after season.” The firm is now offering bone shaped car magnets for dog lovers, with each magnet stating, “I love Beagles,” or any number of other canine breeds. “You see these on so many cars now,” Smith says. SJT Enterprises’ magnets are available in a large selection of breeds. They wholesale for $1.25 each, and retail for $2.99 to $3.99. Crystal Bolano, marketing specialist at Aurora World Inc., has had a distinct appreciation for souvenir stuffed animals since her first trip to the San Diego Zoo in California. Now at Aurora World, she notes that a best selling plush souvenir is Aurora’s YooHoo, a lemur with a multicolored tail that lights up when squeezed. “We’ve sold over 22 million plush worldwide,” Bolano says, “but for the IGES, we’re introducing a line called Destination Nation, specifically created for the Destination Market and incorporating super soft fabrics. We’ll also expand our YooHoo line to include 11 new characters.” The Destination Nation plush range in size from 12 to 15 inches, and retail for $12 to

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$14. Bolano encourages buyers to contact a rep for wholesale pricing information. “We always have promotions running,” she shares, and minimum order quantities range from 24 to 4,800 pieces, depending on whether the item is custom made or embroidered. Wholesalers nationwide use the IGES as a stage for debuting new keepsakes, and grant visitors advance access to the freshest industry picks. Cajole, a wholesaler based out of La Quinta, CA, is doing exactly that with its new handmade purse line. The company is best known for the Magic-Mat dashboard pad and its Neck Art accessory, but the line of purses is a standout addition, customizable to a buyer’s specifications. “The purse itself is casual,” explains Jason Barlow, partner at the family operated firm. “It has zipper pockets on the inside and a top flap that folds over to close it. Each purse features an image such as a lizard, shark, or the Earth, with a variety of graphics to choose from.” Purses wholesale for $9 and $12, and retail for $20 to $30. The minimum order is one dozen. Retailers who purchase at least 24 pieces are offered customization options. “Beneath the graphic on the front of the purse, we can print the name of a place, which is what makes it even more appealing as a souvenir,” Barlow adds. From East to West Coast and every tourist destination in between, retailers are sure to find the hottest picks in the industry at this year’s IGES. From plush animals to collectible rocks, the merchandise provided by exhibitors at IGES is sure to deliver solid sales in any season. ■

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MARKETING Inside Quick Response QUICK RESPONSE (QR) codes originated in Japan under Denso Corporation, a Toyota Motor Corporation subsidiary, and were intended to hasten the code reading process, while at the same time allowing for more data to be captured in a single scan. Their efficiency was harnessed to help track vehicle parts during the manufacturing process, but has now spread across every industry as a savvy square for sharp consumers. The black and white codes have become such a popular feature in advertisements, in particular, that they can be spotted on nearly any flat surface, from magazine ads to company cars. So whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the big deal? What do consumers miss by not taking less than one second to scan a QR code on an advertisement from a favorite store, restaurant or service provider?

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November 2012

In order to be interpreted by a smartphone or tablet, a third party barcode scanner is needed to decode the information, such as Google Goggles, App World, QR Droid and the popular Scan. Certain readers are capable of generating codes, as well, such as Qrafter. Since most QR code reader apps are available at no cost, the squares seen everywhere are easily accessible to everyone. Once scanned, most code readers are equipped with the ability to display text, open URLs in a browser, send emails or text messages, establish a geolocation and call other devices. While some readers donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have all of these capabilities, the technology is moving toward making codes more user friendly. QR codes are being considered for use in launching native Apple apps on Apple devices, opening certain

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MARKETING instant messaging clients, such as Skype, opening specialized applications, including feed readers, and opening virtually any application. Right now, you can scan a code on an advertisement to get a special deal, or scan a code on a restaurant menu to get nutritional information. Consumers can lean on QR codes to slide them discounts under the radar and make tasks like punching a loyalty card more efficient. Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s checking in to the Krispy Kreme rewards app or scanning an event into your smartphone calendar, QR codes buy you back those minutes otherwise spent in longer processes. A few technology researchers question whether or not the codes are already becoming outdated, proving to be too much of an inconvenience for customers on the fence about engaging with the codeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s source. This is attributed to connectivity being low in the sense that data plans werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as widespread in the past, rendering QR codes useless when smart devices couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t launch the codeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s associated website. However, interest in using apps is now greater than ever, and as that interest continues to grow, so does the efficiency of codes and readers. Marketers are predicted to continue using

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these codes moving forward, but with a more cohesive set of goals and messages. With simpler readers for customers and wider awareness of what QR codes accomplish, fluency with the dotty squares may reach an all time high. â&#x2013;

Try It! SCAN THE QR CODE to tell us that you would like to see QR codes in ads and articles in Independent Retailer Magazine. As a bonus you will find our expert guide on how to create QR Codes for your business.

