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Merchandising for Gift Sales

By Micah Cheek

Jill Foucré, Owner of Marcel’s Culinary Experience, has a tried-and-true strategy for last-minute gift sales. She has arranged the front of her store to be accessible to customers running in for a quick hostess gift or holiday item. “We do a ton of walking in and not knowing what [they’re] looking for,” says Foucré. “We have an array of products that cover an array of price points. If you come in and say, ‘I want to do something super special,’ we can cover that too.”

Marcel’s specializes in arranging little collections of two or three items arranged by theme. A food product like artisan dried pasta or a spice blend can make a nice centerpiece for some small items. “I love really great quality food products, [like] a really nice olive oil. Not so much a bottle of wine, but something I would cook with. Something you wouldn’t buy for yourself,” says Foucré. “We also have things like salt boxes – we’ll do that with a nice salt, or a mill. We have a lot of cocktail accessories, and we’ve got some really fantastic bitters that we can build into a cocktail thing.”

For folks who don’t know what they are looking for, Foucré recommends having some go-to items to recommend. “One of the things we always tell our staff is, ‘Always have three or four things in mind.’ I don’t want the staff there hemming and hawing. Because we carry a lot of local artists and food, we really try to be unique,” says Foucré. Handmade or unusual items are good suggestions, because it lowers the chance of the gift receiver getting multiples of the same gift. Handmade serveware has that individual look, and also makes itself a handy container for other items. “We carry a lot of different ceramic bowls – some of them are dipping dishes, some of them are ice cream bowl-sized – and we do tons of stuff with those. We’ll take a bowl, we’ll put in maybe a salt or herb blend and an olive oil, or something like that. Those tend to be very popular,” says Foucré. “The vessel will be part of what they bought. It they’re doing a baking thing, a glass bowl becomes part of the gift.” Bowls from ceramic companies like Carmel Ceramica can make a statement. Inspired by the beautiful gardens seen over Carmel, their porcelain Flower Garden collection has a hand-carved design and is safe for use in both dishwashers and microwaves.

Having a range of seasonal items available is an easy way to supply this need during the holiday season. “I love seasonal things. I love the things that you put away and bring out again,” says Foucré. “We generally have a very good selection of seasonal home décor things.” Even seasonal items aren’t needed, something printed with a statement shows that the consumer put some thought into what the receiver likes. “We have a lot of kitchen towels that aren’t seasonal,” says Foucré. “ellembee, they do towels with saying on them, and we sell literally hundreds of those. When you’re going to your book group and want to bring a little something, they’re great and a little irreverent.”

Candles on their own can seem like bland gifts, but a little something extra can make them special. “We sell a lot of scented candles in jars. We have them from a company called Lasco, Detroit Rose, we have a lot of different kinds that are great for hostess gifts,” says Foucré. “They can be a standalone, and we have a lot of fun matches we can sell them. Skeem [Design] sells some pretty matches in jars, we almost always will sell them.” Skeem Designs has matches in multiple colors and designs, packaged in tins and jars with different symbols and sayings on them. Some sets even have lines of poetry printed on the individual match sticks.

Summer Markets Offer a Panoply of Beauty and Function

By Lorrie Baumann

The makers of high-end kitchenware and giftware are bringing a gorgeous array of new products that will surprise and delight your customers this holiday season to the summer markets in Atlanta, Las Vegas and New York. No matter which you’re able to attend, you’re sure to find items to entice the passionate foodies and the people who love them to browse and buy at your store this fall. Here’s just a small sample of the products that are making their debut in July.

Sips mugCB Gifts is offering the New Sips Signature mug, an all-purpose bone china 14-ounce mug with the Sips logo on the bottom. These mugs are safe in dishwasher and microwave oven, and there are 19 different designs to choose from. They’re sold in increments of two per design at a wholesale price of $5.00. See them in the Next Step Reps showroom in Building C at Las Vegas Market.

Vance Kitira is introducing a whole new catalog of items this summer at the markets in Las Vegas, Atlanta and New York. Among the new items are extensions to the company’s Timber Pears candles with new colors. The company launched Lemongrass, Tangerine, Pale Yellow, White, Sand, Sea Foam and Cranberry Timber Pears candles this past spring, and now for the autumn come Brown Sugar, Melon White and Moss for both Large and Slender Timber Pears. The Large Timber Pears candles measure 4 inches by 5.5 inches and retail for $ 11.00 each. The Slender Timber Pears measure 4 inches by 8 inches and retail for $17 each.

