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Featured Fall Decor

The Southern Link vendors are well stocked with all the Fall Decor your customers need to add a little extra pizzazz to their households this Autumn! Here are some items we thought were worth featuring.

Park Designs is a dreamland of Holiday decor! Most Park customers recognize that they have an extension Christmas collection, but their Fall/Harvest collections are also extremely robust. Our favorite is the “Falling for Fall” themed items. This photograph displays the “Count Your Blessings” serving plate, and the placemat, napkin, and table runner in the Falling For Fall pattern.

 

 

Any home decorated for Fall is not complete without some scented candles to bring the essence of pumpkin spice into your living space. Woodwick does not disappoint! The Pumpkin Pecan fragrance comes in all candles sizes and is described as, “toasted pecan crumble tops a ginger pumpkin puree, swirled with vanilla and cinnamon.” Who could resist?

 

Counterart’s Harvest Moments and Watercolor Harvest collections are a wonderful addition to any autumnal tabletop! They contain a glass counter server, cheese server, a lazy susan, serving trays, a dip chiller, and even floormats. Of course, no Counterart collection would be complete without coasters, and Harvest moments contains stone, car coasters, and tumbled tile coasters. We chose to feature the reversible plastic placemats with two different Watercolor patterns. Keep your table clean and stylish!

You can order any of these products right now by contacting your Southern Link rep, or by visiting RetailersLink.com to place an online order. Happy Fall, Y’all!

Quality Rest & Relaxation!

The next month and a half is an unusually calm time; until Halloween happens in October and the Holiday season is in full swing, parents will have a short respite from the insanity of back to school and holiday shopping. This is the time for retailers to step up their game and show Mom and Dad how they can treat themselves to a little Rest & Relaxation!

Football fans are in their element now with college football starting up! Kick off game day morning with a rejuvenating cup of coffee in a Boelter team spirit mug.

Store merchandising for team spirit items is relatively simple: even if the items aren’t necessarily spirit gear, as long as they are in the team colors, they can be easily set up in a display to create a cohesive look.

Maybe football isn’t really your customer’s speed. Another way to capture the attention of weary moms who need a “Stay-cation” is a bath and body themed display of products.

UR Bath & Body is another excellent purveyor of spa day goodies, like fragrant bath bombs that tout empowering messages like “UR Brave, UR Calm, and UR Fearless.” We cannot think of a better way to take a break from wrangling the kids than drawing a hot bath and inhaling the stress relieving aromas of these bath bombs!

 

There’s no better way for a couple to blow off steam than to celebrate their favorite teams together at a tailgate! On the way to the game, keep your drinks from sweating in your car with CounterArt’s absorbent car coasters. A huge seller, there are multiple ways to merchandise these moisture absorbing coasters in your store: spinners, floor displays, counter top displays, all available from CounterArt to help you sell this fantastic product.

 

Ladies headed to a tailgate will want to check out Emerson Street’s huge collection of team spirit sportswear. These styles are always on trend, like the fringe tunic pictured to the left. Stay comfortable and stylish while cheering on your favorite team this football season! Get a few pieces to merchandise into your boutique’s fall apparel and you’re sure to please your local tailgate afficionados.

Any of these lines can be ordered to stock your store during this pre-holiday, short-lived calm by calling your Southern Link rep. UR Bath & Body and CounterArt are also available via online order on Retailerslink.com!

Why Blog?

Coffee Cafe

 

Most businesses in today’s internet-focused landscape do have their own website. There are plenty of ways to make a website appealing to potential customers, but one often overlooked opportunity is a blog. A blog can be something as simple as a quick weekly article promoting the business and products, about the team, a glimpse into the inner workings of the business, or even helpful tips for your customers. With so many potential topics, it’s fairly easy to maintain a blog, though so many businesses disregard its potential power.

Here are five reasons why a Blog is an excellent tool for your business:

  1. Increases your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). When someone does a search for you on Google, or any other browser, how likely are you to show up? Some lucky stores and businesses have a one-of-a-kind name and show up right away. But others need to work a little harder to pop up when someone searches “small boutique” and the town’s name. Writing a blog with useful and interesting content is a great way to get your website and store in the eye of the Googler.
  2. Engage with Content. As mentioned previously, the better your content is in the blog, the more you will keep readers coming back for more. Think about an average Monday. How many times are you distracted at work? Most people get tired of looking at their social media feeds and want something else to check out. Offer up tips, tricks, new looks, product information – really, anything that you think will engage your specific audience to gain a repeated readership.
  3. Engagement with your Customers. Have a contest on your blog! Your readers can potentially win a gift card, or a gift basket from your store if they read the blog and enter to win. Be creative with this. Your customers want to feel like more than a simple transaction. A blog is a great way to share stories about people shopping in store (favorite regulars), or to get feedback on the store or business.
  4. Link to your Social Media. Maybe you’re already a wiz at social media like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Or, maybe you need a little help gaining followers on these channels. If a customer is on your website, be sure to link to your social media feeds from the website and/or blog. Contests like the one mentioned in the last tip can be run through Facebook or Instagram. Or, you can take a simple Facebook post and add much more content to it by creating a link to a new blog article!
  5. Sell More! The bottom line is to utilize your website to increase business. Blogging gives you an easy opportunity to highlight products and, in turn, sell more. Have a monthly blog featuring brand new items to your store. Or, do what we did and send out a blast about the best sellers. Customers always want to know what everyone else is buying – show them on your blog. And be sure to give your personal favorites as suggestions, too. Link to your ecommerce site or give instructions on how to buy.