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INDEPENDENT

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MONSTER TRENDZ, INC.

WAU ACCESSORIES

Souvenir and friendship bracelets! Loose, or with displays. 1-866-365-6425 www.monstertrendz.com

Specter package cellular accessories: car chargers, USB ports and earphones. 1-800-586-5675 www.waunlimited.com

WWW.DESIGNER-JEWELRY.COM

TEAGAN COLLECTION

ORIENTAL APPAREL INC.

Show Your School Spirit! Beads, Pendants, Bracelets Necklaces, Earrings... and much more! 407-688-4687 www.TeaganCo.com

Highest Quality @ Lowest Prices. Go to Website for Huge Selection. Ready to Ship. 1-800-398-8158 www.Designer-Jewelry.com

Importer and Wholesaler for all kind of Popcorn, Coin, Mini Pleat, Crush, Sequin Shirts and accessories. 888-799-9989 www.wholesalecentral.com/orientalapparel

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SCREAMIN DEALZ

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Rhinestone Jaw Hair Clips. See our website for our full line of accessories! 1-561-274-4441 www.secretlight.us

BRAND NEW Sunglasses Assorted at 80¢/each. Normally Retail for $9.99-$21.99! 682-999-0885 ScreaminDealz.com

Beads, Charms & Displays. Factory pricing. Crystal, Shamballa, Murano jewelry and more. 407-343-7424 www.GoldenEagleJ.com

ICONEUM STATE LINE BAG PREMIUM COTTON MUSLIN BAGS. This is the most versatile line of cotton drawstring bags in the world! Premium Cotton Muslin Bags come in eight (8) different sizes. 877-377-8071 www.StateLineBag.com

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CAJUN CREOLE Start Your Own Roasted Peanuts Business! LOW STARTUP COSTS! 300% - 800% Profit! 800-946-8688 www.PeanutBusiness.com

INDEPENDENT RETAILER

Your source for religious art. C7921-03 Ceramic Angel Figurine. Also carries crucifixes, icons, rosaries, pendants, statues, and much more. 800-741-7754 www.iconeum.com


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KERUSSO 10 shirt styles plus merchandise. Witty and powerful designs that embody the fun and friendship girls of all ages share. 1-800-424-0943 www.kerusso.com

UNITED TOBACCO VAPOR GROUP NUBANI TRADING COMPANY Disposable Electronics Cigarettes. Highest quality. Profits up to 110%. Over eight flavors. 866-242-9210 ext.2 www.premiumecigarette.com

Your One Stop Shop for Regular, Overstocks, & Closeout Candy. We sell: Bulk, Seasonal, Rebags, Bars, & Food. 708-544-4740 nubanitradingcompany.com

CG-701 Candle holder

LIN-33BR Straw Hat

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WESTERN EXPRESS, INC.

The HOTTEST Jewelry & Fashion Accessories. Charm scarf pendants and charm bracelets. 817-605-7007 wholesalehandbagjewelry.com

Your #1 Source for Sensibly Priced Country Western Accessories and More! 800-245-1380 www.wexpress.com

ALIZ INTERNATIONAL, INC.

AMERICAN DISTRIBUTION COMPANY

Your number one supplier of latest fashion handbags, licensed celebrity bags, luggage & a lot more! 407-438-8816 www.alizbags.com

iPhone Bling Cases. Compatible with iPhone 4/4S. Your Direct Import / Manufacturing Source! 251-661-0378 www.AmericanDistributionCompany.net

FLASHING PANDA Item#: LEDGunBbl2. Toy gun that shoots bubbles, and flashes bright at night with multi-color LED lights. Just screw in the bubble solution bottle and enjoy hours of fun. 877-357-2632 www.FlashingPanda.com

SJT ENTERPRISES Bone Shaped Car Magnets. You see them on cars all over, now YOU can sell these too! 2" x 7". Nearly 500 breeds, sayings, and teams! FREE floor display available. 1-800-326-7419 www.WholesaleDogSigns.com

E'ARRS, INC.

