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March  2 0 1 3

c o m m e n t a r y

Visualizing Spring Retailing Success

Each March, Souvenirs, Gifts & Novelties takes a special look at both the basics of selling more merchandise and the at-times complex thinking behind displaying and buying products to reach that end. This year, our contributing writers turned the spotlight on zoo and aquarium visual merchandising with stories on creating sales-winning displays, choosing the most effective colors and themes, and cultivating the best possible relationship between buyers and vendors.

March is also our apparel issue, and offers the annual MegaBucks Feature. In the area of clothing, our writers cover selling more hats, socks and moccasins at beach and resort stores, T-shirt trends at children's science and art museums, and the sweatpant, hoodie and sweatshirt outlook at college bookstores. The MegaBucks Feature is a review of the 2012 leisure destination and independent store retail picture. We hope you enjoy reading about the trends noticed by and advice offered to our readers throughout last year, as well as examining annual sales figures at a selection of shops.

Signs are hot, both with nostalgic and contemporary images and in metal and wood. In our special report on signs, we present stories on sales trends at country stores and on why these gifts are a bright spot in a difficult selling environment.

Wise retailers are always looking for new ways to connect to shoppers. Scented merchandise can lift spirits while offering an affordable treat or gift, and we offer stories on selling this merchandise at country stores and botanical gardens. At hospital, party and general gift stores, reaching out to customers with seasonal merchandise and displays can strengthen connections all year. In a special Christmas Retailing section, we look at the holiday selling picture for these three categories of shops and present advice retailers can use anytime.

Shoppers are watching their spending, but at the same time want to indulge in gifts for themselves or others. Affordable jewelry can be the perfect pick-me-up, and selling unique styles is a best practice for shops. At nautical stores and museums, sea-themed jewelry lets tourists and locals proclaim their fondness for the ocean all the time, and at inspirational shops, the special selection of bracelets, rings and earrings can in some cases help the wearer express their beliefs.

We also offer trends stories on Minor League Baseball name-dropped and custom souvenirs, pirate merchandise, plush and toys at caves and caverns and independent toy shop playthings that promote a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, the issue contains a special National Association of Retail Buyers (NARB) section and more.

I hope you enjoy the issue. Please email me at with your comments, questions and suggestions.

Scott C. Borowsky
President and Executive Editor

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
–W.B. Yeats

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