Top Five Items from July Gift

After each Gift Show, we like to examine the trends and the hottest selling products in our showrooms. Which products were really flying, and why? Here are the five top selling items at The Southern Link from July Gift Show that, based on demand, will certainly sell at your store like hotcakes!

1. Habersham Candles had the overall best selling item with the Geo Painted Desert collection. These wax pottery vessels are filled with realistic succulents and contain fragrances like Blue Agave, Prickly Pear Aloe, and Cactus Water. Handcrafted in the USA, these decorative vessels are perfect for households with children and pets as a flame-less candle alternative!

 

2. Woodwick Candles Large Frasier Fir Candle is the smell of the holidays! Or, as Woodwick describes the scent, “the essence of fresh-cut fir on a crisp winter morning.” With 130 hours of burn time, this candle is the quintessential holiday gift!

3. Galleria Rain Capes (12 pack of solid color reversible capes) – this 12 pack  is the perfect introduction package to the luxurious, soft-feeling rain capes that Galleria sells in both solids and in gorgeous, iconic art prints. These rain capes are reversible, water repellent, and lightweight, with invisible magnets to connect the sleeves and stay on the body. A few examples of what Galleria offers in rain capes are black/grey, navy/camel, and purple/cream in their solids, and Monet’s Waterlilies, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and Kilimt’s “The Kiss” in their art prints.

4. Cool and Interesting medium sideways initial necklaces are all the rage in jewelry! Smart retailers know that initial necklaces are an easy sell. A customer comes in without the slightest idea of what to get woman? CAI’s initial necklaces are a unique, personal gift that is made by hand and all you need to know is the first letter of the person’s name!

5. TGB Brand’s Coco + Carmen OMG Jeans round out this list with a casual apparel item. Who wouldn’t want a pair of pants that pull on and are appropriate for daily wear that also slim the tummy area? OMG Jeans hold you in and lift you up, and are perfect for all body types. The most popular wash? Dark denim. But don’t forget about the other washes and colors to keep your options open!

 

All of our top selling items can be ordered right now on Retailerslink.com. Click the hyperlinks above to go directly to the specific vendor.

It’s SHOW TIME!

This coming week is the most exciting time of the year here at The Link Companies: SHOW TIME! From July 9-16, July Market will be in full swing in our Building 2 Showrooms, on the 16th floor. The first reason to stop by? Amazing SPECIALS from solid vendors that you definitely need to order. Here are a few worth mentioning:
 
UR Bath & Body
UR Bath for BlogThis is a BRAND NEW VENDOR here at The Southern Link! We are thrilled to offer an amazing line of bath bombs, soaps, and handcrafted scrubbers, and even happier to smell such good fragrances wafting through the showroom! As for the Show Special, $500 gets you FREE FREIGHT!

 

 

Woodwick and Yankee CandleYankee for Blog
Two powerhouse candle companies are now together and better than ever! Of course they have fantastic Show Specials, so be sure to stock up while you’re here – it’s worth your time! An order of $1000 get you 10% off, $1500 gets you 10% off and FREE FREIGHT, and  $2000 gets you 15% off and FREE FREIGHT!

 

 

In addition to Specials, we have some great FOOD OPTIONS to keep you fueled throughout the day. Here is the Daily Schedule:

Link Schedule July Show

Next week is SHOW TIME!

This coming week is the most exciting time of the year here at The Link Companies: SHOW TIME! From July 9-16, July Market will be in full swing in our Building 2 Showrooms, on the 16th floor. The first reason to stop by? Amazing SPECIALS from solid vendors that you definitely need to order. Here are a few worth mentioning:

UR Bath & Body
UR Bath for BlogThis is a BRAND NEW VENDOR here at The Southern Link! We are thrilled to offer an amazing line of bath bombs, soaps, and handcrafted scrubbers, and even happier to smell such good fragrances wafting through the showroom! As for the Show Special, $500 gets you FREE FREIGHT!

 

 

 

Woodwick and Yankee CandleYankee for Blog
Two powerhouse candle companies are now together and better than ever! Of course they have fantastic Show Specials, so be sure to stock up while you’re here – it’s worth your time! An order of $1000 get you 10% off, $1500 gets you 10% off and FREE FREIGHT, and  $2000 gets you 15% off and FREE FREIGHT!