Vance KitiraThe company also offers three sizes of Glitter Pears to create a beautiful glitter story. Available in Red or Ivory, these are unscented, and each comes wrapped and dressed with coordinating ribbons. The original Glitter Pear is 3 inches by 4 inches and retails for $8. A larger one, 4 inches by 5.5 inches, and one that’s 4 inches by 8 inches are new. See them in Building 2 at AmericasMart, Building C at Las Vegas Market or at NY NOW.

Totally Bamboo, the original designer of bamboo kitchenware and the first to introduce the bamboo cutting board, is launching several new products during the summer 2017 markets. Totally Bamboo’s Striped Bar Boards are lightweight and convenient for all your small prep needs. Whether chopping onions or other veggies for a savory delight, prepping fruits for a refreshing smoothie or slicing citrus for cocktails on the patio, your customers will find so many uses for these little boards. Plus, they make great host/hostess gifts!

Totally BambooThe Striped Paddle Board measures 9 inches by 6 inches and is 1/2 inch thick. It retails for about $6. The Striped Bar Board measures 9-1/4 inches by 5-1/8 inches and is also 1/2 inch thick and retails for about $6. See them in Building 2 at AmericasMart and in the Next Step Reps showroom in Building C at Las Vegas Market.

kaydee3Kay Dee Designs is offering textiles for a well dressed kitchen with its Blooming Thoughts collection. The collection includes an Embroidered Hostess Apron, Oven Mitt, Potholder, Krinkle Flour Sack Towels, Fouta Towels and Embroidered Placemat. Both the Krinkle and Fouta Towels are 100 percent cotton. See them in the Next Step Reps showroom at Las Vegas Market.

NG215Nouvelle Collections is offering its Gold Two Tone Tea / Coffee Warmer Set of Detachable Glass Pitcher and 18/10 Stainless Steel along with other items at NY NOW. This is a beautiful coffee/tea/hot chocolate warmer set with a detachable glass pitcher in a 18/10 stainless steel holder. It’s two tone gold ripple design radiates glamour and sophistication, and careful craftsmanship and high-quality, tarnish-resistant materials make a product that will last a lifetime. The set retails for $99.00-$115.00, and it’s part of a collection that includes other gold two-tone items.

ARTELAlso being shown at NY NOW, ARTEL is offering a Large Pitcher in Black and Double Old Fashioned Glass in Black. These are extensions to the Jungle Deco Collection of mouth-blown, hand-engraved lead-free crystal glassware from the Czech Republic that ARTEL introduced last winter. The Jungle Deco Collection was inspired by Maurice Sendak’s illustrations for “Where the Wild Things Are,” according to ARTEL Founder/Director Karen Feldman. The Large Pitcher retails for $848, and the Double Old Fashioned retails for $213 per glass.

Metallic EvolutionMetallic Evolution will be exhibiting its summer collection in the American Made Collective showroom in Building C at Las Vegas Market. This Canadian-made collection of serving ware is all hand-forged in high quality stainless steel. Part tool, part sculpture, these utensils add a new dimension to the act of serving food. Each piece is individually created so that no two are identical. These utensils are functional as well as a decorative addition to the table.

GalleryGallery Drinkware is exhibiting this summer in the Artisanal LA section of Pavilion 1 at the Las Vegas Market with artistic, reusable glass bottles and drinkware that combine functionality and art in remarkably unique and eye-catching ways. Perfect for indoor or outdoor dining, this beautiful glassware brings the art of Wyland, Guy Harvey, Drew Brophy, and the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to the table. Each piece is limited-edition and decorated in the USA. The 1-liter bottles with 22 karat gold liquid frame and lettering retail for $45.

Arcadia trivetSee this Hand Felted Wool Snowflake Trivet from Arcadia Home on the 10th floor of Building C at the Las Vegas Market. This beautiful snowflake trivet doubles as decor when not in use and would make a terrific hostess gift or everyday present for the home cook. It’s artisan-made of hand felted 100 percent sustainable wool and retails for $22.

Wine PurseVivajennz is offering its Original Wine Purse. These are stylish beverage purses designed to carry juice for the kids or cocktails for the adults. Each purse is insulated and carries up to 3 liters. They have a hidden pouch to pour from, and the spout is discreetly covered. See it in Pavilion 1 at the Las Vegas Market.

