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MAY  2 0 1 1

c o m m e n t a r y

Springing into the Season

As the busy season approaches for all types of destination location gift and souvenir stores, it is an ideal time to examine and review basic merchandising strategies. In this issue, we present a wealth of information to refresh how you view retailing in a highly competitive market for attraction shops, and also for the general gift stores that faithfully serve their communities all year long.

Attending trade shows and finding new vendors are basic duties of shop owners and managers as they strive to serve customers while making a profit. We offer a section from the International Gift Exposition in the Smokies®/Souvenir Super Show®, which takes place in Sevierville, Tenn., Nov. 3-7, and a special insert from Urban Expositions regarding the Sept. 20-23, 2011 Las Vegas Souvenir and Resort Gift Show. Additionally, this is our Profiles in Excellence issue, and starting on page 157 you can read about a selection of some of the best vendors in the industry.

The National Stationery Show will take place May 15-18 in New York City, and we examine the outlook for stationery and other specialty paper goods at independent shops in a special feature that includes news from the show and tips on how to reach customers in a digital world.

Choosing the right fixtures can make or break an operation, and in the ICBA section, we examine how college stores across the country are picking display pieces that will showcase and not outshine the merchandise. Additionally, the story features a tip sheet on how to display merchandise to reduce strinkage. We also offer a story on how cart and kiosk owners and shopping mall leasing managers are working to prevent theft.

Vacationers will take to the skies soon for summer trips, and we offer two flight-themed stories. In the AAM Report, we cover how aviation museums are selling just the right mix of name-dropped souvenirs. And we also offer a story on how retailers are selling apparel to a captive and discriminating audience at the nation's airports.

Children are a critical demographic for destination location stores, and we offer a story on how APPL-member souvenir shops are choosing and selling plush, toys and playthings at national park and monument stores. And we offer the latest news from the Toy Industry Association (TIA).

We also cover Christmas merchandise display strategies for hospital gift stores, selling more Thanksgiving-themed merchandise at party stores, launching new products at inspirational shops, licensed jewelry at Minor League Baseball stores and jewelry trends for general gift shops and buying on a budget, maximizing profits and stocking the right mix of apparel at zoo and aquarium shops.

I hope you enjoy the issue. Please send your comments, questions and suggestions to

Scott C. Borowsky
President and Executive Editor

“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”
Peter F. Drucker

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