HERITAGE AMERICA Vivid, full color thermometers and more. 1-800-247-4093 heritageamericagifts.com

Jewelry Accessory Center. Lucite Rotating Unit with 12 Pegs. Includes Diskies, Butterfly backs, Converters, Magnetic Clasps, etc. 800-521-1082 www.wholesalecentral.com/earrs

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WILD BILL'S ITEMS THAT BRING BACK MEMORIES OF GOOD TIMES. 11” x 14” Sepia Prints. 1-860-635-1226

November 2012

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TRADESHOW CALENDAR NOVEMBER NOV 7-10, Smoky Mountain Fall Gift and Souvenir Show Gatlinburg Convention Center - Gatlinburg, TN

NOV 1-4, Mid-South Jewelry & Accessories - Fall Memphis Cook Convention Center - Memphis, TN

For The Trade Only - Cash and Carry Gift, Fashion, Accessories, Home Decor & Jewelry Show. For further information: David Harrington, Show Manager, Helen Brett Enterprises, 5111 Academy Dr., Lisle, IL 60532. Telephone: 630-241-9865; Fax: 630-241-9870; Email: dharrington@helenbrett.com; Website: www.gift2jewelry.com.

NOV 2-4, Great American Gem Show “InterGem”

This super show, geared to the souvenir and gift industry is open to the trade only. The longest running gift show in the Smokies. This show has drawn national and international gift show buyers to the Smokies for 43 years. For further information: Barbara Bright, Smoky Mountain Gift Show, P.O. Box 50, Gatlinburg, TN 37738. Telephone: 800-4417889, 865-436-4418; Fax: 865-436-2878; Email: ann@smokymtngiftshow.com; Website: www. smokymtngiftshow.com.

Gaylord Convention Center - National Harbor, MD

NOV 8-11, Dickens Christmas Show & Festivals

Many beautiful and exotic gems, beads and jewelry, can be found among the rows and rows of exhibitors at each show. Engagement rings, anniversary gifts, birthstones, healing gemstones, heirlooms, possessions of movie stars and international celebrities, multiplies in value as gifts for friends, family or oneself. For further information: International Gem & Jewelry Show, Inc., 120 Derwood Circle, Rockville, MD 20850. Telephone: 301-294-1640; Fax: 301-294-0034; Email: info@intergem.net; Website: www.intergem.net.

Myrtle Beach Convention Center - Myrtle Beach, SC

19th Century Holiday Marketplace with 350 period clad vendors having everything from fine arts & crafts, imported gifts & much more! For further information: Kelli Bates, Leisure Time Unlimited, Inc., P.O. Box 332, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577. Telephone: 843-4489483, 800-261-5991; Fax: 843-626-1513; Email: dickensshow@sc.rr.com; Website: www. dickenschristmasshow.com.

Denver Merchandise Mart - Denver, CO

The Sevierville Events Center - Sevierville, TN

The Largest Resort & Souvenir Gift Show in America! The International Gift Exposition in the Smokies® & Sovenir Super Show®. For further information: Susan Mills / Jerry Mayer, M & M Gift Shows, P.O. Box 9412, Toledo, OH 43697-9412. Telephone: 800-4307608; Fax: 800-430-8448; Email: info@iges.us; Website: www.iges.us.

Many beautiful and exotic gems, beads and jewelry, can be found among the rows and rows of exhibitors at each show. Engagement rings, anniversary gifts, birthstones, healing gemstones, heirlooms, possessions of movie stars and international celebrities, multiplies in value as gifts for friends, family or oneself. For further information: International Gem & Jewelry Show, Inc., 120 Derwood Circle, Rockville, MD 20850. Telephone: 301-294-1640; Fax: 301-294-0034; Email: info@intergem.net; Website: www.intergem.net.