YonantanModway Furniture’s Fairground Serving Stand organizes produce, dishes and serving items. Reminiscent of old time fairs and merchant stands, Fairground features a black lacquered steel frame with four removable produce storage baskets and a solid pine wood storage shelf. Positioned on four left-right mobile steel wheels, Fairground is a stand ready to serve up breakfast or lunch with nostalgic farmhouse charm. Each bin is 14 inches by 10 inches and is 8 inches high. Farmhouse Style Serving Stand retails for $675 and will be shown on the seventh floor of Building B at the Las Vegas Market.
Wellness MatsWellnessMats is challenging the very notion of an ‘anti-fatigue mat’ with its latest introduction, the Studio Collection. No longer relegated to the rectangle, the Studio Collection breaks the mold with its striking scalloped and an elegant sunburst semi-circle shapes, featuring stunning designs and available in a myriad of color options. The nexus of creativity, versatility and comfort, Studio offers decorative comfort solutions for the home and for the workplace. Scaled for all areas of the home, Studio is ideal for the kitchen, vanity, laundry room, especially for smaller kitchens, compact areas and for standing desks. The Scalloped Bella mats shown here retail for $99.95 and will be shown on the 11th floor of Building C at Las Vegas Market.
CDI FurnitureCDI FURNITURE is bringing its Marble Platters and Shallow Ceramic Bowls to NY NOW. Naturally cool, the Marble Platters, available in round and square, white and gray, not only look sophisticated, but they’ll keep a cheese and charcuterie board at the perfect temperature for serving. The Shallow Ceramic Bowls are a nice assortment of six shallow ceramic bowls, with graphic textural patterns that make them attractive as well as functional.

Practical and Pretty Products from Janey Lynn’s Designs

By Lorrie Baumann

Janey Lynn’s Designs started as a gift from Jane Shekleton’s grandmother – a pair of potholders that she’d cut from a disused chenille bathrobe. “I happened to use one for a dishcloth, and the absorbency and the texture were fabulous,” Shekleton says while we are together in her permanent booth at the Las Vegas Market, where she is displaying a whole range of practical products for the home, and especially the kitchen, that have all flowed from her grandmother’s thrifty ways.

ShaggieThe Shaggie, the first of the products, is a dishcloth modeled on that very first inspiration, first offered in five colors in 2008 and now offered in 24, was followed by The Shrubbie, a utility cloth with a Shaggie on one side and a nylon scrubber on the other side that finds uses for everything from scrubbing potatoes for baking to taking the cooked-on crusts off non-stick pots and pans. They’re both machine washable with similar colors and dryable on a cool setting. “Based on the performance, our customers asked for the kitchen towel,” Shekleton says. “Almost 200 skus later, we can make your store Shaggie-delicious with a practical purpose that has a purpose. Once customers get their first one, they come back to the store for more. The reorders are phenomenal.”

At this year’s International Home + Housewares Show, Janey Lynn’s Designs will be offering even more Shaggie colors, including King Salmon, Choco Latte, Spicy Spearmint, Cracked Pepper and Lavender Dream, as well as new striped sets of one Shaggie and one Shrubbie in fun colors: Tropical Splash, Miss Sunshine, Melon Mania, Sandcastle, Anchors Away, and Bermuda Blast. “They’re fun,” Shekleton says.

The Berry Best Veggie Sack is a cloth sack that’s dampened to store fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. Made of 70 percent bamboo, the Berry Best Veggie Sack slows the ripening and spoilage of any fresh produce, even delicate strawberries and mushrooms, and reduces waste. “All you do is dampen the bag, throw the produce in and put it in the crisper and you’re done,” Shekleton says.

dust mop coverShe’ll also have Mop-EZ in her booth, a dust mop cover that fits the Swiffer handles as well as others. “You don’t have to know the name of your duster because one size fits most,” Shekleton says. Mop-EZ is made of a 50 percent acrylic/50 percent polyester blend and can be used either wet or dry. “I’ll chase any vacuum cleaner around. It’s amazing what that picks up that the vacuum cleaner has missed,” Shekleton says.

Shaggie BaggieShaggie Baggies are lined pouches that go inside the purse or the travel bag to carry all those little items – jewelry, make-up, pens, etc. – that would otherwise just be scrambled in the depths of the bag. “A little purse for your big purse,” Shekleton says. The Shaggie Baggie comes in three colors: Limealicious, Orange Marmalade and Yum Yum Bubble Gum, and it’s hand-washable 100 percent cotton.

Brand new for the International Home + Housewares Show, Janey Lynn’s Designs will also be exhibiting Himalayan Salt Stones that are part of the brand’s spa line. Packaged in a gift box, they’re all natural and go into the bath water to enhance the experience. “Let the relaxation begin,” Shekleton says.

Find Janey Lynn’s Designs in booth # S3758 during the International Home + Housewares Show.

