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March  2 0 1 3

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aking it through this rough economy has been top of mind for retailers everywhere. The key to this puzzle is finding for what fickle consumers are willing to open their potentially lighter wallets. Consumers who love signs are definitely a bright spot for retailers and United States manufacturing alike.

A liquor-themed sign from Saltbox Signs. The Noisy Water Winery in New Mexico, where visitors buy wine and a little something to decorate their homes, stocks signs from the company.

“As a company, and we’ve been doing this since 1987, 2012 was a huge record year for us — over 30 percent up from last year,” said Dan Hutchings of Desperate Enterprises, a tin sign manufacturer based in Wadsworth, Ohio, whose signs are made in the United States. “But to many of our customers, we are their little secret!”

Top Tin
One retailer who has a particular sign niche is Remember Then, based in San Diego, Calif. Through its Ebay store, Remember Then 1954, and its three retail spaces (two in antique malls and one in a gift store), the mix is 100 percent nostalgic, but new. There are clocks, thermometers and signs with vintage ads and artwork to choose from. Remember Then works with manufacturers, like Desperate Enterprises, that license vintage advertisements from companies and vintage artwork from the artists.


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