NOV 9-11, Great American Gem Show “InterGem”

Boston Convention & Exhibit Center - Boston, MA

The largest specialty fabrics trade show in the Americas. More than 7,000 industry professionals and over 400 exhibitors are expected to do business during IFAI Expo. IFAI Expo will showcase existing and emerging technologies in specialty fabrics-bringing together all levels of the value chain - from fiber producer to end product manufacturer. Attendees can see new products and technology, keep current on industry trends and issues; Examine the learn new design, manufacturing and marketing strategies; and meet with specific companies. Hundreds of top suppliers unveil a dynamic showcase of existing and emerging technologies in fabrics, equipment, components, fiber, films, chemicals and technical services. IFAI will again offer education and valuable marketing tool kits to capture market share with symposiums that inform and educate manufacturers, architects, engineers, designers, business leaders and industry professionals about tested practices, design trends, awardwinning case studies and business-boosting strategies. IFAI Expo Americas 2012 is a Dept. of Commerce IBP event. For further information: Todd Lindemann, Vice President Conference Management, Industrial Fabrics Association International, 1801 County Rd. B W, Roseville, MN 55113. Telephone: 800-2082615, 651-225-6918; Fax: 651-631-9334; Email: ifaiexpo@ifai.com; Website: www.ifaiexpo. info.

November 2012

For The Trade Only - Cash and Carry Gift, Fashion, Accessories, Home Decor & Jewelry Show. For further information: David Harrington, Show Manager, Helen Brett Enterprises, 5111 Academy Dr., Lisle, IL 60532. Telephone: 630-241-9865; Fax: 630-241-9870; Email: dharrington@helenbrett.com; Website: www.gift2jewelry.com.

NOV 16-18, Great American Gem Show “InterGem” Duke Energy Convention Center - Cincinnati, OH

Many beautiful and exotic gems, beads and jewelry, can be found among the rows and rows of exhibitors at each show. Engagement rings, anniversary gifts, birthstones, healing gemstones, heirlooms, possessions of movie stars and international celebrities, multiplies in value as gifts for friends, family or oneself. For further information: International Gem & Jewelry Show, Inc., 120 Derwood Circle, Rockville, MD 20850. Telephone: 301-294-1640; Fax: 301-294-0034; Email: info@intergem.net; Website: www.intergem.net.

Seattle Center - Seattle, WA

Many beautiful and exotic gems, beads and jewelry, can be found among the rows and rows of exhibitors at each show. Engagement rings, anniversary gifts, birthstones, healing gemstones, heirlooms, possessions of movie stars and international celebrities, multiplies in value as gifts for friends, family or oneself. For further information: International Gem & Jewelry Show, Inc., 120 Derwood Circle, Rockville, MD 20850. Telephone: 301-294-1640; Fax: 301-294-0034; Email: info@intergem.net; Website: www.intergem.net.

NOV 17-19, Gatlinburg Apparel & Jewelry Market

NOV 7-9, IFAI Expo Americas 2012

94

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center - New Orleans, LA

NOV 16-18, Great American Gem Show “InterGem” NOV 9-11, Great American Gem Show “InterGem”

NOV 6-10, International Gift Exposition in The Smokies IGES & The Souvenir Super ShowTM

NOV 15-18, International Jewelry Fair / General Merchandise Show - Fall

Royal Plaza Trade Center - Marlborough, MA

Many beautiful and exotic gems, beads and jewelry, can be found among the rows and rows of exhibitors at each show. Engagement rings, anniversary gifts, birthstones, healing gemstones, heirlooms, possessions of movie stars and international celebrities, multiplies in value as gifts for friends, family or oneself. For further information: International Gem & Jewelry Show, Inc., 120 Derwood Circle, Rockville, MD 20850. Telephone: 301-294-1640; Fax: 301-294-0034; Email: info@intergem.net; Website: www.intergem.net.

NOV 11-12, Boutique Design New York Jacob K. Javits Convention Center - New York, NY

Boutique Design New York is a joint venture of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Hotel Association of New York City, Inc. the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association and ST Media Group, and is managed by GLM. Boutique Design New York is held concurrently with the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show. For further information: Phil Robinson, Senior Vice President, George Little Management, LLC., 10 Bank St., Ste. 1200, White Plains, NY 10606. Telephone: 914-421-3215, 800-272-7469; Fax: 914-948-6180; Email: probinson@glmshows. com; Website: www.glmshows.com, www. boutiquedesignnewyork.com.