A World of Creativity at Las Vegas Market

Dorothy Belshaw, President Gift+Home Décor, International Market Centers, has been working overtime since she joined the organization upon her departure from the company that produced the NY NOW trade show to improve the selection of gourmet housewares and giftware that’s offered in the Las Vegas Market’s showrooms. Over the last year or so, we’ve seen those efforts come to fruition with expansive displays in the temporary booths in the Pavilions, a collection of exhibit spaces across the courtyard from the three main buildings that house the Market’s permanent showrooms as well as Building C, the permanent home of many gourmet housewares, tabletop and giftware collections. This year’s Winter Market offered an impressive array of hot new products.

CASOFrieling launched the CASO German Design VC300 Vacuum Food Sealer, which the company is positioning as the premium quality choice for fresh food storage and sous vide cooking. The system provides an airtight seal every time, and a double sealing bar with electronic temperature control ensures the seal’s durability. The vacuum pump offers both power and precision, and the unit offers a vacuum roll storage box that eliminates clutter and simplifies use, while a snap-out bag cutter makes it easy to customize bag size. The unit retails for $199.99.

PrintFrieling is also offering the CASO Air Fryer, a sleek countertop appliance that uses high volume hot air circulation technology to fry food with little or no added oil. The Air Fryer features digital touch controls with six presets for popular fresh and frozen comfort foods and a large LED display. Temperature is adjustable from 140 to 400 degrees F, and there’s a 60-minute timer with automatic shutoff. The removable parts are all dishwasher safe, and the stainless steel interior wipes clean. The unit retails for $199.95.
Capresso frotherCapresso showed off its froth MAX Automatic Milk Frother, which offers patented frothing technology that delivers maximum milk froth at the touch of a button. There are three temperature settings and a large capacity – 8 ounces for frothing or 12 ounces for heating without frothing. The machine comes with two frothing disks and one heating disk and retails for $59.99.

The Capresso 8-Cup Perk features durable stainless steel construction with a glass view-through lid. It can brew four to eight cups of coffee in less than a minute per cup and has an automatic keep-warm function. The drip-free pouring spout and detachable power cord simplify serving, and it’s countertop-friendly, with a heat-resistant base that’s safe for any surface. It retails for $59.99.
Kuhn Rikon_Easy Cut

The Kuhn Rikon Easy Cut operates with a pull mechanism that rotates the blades in the four-cup container to slice and grate cabbage, potato, carrots or cheese. This energy-efficient design is safe and incredibly fast, and the high-quality stainless steel blades on the cutting discs stay super sharp. The Easy Cut retails for $80.

The Kuhn Rikon Wine & Champagne Bottle Sealer is dependable enough to allow the wine bottle to be stored on its side. The sealer is made of stainless steel with an expandable silicone gasket that keeps flavor in and air out. It’s 1.5 inches in diameter and 3.25 inches high and retails for $10.

PeugeotPeugeot’s Tahiti Duo Mills are now available in a fresh new color palette inspired by the seasonal colors of nature. Each set features gracefully curved 6-inch pepper and salt mills made from beech wood in France. Each set includes one mill with its mechanism optimized for pepper and one for salt. These mechanisms are highly efficient and fully adjustable, offering a consistent high-output grind. At $65 per set, they come in Spring (green and yellow), Summer (blue hues), Autumn (two shades of orange) and Winter (chestnut browns with red undertones). See them along with the Peugeot Whisky Set and Peugeot’s Mahe Mill, which features Peugeot’s iconic spice-specific mechanism in a simple design that has no shaft, which allows more room inside for a greater quantity of peppercorns or sea salt.

RSVP Old BensonRSVP International, Inc. offers its Old Benson Bottle Butler. Available in chrome and brass finishes, this is a remake of a 1930s classic inspired by Rollin Kirby’s political cartoons of Senator Andrew Volstead, father of the Volstead Act that ushered in Prohibition. The RSVP Old Benson Bottle Butler is 6-1/2 inches tall and features a corkscrew and bottle opener that will provide a humorous focal point in gin joints, speakeasies, bars, kitchens and homes. Zinc alloy construction provides strength and resistance to corrosion, and it’s dishwasher safe. The Old Benson Bottle Butler retails for $16.95.

pils01Endurance® Pilsner Glass from RSVP is made of dishwasher-safe 18/8 stainless steel with satin exterior and mirror interior and has a 16-ounce capacity. It retails for $19.95. For further information about the RSVP products visit www.rsvp-intl.com or email Krista Jenkins at kristaj@rsvp-intl.com.

lodgesMenus and Music was at the Winter Las Vegas Market with “Dining at Great American Lodges,” a cookbook with recipes from legendary lodges, national parks lore and wilderness art along with a music CD that blends bluegrass, country, western swing and jazz inspired by traditional American songs. Perfect for those who like to dance around the kitchen while stirring the stew and enjoying a nip of the cooking wine, “Dining at Great American Lodges” comes gift-boxed. For more information, visit www.menusandmusic.