 

 

 

 

In addition to Specials, we have some great FOOD OPTIONS to keep you fueled throughout the day. Here is the Daily Schedule:

Link Schedule July Show

Fall 2018 Fashion Trends

Fall Fashion is emerging at Market! Walking around the Atlanta Apparel show, we got a good idea of what’s hot for Fall.

Givenchy-Fall-2018
Givenchy Fall 2018

Many of the sleeve details we have seen in the last few seasons will remain during the cooler weather. Off-the-shoulder tops are still relevant and can be seen in sweater form, using chunky knits or mohair fabrics.

In fact, sweaters are huge for fall, particularly with big turtleneck or V necklines. Think “Ugly Christmas Sweater,” if you want an idea of some of what this trend is about! This sweater trend is certainly not shying away from patterns. Many runway looks featured leopard print as a dominant print, even with sweaters. Stripes are huge, and we noticed a lot of sweaters and knits with rainbow color stripes.

Additionally, with tops, we are seeing buttons down the front and a tie on the bottom. This gives a 90’s feel that definitely emanates from the whole look of Fall 2018. Hoods are also back, attached to tunics, dresses, and even some of those funky-chunky sweaters.

Striped Pant Leg
Striped Pant Leg

As previously mentioned, stripes appear all over the place in Fall Fashion, including on pants. Many labels are doing a solid, patterned, or plaid pant, often cropped, with a stripe down the outside of the leg. The label’s logo will sometimes appear in this stripe, which plays into the “Logo-Mania” we are seeing a lot of this Spring through Fall. From Gucci and Fendi, to ready to wear fashion, the idea of splashing a logo on a shirt, down the side of pants, or wearing it like a name tag (Gucci) is a resuscitated 90’s heartbeat.

In addition to striped and plaid pants, denim is still huge in fashion for the upcoming season. Bell bottom jeans have made quite the comeback, and denim overalls are going from shorts to full length overalls for Fall. Structured skirts that look like office wear are being paired with funky tops, and suede and velvet are favored fabrics with skirts and pants. Knee high socks, like those worn by the lead in iconic 90’s movie Clueless, are also appearing on the radar.

J Mendel Coat featuring Pattern and Fur collar
J Mendel Coat featuring Pattern and Fur collar

 

 

As for color, most displays at Apparel Show contained deep reds, like burgundy or crimson, blush, bright, goldenrod yellows, and army green. Floral prints are all over dresses and one-piece jumpsuits. Fun prints, like animal prints or star patterns, are on trend.

Other specific on-trend items include Puffer jackets, jackets with fur collars, floral wrap dresses, Athliesure items worn as fashion looks, and boyish elements (like an army green coat) mixed with flowy, hippy dresses.

Preparing for Market with Rachel Retailer

From the desk of Rachel Retailer: From Rachels Desk

Market Season is here and it is time to visit our friends in Atlanta! I don’t know about you, but I cannot leave without making my checklist. Here is what mine looks like:

1. Create my top vendor list:

How? Run a sales report for the last 6 months and one for the last 12 months. List my top 15 vendors and look up their showroom numbers at the Mart. Sort the list by Building and Floor.

2. Create my schedule:

How? First I used my list of vendors, sorted by floor, and decided how much time I will need to spend in the different buildings. Then I decide which days I will be working in each area.

3. Travel!

Now that my schedule is set, it is time to book my travel! I start by checking prices at https://www.americasmart.com/travel.

4. Book my appointments:

Now that I know which days I will be in certain areas of the Mart, I can call to schedule appointments. First I call my top 5 vendors. Then I call my favorite two reps (if not in the top 5 vendors). I then look through the rest of my vendor list and decide if I need an appointment with the rest. I find that 2 appointments a day is great; I can always fit in another two or three if needed.

5. Don’t forget meals!

Check my schedule to make sure I am near showrooms with good food. The Link Showrooms have free lunches every day. They also have breakfast and dinner with appointments. It’s worth a repeat trip for me!

6. Did I send my sales and inventory reports to my appointments?

As soon as I make an appointment I send sales and inventory information to the sales person (if I trust them). I tell them to have a suggested order ready for me when I show up and I give them a budget that I expect to spend. Different sales people handle this differently but it will always save me time, and it keeps the appointment focused and on track.

7. Download the Americasmart App! This is the best way to find my way around.

8. Packing!

  • Wear Comfy Shoes! I can walk between 5 and 10 miles a day during market, and having shoes that can help stand up to that abuse is important.
  • A Big Bag! I tell myself every year that I am not going to collect paper and catalogs, but it always seems to happen.
  • This year, I am going to try and take pictures of displays and products that I like with the room/booth number as the next picture. I hope this helps me lower my paper collection as well as help me plan for the next day.
  • A Battery Pack. I bring at least one in case I need an extra charge for my phone.
  • My Notebook (obviously!)
  • Business cards. I never seem to bring enough cards so I am bringing 100 this time.