INDEPENDENT RETAILER

Gatlinburg Convention Center - Gatlinburg, TN

This show features Ladies’, Men’s and Children’s Apparel, Fashion Jewelry and Accessories, Fine Jewelry and Gifts from all over the world. Wholesale Only, Writing Orders, Immediate Delivery and Cash-andCarry. Business License Required. For further information: Linda Norton, The Norton Shows, P.O. Box 265, Gatlinburg, TN 37738. Telephone: 865-436-6151; Fax: 865-436-6152; Email: nortonshow@gmail.com; Website: www.nortonshows.com.

NOV 17-19, Norton’s Gatlinburg Gift & Variety Show Gatlinburg Convention Center - Gatlinburg, TN

This show features Ladies’, Men’s and Children’s Apparel, Fashion Jewelry and Accessories, Fine Jewelry and Gifts from all over the world. Wholesale Only, Writing Orders, Immediate Delivery and Cash-andCarry. Business License Required. For further information: Linda Norton, The Norton Shows, P.O. Box 265, Gatlinburg, TN 37738. Telephone: 865-436-6151; Fax: 865-436-6152; Email: nortonshow@gmail.com; Website: www.nortonshows.com.

continued on page 96

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MANAGEMENT

ShopKeep POS iPhone App SHOPKEEP POS is a flexible pointof-sale solution that helps brick and mortar retailers manage inventory and customers, as well as make transactions, all from an iPad. The company’s new iPhone app gives merchants real-time access to store data so they can make critical business decisions on the go. With the new ShopKeep POS dashboard app merchants can view real-time sales for each iPad POS (Point-of-Sale) register, a summary report of previous day sales, and other key metrics with a tap or a swipe of a finger. “Each and every platform update we offer is directly tied to customer feedback,” says Jason Richelson, CEO and founder of ShopKeep POS. “Keeping consistently up to date on store sales is critical to understanding business successes and disappointments. ShopKeep POS is the only iPad POS system that offers merchants the ability to manage their stores from an iPhone or Android phone.” In addition to sales data, the ShopKeep POS Dashboard app gives business owners: • The ability to remotely track and monitor returns in real-time, for more control of business performance. • A way to see the cost of goods sold and gross margins, to track daily store earnings. • A single sign on process for merchants with multiple stores, so that they can see real-time stats for all locations on a single screen. The subscription based service includes unlimited seven days a week customer care by phone, email and online chat. The new dashboard app complements the ShopKeep iPad register and suite of inventory management and reporting tools that the company offers to more than 3,000 merchants across the country. ■

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œ>ÌÃ]Ê*>˜ÌÃÊUÊ*ÕÀÃiÃÊUÊ ˆ}>ÀiÌÌiÊ >ÃiÃÊ"À}>˜ˆâiÀÃÊUÊ,>ÜÊi>̅iÀʈ`iÃÊ £Ê£É{ÊEʣʣÉÓÊi>̅iÀÊ-ÌÀˆ«ÃÊUÊi>̅iÀÊ>À`Ü>ÀiÊUÊ Ê1 Ê", tt MADE IN U.S.A.

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TRADESHOW CALENDAR DEC 1-3, Charlotte Gift & Jewelry Show

continued from page 94 San Mateo County Expo Center - San Mateo, CA

Many beautiful and exotic gems, beads and jewelry, can be found among the rows and rows of exhibitors at each show. Engagement rings, anniversary gifts, birthstones, healing gemstones, heirlooms, possessions of movie stars and international celebrities, multiplies in value as gifts for friends, family or oneself. For further information: International Gem & Jewelry Show, Inc., 120 Derwood Circle, Rockville, MD 20850. Telephone: 301-294-1640; Fax: 301-294-0034; Email: info@intergem.net; Website: www. intergem.net.

