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In the Zone with Impulse Buys

Big box stores often have something referred to as the “impulse zone” in the center aisle (drive aisle) or near the registers, filled with products they simply must sell! Smaller retailers often do not realize that they can use this same concept in a boutique or mom and pop store.

The concept of an impulse zone is to get the consumer to purchase something they would not have come shopping for in the first place. This is like going to the grocery store for a gallon of milk and leaving with candy from the colorful display on your way to the checkout. How can you set up your own “impulse zone?”

Create easy displays for seasonal items. A good example would be stocking stuffers during the Christmas season; there is only a small window of time when you can really bank on customers buying stocking stuffers. If they are not easy for the customer to access, or they don’t know where to find the items in the store, they won’t sell as fast! Make them easy to access, easy to sell. Virginia Gift Brands makes the quintessential stocking stuffer – Money Soap!

Front load! Customers will not always make it all the way to the back of the store. Put great impulse displays right at the front, near the registers. If it’s back-to-school time, and you sell journals, backpacks, or notebooks, have those front and center. Create displays that are designed just for a month long period when the impulse to buy that item is highest. Abdallah Candies is a great example of an impulse buy that can be placed right at the register area, particularly during Valentine’s season, or the holidays. Something like 3D Deco Lights from Blue Sky Wireless can even be on the storefront window for maximum exposure.

Stack ‘em high and watch ‘em fly! Whether this is a candy display at the register, or the latest fad gift item (think fidget spinners), keeping your displays well stocked will make a bolder statement than a half-filled rack or shelf. Periwinkle has an excellent holiday program that creates a perfect display for any counter top. By keeping it filled, customers will surely be attracted to the sparkling jewelry like bees to honey.

Try out a small Impulse Zone with your products and track the results! Think about how and where in your store you can appeal to a customer’s urge to buy. Good Luck! Share your success in the comments!

New Brands With The Southern Link

new vendor picture
The Southern Link has picked up several new brands that we are excited to showcase! Take a look at some of the highlights.

  1. Thomas Nelson – A subsidiary of HarperCollins, this publisher began in Scotland in 1798! They are a world leader in Christian content and inspirational product.
  2. Vere – The maker of the Everlasting Hairband with a one year warranty! Unlike other hairbands, Vere’s product will shrink back to the original size after use by simply soaking it in warm water.
  3. Yankee Candle – The most recognizable name in candles, and the world’s #1 candle brand! Yankee hardly needs an introduction, and we are thrilled to have them.
  4. Galleria Umbrellas & Gifts – This brand has the exciting new technology of a reverse folding umbrella, as well as gorgeous tote bags, scarves, and accessories.
  5. Boelter Brands – An industry leader in licensed drinkware and sports products, Boelter provides gear for over 300 colleges and universities, the MLB, NFL, Indy 500, the Olympics, and more.

To find out more about these amazing vendors, talk with your rep or give us a call at 800.877.5465!

 

Valentine’s Day 2018 Gift Guide

valentine's gift guide 2018

 

Time to think about stocking up on Valentine’s Day gifts! Here are some of our pick for 2018. Click the links to learn more. Contact your rep or call us to get these gifts in your store for Valentine’s Day.

  1. My Saint My Hero  – wearable blessings to stack and collect
  2. Chala – whimsical handbags, quality made
  3. Abdallah Chocolates – truffles and more deliciousness
  4. Cottage Garden – keepsake music boxes for all occasions
  5. World’s Softest Socks – cozy socks for the entire family
  6. Anju – artisan jewelry, huge selection
  7. FarmHouse Fresh –  creamy scrumptiousness for the skin
  8. Lizzy James – wrap bracelets and more made in the USA
  9. Vere – everlasting hairbands

 

Instagram: The New Runway

instagramrunwayWe recently partnered with Gifts and Dec to host a round table discussion with 12 amazing retailers to talk about where they look to learn about new products and trends. We learned that good reps are important but that “Instagram is the new runway.” Retailers no longer wait for fashion reports or trade shows. They see what their customers want through their Instagram feeds! Fads have become so short that they can start and end before you ever see the customer.

One retailer explained, “Instagram, is set up for my business. So, I can stand at the booth, take my notes in my phone, go back  later through my pictures, and then directly, with a button, click and say which vendors to follow up with.”

With the changing economy, gift retailers are also focusing their efforts on enhancing the customer experience by finding ways to make shopping fun and enjoyable. Promoting the message of “supporting local” among customers is important for gift retailers. Many of the retailers stated that their customer base will pay higher prices at their store because they want to ensure their business continues to thrive.

