"Forecast: Worst Christmas since
1991." Don't get alarmed! That headline from BizReport was for last
Christmas (2008). Retail sales for Christmas 2009 will not have the same sting
because retailers are planning carefully and buying wisely. How does small
business plot a safe and successful course? First, buyers are definitely
going to be searching for practical gifts and they will want value. The
shelves will most likely be a little barer than last Christmas as the major
retailers stock carefully, remembering the steep discounts that were
necessary to move Christmas inventory a year ago.
All of this could add up to a plus for small businesses because they can
respond to needs quickly, restocking in a short period of time and filling
the gap if shoppers find selection lean.
Another factor that can be positive is the hype this season about gift
cards as the practical gift. On the surface, it looks like the big box
companies are going to walk away with that business, but in reality all
that changed last season with credit card companies selling gift cards good
at any store--including yours.
Finally, the point about practical gift giving. Fashion accessories
definitely fit into this profile and they do it by transmitting a
thoughtfulness that gift cards just can't deliver. Find more tips on a
successful Christmas season in Mary McGarry's recent blog
for small business. Now let's take a look at those fashion accessories
that fit into the "practical" mode.
Winter Headwear that Fills Needs in the Cold Months
Hats, Scarves, and Gloves for Winter
Christmas gifts and accessories that provide warmth go hand
and hand with a long history of thoughtful gift giving that is genuinely
useful with January just around the corner. Winter hats fit into the
picture, but the most popular gift is matched
sets that include hats and scarves or three piece sets that also
include gloves. This season has more options than ever with fleece trimmed
in faux fur, chenille sets, or houndstooth and plaids in a variety of
What about value? Take your standard mark up and you will look
very reasonable, putting you in the sale price range that shoppers are
looking for. Hat, scarf, glove sets are not only practical gifts at a
value, but they also appeal to every age group.
But for winter headwear that is especially appealing to the younger market,
include knit hats this Christmas. Nothing is getting more attention than
the slouchy berets that enclose the hair much like a snood. This is a hot
fashion look that the young market is zeroing in on and again, take your
standard mark up and look sale priced.
Winter hats have even more styles to satisfy the fashion
conscious customers that know how to create a look. Knits provide a newsboy
hat with high crown that may better be classified as a slouchy jockey cap.
Puffy cabby hats in wool felt add to the cute looks available for winter.
Customers looking for dressier headwear will find cloches a great choice as
a gift or personal buy with Christmas money received. Hats are quietly
moving up as popular fashion accessories-a glance at the fashion runways
reveals this uptrend. But at Christmas hats are also a useful accessory
providing warmth. Even better, there is no December 25th deadline to meet
with all that cold weather coming in January and February. So give hats
serious consideration for your selection of practical gifts with value.
The Glitzy Jewelry that Continues Right through Spring
Think of the pizzazz glitzy jewelry can add to your shop by
filling your showcases for Christmas! Yes, it adds sparkle to the Christmas
display, but it also fills a need with so many dress-up events surrounding
The Holidays. In addition to all the special occasions surrounding
Christmas, New Years is just a week away and that is only the beginning for
glitzy jewelry. Mardi Gras balls, bridal, proms, pageant, dance competition,
and a host of other events stretching all the way to May soon follow.
The good news is stock it now, sparkle up the shop now, but no pressure to
sell by December 25th with a line-up of demands for rhinestone and crystal
jewelry that goes through the Spring
crystal jewelry are practical, are value priced, and are quietly creeping
up to the top as a fashion statement in today's trends. The September
newsletter detailed the growing importance of crystal jewelry as a reinvention
of spectacular designs from The Golden Age of Costume Jewelry. More
designers and manufacturers are getting onboard this train that is picking
up steam. This crystal jewelry is vintage inspired with crystals often
sharing the spotlight with enamel work in sculptured designs that often
reveal natural and garden themes.
Also the rhinestone jewelry that we always associate with evening wear has
new designs that are always reinventing it. Wholesale prices have
continually dropped in this sparkling jewelry, making it possible to offer
lavish sets at affordable prices that will stun your customers. This style
of jewelry seems timeless and we perceive it as something that was always
there. Actually the invention of the machinery that makes the rhinestone chain
occurred around World War II and rhinestone jewelry as we know it today
made with the chain first appeared in the market after the War. Prices were
very expensive and they have constantly dropped to today's surprising lows.
So rhinestone jewelry is definitely in the class with great values. Include
glitzy jewelry in Christmas inventory because strong demand continues all
the way through spring.
Fleur-de-Lis Jewelry and Niche Markets
Small Retailers Fill the Niche Markets
Something big is happening in Louisiana this Christmas with
consumers still wild about fleur-de-lis jewelry and accessories. All of
this started with the fleur-de-lis, which is the symbol of the city,
rallying hope after Hurricane Katrina. Fleur-de-lis
jewelry and accessories are a niche market and small retailers own
the niche market business.
In your area, there may be another niche that is on fire and much of this
flies under the radar of major retailers. But it is important to the small
retailer that often survives and even flourishes on niche markets. Those
interests in your area could be centered on sports-the local high school
football team or college. You could be the major supplier for your church
with religious gifts or church hats. Any theme in your community that is
causing excitement can be your ticket to success.
You are closer to your community than any major retailer can
ever hope to be so pinpoint their wants and be the go-to source. Locate the
themes that are special to them and group them together in your shop so
they tell a story.
Locating the inventory can be work, but some categories on our site may
help-- Sports Jewelry for sports and Religious Jewelry for church. Charm
bracelets, Theme Pendants, and Theme Earrings cover almost any other
imaginable theme. Even politics is covered under Americana and regional
gifts under Louisiana, New Orleans, or Souvenirs. So dig for the hot
interests in your area and go where the majors can't.
What is grabbing the attention of retailers? The last
newsletter stirred most interest with dress hats and crystal jewelry
received most interest in the newsletter before it. Every retail business
is unique and key interests are going to be different. One word of
encouragement for new businesses-don't feel that a big surge in business
during the Christmas season is a must. January through May are loaded with
one retail event after another starting with Mardi Gras and these months
are all better than December for us. So the best is yet to come!
Copyright © 2009
Accessory Wholesale Inc. Feel free to reproduce the newsletter as long as
the copyright notice is included and a link to www.awnol.com
Questions or Comments? Promos@awnol.com