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Smart Retailer February 2020

Table of Contents

Product Focus, New & Noteworthy
10 Color Your World: Brighten your shop with an explosion of colors to offset the dull grays of winter.

Trend Watch:
12 Get the Upper Hand With Handmade Goods
Why is handmade so popular? Customers favor unique, artisan-made products, and the limited quantities mean that small retailers have virtually no competition with chain stores and far less with each other. Plus, handmade products are generally made in the U.S., so they benefit from the Made in America trend and avoid the tariff wars.

18 Celebrate Faith: Inspirational & Confirmation Gifts
Whether featuring encouraging inspirational text or soul-lifting symbols such as Bibles, crosses, and angels, faith-focused gits and décor are a perennial favorite for Easter, confirmation, and other occasions.

20 Making the Grade: Gifts for Graduation
Help make graduation an extra-special occasion with these memorable graduation gifts.

Business Sense
22 Las Vegas Market FIRST LOOK — Winter 2020
Get a peek at 2020 product trends, courtesy of Las Vegas Winter Market.

Vendor Views:
26 Kalamazoo Candle Company
Kalamazoo Candle has lit the candle world on fire in the six short years since its creation. The Michigan-based company offers handmade soy candles crafted with natural ingredients, and its customer service has earned accolades for its speed and personal touch.

28 Marketing to Current and Lapsed Customers
The old adage, “a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush” definitely applies to customers. It’s easier and less expensive to retain current customers than to develop new ones. Discover strategies for maintaining loyal shoppers.

34 Business Briefs:
Visual inspiration for your store; SBA loan program helps you meet your match; pepping up you shop-local message; stand up to the February fade; sustainability: what’s in a word?

Display & Design:
38 Floors With a Flourish
Your store’s floor makes an important first impression, but replacing worn flooring can be a big, expensive project. Find helpful tips to make the most of your investment.

Retailer Spotlight:
42 Pufferbellies Toys & Books: An Award-Winning Toy Retailer
Pufferbeliles’ owners Susan and Erin Blanton built such an amazing store that they won a national award. They’re motivated by a passion to provide the best possible children’s toys for their customers. And that bring shoppers back again and again.  
See this article about Pufferbellies here.

In Every Issue
  6 Editor’s Note
  8 Welcome Exchange: Questions & Answers that Matter
46 Trade Show Calendar
50 Advertiser Index

Spring is in full bloom at CWI Gifts, where you can find charming decorative accents like the rustic metal Flower Market wagon, a variety of florals and primitive dolls. Visit for more seasonal and everyday décor.