Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Gift Post--Spring Displays

What with our busier event schedule, I don't feel like I've done as great a job on gift items this year. Where are my themes? Where is my innovative product? Even the card racks had a few more empty slots than I was used to. Yes, I had bought from several lines, including these nice springy cards from Te Neues, but I still feel like I haven't found my wow moment. My original photo of the assortment came out rather blurry, so instead of found the designs online and grouped them together. The thank you notes (bird and circus) are made from green recycled paper. Even the box is recycled cardboard.

There are some goals we met, however. I vowed to bring in more Valentine's and Mother's Day cards this year, so that we wouldn't have 3 cards left for last minute shoppers. And the spinners are looking pretty good, from journals, to reading lights, to Milwaukee postcards.

And sometimes the displays just find themselves. I noticed as Mel was helping me receive Melissa and Doug that we had several caterpillar and butterfly themed items. Hey, and I just bought those extendable buttefly nets from DCI. And wait, after the display went up, I remembered I had bought caterpillar plush from Gund, still waiting to be staged. And so a display was made (this is before the plush was added).

We wound up putting this display in the place of our Polish wooden boxes. I'm not sure exactly what happened here. One day I got an email about a big backorder to release and a month later there was no shipment. Once I have a moment to breathe, I'll investigate.

And it's not just following up on things that haven't shipped. I remembered that I put away our Schylling sock monkey umbrellas since they come in the winter. Now it's spring and time for umbrellas, and we finally dug them out and hung our sample up. We still have a few other animals, including a frog, a fish, and maybe a ladybug.

I had an everything old is new again moment this week. I went back for some David Kirk items from Melissa and Doug after rotating through a few other vendors in 2012 and everyone who'd been at the store less than two years went crazy for the Bibi Bee watering can and a few other items. I'm hoping that we also have customers who weren't shopping here regularly two years ago, who will similarly fall in love.

I've had conversations with other bookstores on this vendor and folks are split into two camps. Some stores seem to carry no other kids' gift items while others worry about the product being overexposed. They are surely featured on a lot of mass merchant websites, but so far, our sales have not been affected too much. We'll keep a watch.

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