Tags: gift | industry

Gift Industry Hopes Flexibility Will Boost Sales

Tuesday, 18 Aug 2009 01:58 PM

NEW YORK -- Wholesale and retail gift sellers hope a mix of personal attention and understanding will entice recession-battered buyers to spend this holiday season, vendors at a top trade show said on Monday.

Flexibility and innovation will be critical in end-of-the-year holiday gift sales, said exhibitors at this week's New York International Gift Fair that features handmade items, home furnishings, lifestyle products and the like.

Some 40,000 visitors and 2,900 exhibitors are expected at the six-day trade show, which ends on Thursday.

For Kathy Bartone of Pelican Bay confections, innovation means devising lower-priced products, experimenting with eye-catching packaging and allowing retailers to place minimum wholesale orders of as little as $100.

"We appeal to a lot of little gourmet shops. Those are really the ones being affected most by the recession, the little people," said Bartone, based in Dunedin, Florida.

Coco Amana, who sells aromatherapy items online, said she is experimenting with selling single items at half price for a brief time to encourage customers to buy quickly.

"A 50 percent discount is enough to get people to do something," said Amana of Philadelphia-based Wellness Secrets.

New York's gift trade show features about 100 fewer exhibitors than it did a year ago but about 400 of this year's vendors are newcomers, said director Dorothy Belshaw.

"We also see from those that are weathering this recession successfully that it has generated more innovation and more new products," she said. "Out of recession and difficult economic times typically comes some really exciting design innovation."

Wholesalers need to understand what retailers are facing, said Christiana Kippels, executive vice president at Thymes in Minneapolis, which sells fragrances and bath and body products to specialty stores in North America.

"We've tried to be really flexible," she said, by allowing retail customers to buy fewer items at one time and focusing on "just-in-time" shipping.

"Knowing cash is tight, we are trying to be as responsive as possible," she said.

Simply being nice to customers goes a long way, said Ellen Dorsch of Creative Women in Grand Isle, Vermont, which sells textile products from women-owned businesses in Ethiopia and Swaziland to shops across the United States.

"We go out of our way to be nice. It really makes a difference," she said. "I can't compete with the big guys so I have to do something different."

That kindness not only engenders loyalty but encourages shop owners to promote her products to customers, she said,

The semi-annual trade show is New York's largest, organizers said, with exhibitors from more than 75 nations.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

1Like our page
2Share
Markets
NEW YORK -- Wholesale and retail gift sellers hope a mix of personal attention and understanding will entice recession-battered buyers to spend this holiday season, vendors at a top trade show said on Monday.Flexibility and innovation will be critical in end-of-the-year...
gift,industry
425
2009-58-18
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved