Summer 2007
Navigating Change By Patricia Norins

First, I want to heartily thank all of you who called us, wrote in and met us at shows to congratulate us on our one-year anniversary. The response to GIFT SHOP has been phenomenal and we are so delighted to hear from you and to have you share in our success. I am really looking forward to meeting more of you at the tradeshows this summer. Please stop by and say Hello.

A quick update about our makeover contest: We are delighted to announce Donna Trottier of Blue Hydrangea in Wickford, RI as the winner. Donna is as excited as us about the contest and we are really looking forward to the results. Stay tuned.

Moving on to our features, as gift shop retailers, you are always looking for the niche ticket item. Luxury gift items fit this bill neatly as our feature on luxury spa and aromatherapy goods, demonstrates. At a time when increasing numbers of consumers are looking for “escape” through small indulgences, these products are catching on in stores around the country.

Gourmet tea too offers the same escape to consumers and the numbers show that more Americans are drinking it. With proven health benefits and the sales of specialty teas expected to rise steadily over the next few years, you too could be brewing more profits in your store with tea. While teas in attractive packaging make for proven bestsellers in your store, so do gift books which can enhance your sales when you cross-merchandise them effectively with other in-store products. As add-ons to toys, tableware and even teas, gift books are the perfect way to boost the dollar value of your sales.

Last but not the least, you know the old saying: The only thing constant in retail is change? There has never been more truth to it than today as the Internet age continues to usher in dramatic changes in the way we do business.

This issue of GIFT SHOP explores the rapid rise of e-commerce and what it could mean for your business. In our Industry Challenge, we present portraits of gift shops—early adopters who have dived into “e-tail” head-on and those who are still dabbling at the fringes.

As always, we welcome your input and your participation in our features. Please email your ideas and suggestions to our managing editor, Poornima Apte, at If you haven’t done so already, please also visit our website to sign up for the Wrap Up, our weekly enewsletter and to check out my latest venture, a blog!

And while today’s retail landscape might be changing more rapidly than ever, what has not changed is our unwavering commitment to your retail success. Together, we can navigate change and even profit from it!

Patricia Norins
Publisher, GIFT SHOP

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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