Winter 2007
Happy New Year! By Patricia Norins

The start of a new year is always a clean slate—for new resolutions and new ideas. I hope you had a wonderful and profitable holiday season. With holiday sales winding down, and new inventory lining the shelves, it’s time to look ahead for 2007, learn from past successes and mistakes.

Craig Migawa owner of Pepper Palace in Gatlinburg, TN, is one retailer we can all learn from. Our “Before and After” feature details how a simple makeover of his store’s shopping bags has brought about scorching hot sales for his business.

I came away from a recent Chicago meeting of the Gift and Home Trade Association, brimming with optimism about the chances for success for independent retailers. Sure retailers have challenges, but there are still amazing opportunities for those who are innovative in their approach.

Our first in a series of “Industry Challenges” looks at the ubiquitous presence of big box stores. Industry experts weigh in on the phenomenon and retailers just like you offer effective strategies for thriving in a landscape with ever-changing competition. Whether it’s customer service or effective advertising, our feature outlines ingredients you’ll need for success as an independent retailer.

While Old Man Jack Frost might be bearing down on us, it is just the time to be thinking spring (and summer). One of the up-and-coming trends in home decor is a fascination with all things coastal. Whether it’s rugs, frames, lamps or bed linen, coastal is popping up everywhere. Our feature on coastal home decor discusses possible reasons for the sudden surge in this trend.

Think there is no place for greeting cards in an instant messaging, e-card world? Think again! Our feature on the state of the greeting card industry shows there is plenty of money to be made especially with high-end lines of cards.

And if you know how to track who is buying your store’s greeting cards, you probably own a Point of Sale system and are putting it to good use. But if you are in the market for one, our feature on POS systems takes a look at five systems in the market and evaluates them.

Finally if you would like to contribute to our magazine simply drop me an email. We are looking forward to meeting you at the gift shows. Please do stop by our booth and say Hello.

At GIFT SHOP, our New Year’s resolution is to find new ways to serve you better. What’s yours?

P.S: We are hard at work on a brand new website. Watch for its launch real soon!

Patricia Norins, Publisher
GIFT SHOP
norins@giftshopmag.com

Patricia Norins

Norins is the founder and publisher of two national trade magazines and two trade shows. Specialty Retail Report, the voice of the specialty retail industry (carts, kiosks and temporary in-line stores) has a readership of more than 75,000 and GIFT SHOP, the magazine for independent gift shop owners, has a readership of more than 60,000. She also serves as consultant to small independent retailers across the country.




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