August/September 2020

Smoky Mountain Gift Show Preview
Smoky Mountain Gift Show-provided Editorial
Gift Stores: Merchandise Trends and Strategies for Dealing with Changes
For this article, a selection of gift store owners and staff offered information about current trends, tips to keep stores sanitary, and the changing retail landscape.
Country Stores – Current Merchandise Trends at Country Stores
During these uncertain times, country store owners and a manager for this article discussed how they are running their businesses and current merchandise trends.
What Is Selling for Travelers? – Retail at Campsites and RV Resorts
Camping promotes family bonding while minimizing non-household contact. This article explores how retail fits into a fun vacation alternative.
Edible Gifts Report
Easy Sales During Summer Days – Snacks and Candy at Lakeside Stores
For this article, lakeside stores in California, Idaho, Texas and New York discussed the selling picture during the first summer of the pandemic.
Fresh Finds at General Stores – Top-selling Candy and Snacks
For this article, three general store owners discussed their best-selling items and how they keep their inventory fresh.
Apparel and Accessories
Attending to Shifting Spending Trends – Best-Selling Accessories at Boutiques
As the pandemic changes our lifestyles, customers’ priorities have shifted — and successful retailers are responding.
Bonus Sidebar: Bagging Sales – What Types of Handbags Sell Best and Why?
A Change of Clothes for Changing Times – Apparel and Accessories at Clothing and Inspirational Stores
For this article, three retailers in different parts of the United States discussed changes in the apparel and accessories marketplace.
Bonus Sidebar: Is Selling Belts a Cinch?
Seaside Store Report
Selling by the Sea – Reopened Gift Stores Discuss Merchandise and Displays that Spark Interest
For this story, four owners and managers of seaside gift stores discussed their top-selling gifts and offered display tips.
Summer Apparel Trends – Making Fashion Waves at Seaside Stores
At seaside stores on both coasts, summer apparel has its own beachy flavor. For this article, stores described their top sellers and most appealing summer colors.
Bonus Sidebar: Loosely Defined Summer Trends – Sundresses or Pants?
Remembering the Fun in the Sun – Souvenirs at Seaside Stores
For this article, shop owners and staff in vacation destinations described what’s doing well for their stores and what is not.
General Merchandise Special Report
A Lifeline for Life’s Necessities and More – Gift and Personal Care Best-sellers at Pharmacies
Pharmacies have been a lifeline for people during the pandemic. For this article, four stores revealed gift and personal care best-sellers.
Bonus Sidebar: Are Shoppers Buying Fragrances? Why or Why Not?
Trends in United States-Made Goods at Hardware Stores and Pharmacies
Due to the pandemic, USA-made merchandise may be more sought-after than ever in some locations, this article found.
IGES Special Section
Opening Stores Serve Home and Hearth – Decorative Signs and Home Deçor Merchandise
For this article, three owners and managers of general, variety and gift stores discussed current trends in sales of decorative signs and home deçor merchandise.
Good Sales for Small Fries – What’s Hot at Children’s and Baby Stores
This story found that while retail overall has suffered in the pandemic economy, children’s and baby stores are a bright spot.
Selling Secrets from Jewelry Shops
For this article, jewelry shop owners and staff shared their tips on what they do to sell more jewelry and what items are selling best, including within the fine jewelry category.
A Report on Best-Sellers
Gifts and Other Merchandise at Garden Shop, Hardware and General Stores
For this article, store officials reported on gift sales at garden, hardware and general stores.
Bonus Sidebar: What Are Your Top Customer Service Tips?
Zoo Section
Where Jewelry Sales Still Shine – The Jewelry Outlook for Zoo Stores
When SGN spoke to zoo retailers in July, everyone interviewed reported that jewelry sales remained strong and tastes had not changed in any significant way.
Games, Playthings and Plush
Playing Around with Sound – Musical Instrument Toys at Toy Stores
This article examines trends in the sale of musical instrument toys at stores in Arizona, Ohio and Oregon.
Party and Christmas Store Trends
Decking the Halls for Celebrations – Cautious Spending Meets Inventive Display at Christmas and Party Stores
This story illuminates trends in holiday-related items gleaned from interviews with Christmas and party store officials in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and Oregon.

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