Abbiamo TuttoAbbiamo Tutto brought new patterns in its ceramic glasses and coaster set collections, which now include 11 patterns. The glasses are 6.75 inches tall, and the coasters also act as lids. They’re designed by Donna Marie Territo, founder of Abbiamo Tutto, and made in Italy.

Reversible Veggie PeelerWidgeteer’s Rotating Vegetable Peeler is a smart peeler that adapts to the user’s preferred method of peeling and converts from a vertical position to a horizontal position with a simple sliding motion. Its stainless steel swing blade provides quick and effortless peeling for any kind of vegetable, and a built-in extractor removes potato eyes with ease. Comfortable to use, it’s also dishwasher safe. It retails for $12.99. For more information, visit www.widgeteerinc.com.

catstudio towelcatstudio offers original designs featured on embroidered pillows, dish towels and drinking glasses. [Image: catstudio tumblers] The original Geography Collection by catstudio is comprised of all 50 states and an ever-expanding list of cities, international and favorite vacation destinations. The new, licensed Collegiate collection features a growing number of university campuses. In all, there are more than 200 designs.
The pillows retail for $158 to $228, the dish towels for $20 and the glasses for $14.75 to $16.25. You can find the company at www.catstudiosales.com.

The collections from B by Brandie include dinnerware and stainless steel flatware in designs that combine elegance with drama and the innovative Olivia Wine/Champagne Combo Glass pictured here. [Image: BbyBrandie] Each of the items exemplifies luxury presentation and a host who dares to stand out in a crowd. The five-piece flatware place settings retail for $84, the Olivia Wine/Champagne Combo Glass retails for $64 and prices vary for the dinnerware items. Visit wholesale@bbybrandie.com for further information.

DEMDACObyDesign Toasting Bottle Socks from DEMDACO protect and insulate wine bottles. They’re made with double knit construction and turn a bottle of wine into an inspired gift. They retail for $9. Also look for the Uncorked & Unwind wooden wine lanterns that elevate the wine gift bag by doubling as lighted home decor and wine gift packaging. See more at DEMDACO.com. [Image: Demdaco]

WellnessMats’ new Studio Collection challenges preconceptions about the “anti-fatigue mat” with striking scalloped and semi-circle shapes in stunning designs and a myriad of colors. WellnessMats are inherently antimicrobial, easy to clean and stain resistant, so Studio is ideal for the kitchen, especially for a smaller kitchen, but these mats will also work in any other room in the home. See them at www.wellnessmats.com.

Park DesignsFarmhouse Inspired Flour Sack Dishtowels from Park Designs are made of 100 percent cotton. These flour sack fabric dish towels feature designs that pair nicely with the trend for farmhouse-style living. There’s a Duck, Rooster, Pig and a Cow, each themed with the lyric from a nursery song. They each measure 19 inches by 28 inches and retail for $8. Visit www.parkdesigns.net.

Vestiges offers a kitchen towel collection featuring geographical designs created in collaboration with students from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. These 100 percent cotton pique towels are printed with environment-friendly inks for high quality products that can help you add local flavor to your product assortment. Get more information by emailing mary@vestigesinc.com.

The Bloom Apron, designed by Bonnie Christine, from Peking Handicraft Inc. is hand printed on 100 percent cotton and features dart detail on the front. It measures 28 inches by 32 inches and retails for $29. The Bloom Kitchen Towel, also designed by Bonnie Christine, carries out the cheerful spring floral theme and features crochet trim. The suggested retail price for the towel is $10. Email sales@pkhc.com.

MOP-EZ from Janey Lynn’s Designs

The MOP-EZ, a universal mop head cover from Janey Lynn’s Designsjaneylynns, is designed to solve a common problem – trying to find a replacement mop head that fits. This frustration is what led Janey Lynn’s Designs to create the first mop head that fits most sizes.

The MOP-EZ is a polyester and acrylic durable mop-head cover that stretches to fit up to 18 inches. It can be used wet or dry to clean up what the others leave behind and is the perfect tool for wood, tile or laminate floors. The MOP-EZ picks up dirt, dust, pet hair and more and is eco-friendly. Simply machine wash and use over and again.

Suggested retail price: $14.99

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