August/September 2021

Special Feature: Retail Expert Q & A – A Conversation with Industry Veteran Tom Park

The Smoky Mountain Gift Show Section

Show-Supplied Editorial 

Gifts of All Stripes Sell Solidly at Country and Variety Stores 

How customers are finding all types of gifts at country and variety stores.

Bonus Sidebar: It’s a Wrap – Trends in Wrap and Bows 

Where Souvenir Sales Are Second Nature – Trends in Mementos at Caves and Caverns For this article, Contributor Genie Davis interviewed retail officials at three caves and a cavern to get their perspectives on best-selling souvenirs.

Gift Report

The Nature of Sales – Trends for Today from State Park Gift Stores

This article explores the pandemic’s impact on gift stores at state parks.

Special Resort Section 

Meaningful Monograms – Classic Imprints Are Still Relevant at Resort and Gift Stores 

Contributor Hilary Larsen spoke with five retailers in Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut to discuss trends in monogrammed merchandise.

Methods for Successful Selling – Jewelry at Resorts 

This story by Contributor Sara Karnish focuses on selling jewelry successfully, and offers perspectives from retailers at resorts in North Carolina, Maine, California, and Pennsylvania.

Bonus Sidebar: Top Jewelry Theft Prevention Tips

Surf Expo Feature Section

Surf Expo Exhibitor List

 Everything for the Beach – What Is Selling, from Apparel to ToysFor this article, beach store staff and owners described the merchandise they offer, including best-sellers.

Bonus Sidebar: The Word from the Beach – Top Customer Service Tips from Beach Stores

Made in America Merchandise – Coastal Gifts from Close to Home

A look at locally-sourced merchandise at coastal stores.


 Stepping Out in Style – Apparel Trends at Apparel Boutiques This story explores what is currently selling at apparel boutiques across the country.

Bonus Sidebar: Pastels or Primaries? Which Apparel Colors are Trending? 

Bonus Sidebar: What Is Your Favorite Display Fixture and Why?  

Best Boutique Practices – Apparel Display Tips from Men’s and Women’s Clothing Shops 
For this article, store owners and staff offered their tips to display apparel in a compelling way to made selling easier.

Bonus Sidebar: How Does Lighting Fit in with Display Strategy 

Dressing Guests with Apparel Extras – Selling Wearable Merchandise at Water Parks and Amusement Parks 
Which apparel items guests are buying at water parks and amusement parks.

Bonus Sidebar: What to Do With Lingering Leftovers 

Las Vegas Preview Section

Bringing Home the Sales – Selling Quality Home Décor Gifts at Resort Locations

How home décor gifts are sold to travelers.

Getting Gift Merchandise Out the Door at Museum Shops

For this article, Contributor Karen Appold interviewed museums in Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Tennessee to discuss gift merchandise sales.

Las Vegas Market Section Trade Show News


Where the Jewelry Always Fits – Jewelry Trends at Gift Shops and Boutiques 

Readers of this article can find out why three shops are stocking up on more jewelry, how they cater to their demographic, and more.

Bonus Sidebar: Are You Planning On Bringing In More Jewelry, Or Scaling Back Your Selection? Why? 

Where Business Is Beginning to Normalize – Jewelry Trends at Hospital Stores 

For this story, SGN checked in with the hospital gift store segment to discuss both the pandemic and the jewelry-selling climate.

General Merchandise Special Report 

Going Small for Big Sales – Trends in Inexpensive Gifts at General and Variety Stores 

For this article, three retailers told SGN what sells best in the inexpensive gifts category, and how to sell more of this type of merchandise.

A Study in Sales – Merchandise Best-Sellers at College Stores 

Tie-dye, crop tops and loungewear are proving to be durable trends for a second season at college bookstores around the country.

Bonus Sidebar: What’s Your Best-Selling Gift Item? 

Edible Gifts 

Edible Add-Ons – Snacks and Candy at Pharmacies and Florists        
Contributor Sara Karnish spoke with retailers at pharmacies and florists to find out how edible gifts fit into their merchandise mix.

Games, Playthings and Plush

Which Toys Can’t Be Beat
How toy stores find the toys that become best-sellers.

What’s Gaining in Games – The Sale of Games and Puzzles at Toy and Game Stores
Contributor Carime Lane interviewed four store owners and a game buyer to get a feel for current trends in toy sales.

Personal Care Products 

Making Sales Second Nature – Best-Selling Natural Soaps and Lotions at Specialty Stores    
Fragrant, easy to gift and universally practical, soaps and lotions were popular even before the pandemic and are now enjoying even more popularity.

Bonus Sidebar: What Is Your Top-Selling Soap Scent? 

Zoo and Aquarium Section 

Name-Dropped Plush at Zoos and Aquariums 
Why name-dropping is an enduring practice that drives souvenir sales.

Bonus Sidebar: What Name-Dropped Items Sell Best For Your Store And Why? 

Party Stores 

Best-Selling Party Supplies and Decorations for New Year’s and Any Time 
Even as COVID-19 restrictions shift and change, families and friends are planning celebration activities of all kinds for a wide range of occasions.

Bonus Sidebar: Top Children’s Party Themes 

Year-Round Christmas Stores

Best-Sellers Where Every Day Is a Holiday
How Christmas store retailers manage their wide-ranging merchandise choices. 

Bonus Sidebar: What Are the Christmas Color Favorites

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