It’s been over two decades since the founding of OneCoast, a sales, marketing and technology services company in the wholesale gift channel. OneCoast is, according to its website, “the largest and only national wholesale provider of gift, garden, home decor, and fragrance products to retailers throughout the United States.”   John Keiser has been CEO… Read More

We went into the new Starbucks on Michigan Avenue in Chicago a couple of weeks ago looking for a cup of coffee – and learned an important lesson for independent retailers while we were there.   The welcoming brochure for the Chicago Starbucks Reserve Roastery states that it is all about The Experience, The Spectacle, The… Read More

As the countdown to 2020 continues, I am pleased to present more wise words about how to make the most of the coming decade.  These insights come from a veteran in the gift industry,  sales rep Gina Lempa of Gina Lempa and Associates.   Gina represents  Melrose International, Vickerman Co. and Tripar International in the… Read More

According to Deloitte’s predictions for this holiday season, 60% of all gift buying will come from high spenders.  These shoppers are defined as those who spend over $2,100 on holiday gifts. The majority of them, the Deloitte retail survey shows, have an average household income of over $100,000.  The percentage of purchases being made online by… Read More

With 2020 on the horizon, I’ve invited a few leaders in the gift industry to talk about their predictions for the coming decade.  This week I’m pleased to feature Caroline “Keb” Kennedy, a dynamic woman I’ve known since she was my editor at Gifts and Decorative Accessories.  I continue to enjoy her leadership as the… Read More

“Piracy is not a victimless crime.”  We see this meme-worthy phrase every time we watch a video – but had you thought about the fact that it has special relevance for Amazon shoppers?  The Parcel Pending blog reports “A staggering 11 million homeowners have had a package stolen in the last year, according to August Home… Read More

As we get closer to the next decade, I’m pleased to present another view of the future of our industry.  These insights come from Steve Johnson, Principle and Market Director of Johnson Waters Marketing. Steve’s rep firm, based in Minneapolis, serves 2800 customers across 8 states in the Midwest.  Our shop is one of those… Read More

Business to Business (B2B) websites and marketplaces are having a major impact on many industries, including ours.  In 2018, there was an increase in sales of 11%, bringing the total to a staggering $1,082 trillion. Earlier this year I wrote about the growing popularity of the wholesale marketplace Faire, a B2B site through which retailers… Read More

With just a few weeks left in the second decade of this century, I decided to reach out to a very select group of leaders in our field to find out what they’re thinking about the future of our industry.  I’m pleased to share the first response with you today, from editor-in-chief of Gifts &… Read More

It’s time to start planning for this year’s Small Business Saturday, the “Shop Small” event that will celebrate its 10th anniversary on November 30, 2019.  According to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, 104 million shoppers spent a record high of $17.8 billion locally on that day in 2018.   Business Wire reports that communities across… Read More