But the user experience starts long before they walk into your business. With 52% of consumers researching purchases online before shopping, the retail experience starts with your website and social sites. Instagram, is easy and can quickly communicate to a shopper that you carry products that relate to their lifestyle. So, if you aren’t already on Instagram, go check it out and see why it’s being called the “new runway.”

Where do you learn about new fashion, accessory and gift trends? Leave us a comment and let us know! And, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

Last-Minute Gifts Shipping Now

lastmingifts

  1. Duke Cannon – Skincare products for men that pack in a lot of masculinity.
  2. LS Arts – Wine accessories, Christmas accents and great giftables!
  3. Abdallah – Delicious gifts! Quality chocolates.
  4. Gourmet du Village –  Incredible tasting food offerings!
  5. Habersham Candle Company – This great-selling Wax Pottery® collection redefines decorative fragrant accessories for the home without the need of an open flame.
  6. Nebo –  Innovative, consumer-friendly flashlights and tools make great gifts!
  7. farmhousebags Farmhouse FreshWelcome to this amazing new vendor! They create skincare products grown and crafted with delicious epicurean flair chock full of fruits, vegetables, milks, and more from US farms! Find out how to receive Free Farmhouse Sacks (right) with your order! 

 

2018 Outdoor Trends

outdoorlivinggraphicfinalIf there ever was a year to give outdoor living spaces a fresh look, 2018 is it! With the economy on the upswing, consumers are feeling confident, and are already showing signs of spending more on entertaining at home, both indoors and out. Come next spring, if economic predictions are right, this spending will continue, and outdoor spaces are expected to become a priority for consumers.

The trend is to extend interior spaces outside with a smoothcustomdecorspring transition, not a jolt into another color palette. That being said, the minimalistic, Scandinavian, natural fiber look is expected to hang on as an expression of consumers feeling more carefree and unconcerned, as is the much loved, and still very-much-in-demand farmhouse decor with its tone on tone and soft hues of greys and taupes. However, with the excitement of brighter days ahead, consumers will be inclined to add reds, blues, and greens for pops of color, and as underlying symbols of celebration.

 

Millennials, with their penchant for travel and interest in other cultures, more than any other consumer group, will be on the hunt for global inspiration for their outdoor textiles and decorative items. So, artisan items from, outdoorbohospaceor appearing to be from, other cultures will be flooding store shelves. Also, this group prefers hand-crafted items with stories or causes behind them. They will combine multi-colored fabrics and richly patterned textiles with clusters of pottery, plants and decorative items to recreate the feel of a favorite faraway destination.

Coastal decor is always big in outdoor spaces but, it will be enhanced in 2018 with more elaborate patterns and some handmade appeal with textiles and fabrics having a water-colored effect.

Regaltrio

Consumers are expected to be more interested in decorative garden lights and statement-making statuary, like those above from Regal Art & Gift, placed around their outdoor living spaces and seasonal outdoor decor from Custom Decor. It’s going to be quite a year for the industry with all of these fun and unexpected design elements!

Extra! Extra! Vendors in the News

Our amazing vendor partners are often featured in magazines, gift guides and  on television shows. Here are some recent appearances. Click on the product image to learn more.

Goopfinalart

 

 

EmersonStreetfinalforblog

paradeadoratherapyart

Ellenregalproducts

 

2018 Color Trends

Next year is about having fun by exploring your passions. The 2018 color palette contains both brights, like reds and yellows, and pastels, like soft mauves and blues. The tomato red we are seeing in a lot of the geometric patterns represents confidence, fun and attention-grabbing. Yellow is also the same kind of bold choice for color and is seen as both a traffic light bright and a flower petal pastel. On the softer side, the pastel mauves and hints of blue are both nostalgic and yet give the promise of a new era.

Textures and patterns for 2018 also have similar color combinations with the effect of stark geometric lines and, on the reverse, florals that can be as retro as grandma’s basement curtains.

These hues will compliment apparel and accessory combinations and will be seen throughout the home décor world.  What do you think of the 2018 color palettes? Let us know in the comments.

 

October Market Trend

MaryFrancesEmbroidered

Be on the look out at the October Apparel Market for intricate embroidery and floral patterns! Both are big on fall 2017 apparel and handbags and will remain so through spring 2018. The runway shows for spring 2018 spotlighted embroidery and floral designs running the gamut from dainty and subtle to colorful and attention grabbing.

Embroidered Shirt

At our Total Accessories showroom, there are lovely apparel items and handbags from Mary Frances, Coco + Carmen, Steve Madden and more. Come take a look during market, we’ll be happy to show you our beautiful embroidered and floral patterned items. Or, call our showroom for assistance at 404-523-4418. Leave us a comment and let us know what you think about this trend.