NOV 23-25, Great American Gem Show “InterGem” Southfield Municipal Complex Pavilion - Southfield, MI

Many beautiful and exotic gems, beads and jewelry, can be found among the rows and rows of exhibitors at each show. Engagement rings, anniversary gifts, birthstones, healing gemstones, heirlooms, possessions of movie stars and international celebrities, multiplies in value as gifts for friends, family or oneself. For further information: International Gem & Jewelry Show, Inc., 120 Derwood Circle, Rockville, MD 20850. Telephone: 301-294-1640; Fax: 301-294-0034; Email: info@intergem.net; Website: www. intergem.net.

NOV 25-29, International Association of Fairs & Expositions Convention & Trade Show Paris & Bally’s Hotels - Las Vegas, NV

This show features the latest in products, services and entertainment for agricultural fairs across North America. Our attendees are management, staff, and board members from fairground facilities. For further information: Steve Siever, International Association of Fairs & Expositions, P.O. Box 985, Springfield, MO 65801. Telephone: 417862-5771; Fax: 417-862-0156; Email: iafe@fairsandexpos. com; Website: www.fairsandexpos.com.

This show is a wholesale trade show for buyers of gifts, jewelry, housewares, silk flowers, stationery, toys, and much more. For further information: Michael Stephens, Mahone Associates, 800 Briarcreek Rd., Ste. BB503, Charlotte, NC 28205. Telephone: 704-377-5881; Fax: 704-3589115; Email: michael@charlottegiftshow.com; Website: www.charlottegiftshow.com.

DEC 2-5, Grand Strand Gift & Resort Merchandise Show Myrtle Beach Convention Center - Myrtle Beach, SC

Gift & Resort Merchandise Show. For further information: Majorie Richardson, Show Manager, Urban Expositions, 1690 Roberts Blvd., Suite 111, Kennesaw, GA 30144. Telephone: 678-2370-0342; Fax: 678-285-7469; Email: mrichardson@urban-expo.com; Website: www.grandstrandgiftshow.com.

DEC 3-5, Midwest Market Days Chicago Regent Showroom, 8999 Palmer St. - River Grove, IL

The Midwest Market Days trade show is conveniently located in the Midwest only 10 minutes from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Buyers from independent retailers, mass merchants and wholesale distributors enjoy the concise, comfortable, casual buying atmosphere. View thousands of closeout and direct import general merchandise items across a wide variety of product categories. Spend more time with vendors buying and viewing product rather than walking endlessly, in a huge convention center. We provide complimentary breakfast and buffet lunch to all buyers and shuttle transportation to other participating showroom locations just minutes away. For further information: Joanna Kastle, Trade Show Manager, Regent Products Corp., 8999 Palmer St., River Grove, IL 60171. Telephone: 916-376-9437; Fax: 916-3769471; Email: jkastle@midwestmarketdays.com; Website: www.midwestmarketdays.com.

DEC 7-9, Great American Gem Show “InterGem” NOV 30 - DEC 2, Great American Gem Show “InterGem” Santa Monica Civic Auditorium - Santa Monica, CA

Many beautiful and exotic gems, beads and jewelry, can be found among the rows and rows of exhibitors at each show. Engagement rings, anniversary gifts, birthstones, healing gemstones, heirlooms, possessions of movie stars and international celebrities, multiplies in value as gifts for friends, family or oneself. For further information: International Gem & Jewelry Show, Inc., 120 Derwood Circle, Rockville, MD 20850. Telephone: 301-294-1640; Fax: 301-294-0034; Email: info@intergem.net; Website: www. intergem.net.

Donald E. Stephens Convention Center - Rosemont / Chicago, IL

Many beautiful and exotic gems, beads and jewelry, can be found among the rows and rows of exhibitors at each show. Engagement rings, anniversary gifts, birthstones, healing gemstones, heirlooms, possessions of movie stars and international celebrities, multiplies in value as gifts for friends, family or oneself. For further information: International Gem & Jewelry Show, Inc., 120 Derwood Circle, Rockville, MD 20850. Telephone: 301-294-1640; Fax: 301-294-0034; Email: info@intergem.net; Website: www. intergem.net.

DEC 14-16, Baton Rouge Jewelry & General Merchandise Show NOV 30 - DEC 2, TransWorld’s Schaumburg Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Show Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center - Schaumburg, IL

The holidays are unmatched for their dazzling beauty and exciting shopping. NOW, the holiday season takes on a whole new shine as Transworld’s Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories (JF&A) Show comes to Schaumburg again this year! 20 minutes form O’Hare International Airport 30 minutes from downtown Chicago. Don’t miss this last chance of the season to make your purchases before the holidays... at prices you won’t find anywhere else! For further information: TransWorld Exhibits, Inc., 1850 Oak St., Northfield, IL 60093. Telephone: 847-446-8434, 800323-5462; Fax: 847-446-3523; Email: info@tweshows.com; Website: www.tweshows.com.

November 2012

www.sumnercom.com

Charlotte Merchandise Mart - Charlotte, NC

NOV 23-25, Great American Gem Show “InterGem”

96

SUMNERCOMMUNICATIONS

Baton Rouge River Center - Baton Rouge, LA

For The Trade Only - Cash and Carry Gift, Fashion, Accessories, Home Decor & Jewelry Show. For further information: David Harrington, Show Manager, Helen Brett Enterprises, 5111 Academy Dr., Lisle, IL 60532. Telephone: 630-241-9865; Fax: 630-241-9870; Email: dharrington@ helenbrett.com; Website: www.gift2jewelry.com.

DEC 14-16, Great American Gem Show “InterGem” Dulles Expo Center - Chantilly, VA

Many beautiful and exotic gems, beads and jewelry, can be found among the rows and rows of exhibitors at each show. Engagement rings, anniversary gifts, birthstones, healing gemstones, heirlooms, possessions of movie stars and international celebrities, multiplies in value as gifts for friends, family or oneself. For further information: International Gem & Jewelry Show, Inc., 120 Derwood Circle, Rockville, MD 20850. Telephone: 301-294-1640; Fax: 301-294-0034; Email: info@intergem.net; Website: www. intergem.net.

INDEPENDENT RETAILER

PUBLISHER Woody Sumner woody@sumnercom.com

EDITORS Gloria Mellinger ggloriam@sumnercom.com @glorimel Jes Zurell jjesz@sumnercom.com @ZurellJ

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Bill McNulty billm@sumnercom.com 1-800-999-8281 ext. 111 @BMcNultyCT

PRODUCTION Robert Siel, Director robs@sumnercom.com Tracy Parisi tracy@sumnercom.com Keri Hanson keri@sumnercom.com Luke Calzone lukec@sumnercom.com Jennifer Mauritz jenm@sumnercom.com

CIRCULATION MANAGER Lisa Evans lisae@sumnercom.com Tracy Whitlock tracyw@sumnercom.com

PUBLISHING OFFICES Sumner Communications, Inc. 24 Stony Hill Road Bethel, CT 06801-1166 Phone: (203) 748-2050 FA X: (203) 748-5932 IndependentRetailer.com

SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION r24 per year; 50 for 1st cl. r48 for 2 years; 95 for 1st cl. rCanadian subscriptions 40. U.S. funds (Canadian 1st cl. 60) r2NGCUGCNNQYFC[UHQTɛTUV issue. For current issue with subscription add 7.00. rIndividual Copies 7.00 ea. Email: lisae@sumnercom.com Phone: (203) 748-2050 ext. 127 Independent Retailer is published monthly by Sumner Communications, Inc., 24 Stony Hill Road, Bethel, CT 06801, telephone (203) 748-2050. Send all inquiries, letters, and submissions to above address. Entire contents are copyright 2012 by Sumner Communications, Inc. Printed in the United States of America. Independent Retailer (USPS 011-867) Periodicals Postage paid at Bethel, CT and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Independent Retailer, 24 Stony Hill Road, Bethel, CT 06801. Publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising, editorial or manuscripts that publisher deems inappropriate.

© 2012 SUMNERCOMMUNICATIONS www.sumnercom.com


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For Industry News & Updates INDEPENDENTRETAILER.com

November 2012

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Independent Retailer 24 Stony Hill Road Bethel, CT 06801-1166 11-12

Oriental Apparel Inc. t tEmail: orientalclothes@bellsouth.net www.wholesalecentral.com/orientalapparel/store.cfm

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Independent Retailer 11-12  

Independent Retailer Magazine, serving Independent Retailers, Wholesalers, Kiosk Operators, Distributors, and Closeout Buyers. You will find...

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