Foursquare vs. Shopkick

By Nikki Baird, Managing Partner, RSR, Retail Systems Research

I like my phone. A lot. Okay, admittedly I am an Apple fan, not quite the level of my husband, but Antenna-Gate was not a big deal for me, and I do very much love my new iPhone 4. However, that does not mean I am maxing out my use of the device.

I occasionally remember to price-compare. I sometimes remember to use my Flixter app to find a movie show time rather than just Google it. I definitely love my new favorite app, Keyring, which lets me enter all of my barcode-based loyalty cards into a virtual wallet, and pull them up and scan them at the register straight from my phone.

But what about all the hype around the two "kings of location" that are often spoken in the same breath... foursquare and Shopkick? Here's why I think in the game of retail, apps like shopkick will win - but the business model is by no means refined quite yet.

Read the rest of the post here, at the RSR website.

The 3/50 Project on Tour in Midwest

Great Lakes Tour October 6-15, 2010
Locations: Appleton WI, Rockford IL, Sycamore IL, Long Grove IL, Bourbonnais IL, Carmel IN, Warsaw IN
This tour schedule has been finalized. As specific details become available,
they'll be posted under the Events tab above.

Great Plains Tour 
Mid-November 2010
Locations: Newport AR, Waldron AR, Leavenworth KS, Atchison KS, Broken Bow NE
This tour schedule has been finalized. As specific details become available,
they'll be posted under the Events tab above.

See the 3/50 Project Facebook page for more details.

Read more about The 3/50 Project on its website.

Seattle gift center holds October mini-market

press release
FINISH LAST-MINUTE HOLIDAY ORDERING and get a head start on your spring buying, October 4th and 5th at Pacific Market Center. In addition to special promotions, cold beer and warm pretzels, you’ll get a burst of inspiration to keep you energized and fresh in an ever-changing market.
  • Enjoy VIP amenities while you buy. Start your day with fresh pastries, freshly brewed coffee and international teas on us! Recharge during afternoon buyer celebrations, featuring complimentary Oktoberfest snacks, beer and northwest wines and win great prizes from select showrooms.
  • Get a preview of next season’s hottest trends. Succeeding in today’s market means being first with what’s trendy, what’s hot, what’s right now. Make sure you’re a part of this innovative, vibrant market to get all the newest styles, trends and colors ... before your competition does.
  • Fill-in between major markets. Did you miss summer market? Or place smaller-than-normal orders to see how they would perform? This is a unique, mid-season opportunity to fill in, finish your holiday buying and get a jump on spring.  It’s all right here!
  • Take advantage of exclusive promotions and showroom events, offered only here.
  • Support your local market. You want your customers to shop locally, right? When you do the same, you do business with vendors and reps who know your market, are committed to your success and carry the right products for intelligent Northwest consumers.  Plus, you reduce your carbon footprint and save time and money by doing your buying close to home.Post Options

Midwest-CBK name director of product design, development

press release


(Cannon Falls, MN – September 13, 2010) – Midwest-CBK, leading designer and manufacturer renowned for its design, style and sparkle, welcomes industry veteran Molly Kinney to lead the company’s new home décor product development and design.

Kinney will lead Midwest-CBK’s home décor product design evolution to meet changing customer needs and tastes, including managing all aspects of the company’s product development for home décor and garden.

Kinney has more than 20 years of international marketing and business experience, including extensive work in design and product development and founding Cole River Co., a boutique wholesale brand dedicated to the design, manufacture, import and distribution of unique home décor, tabletop and gift products serving specialty retail and hospitality markets. She has also served as a China-based product design and development consultant for Target, and director of Asia-Pacific marketing for Mary Kay. Kinney is also fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

“We welcome Molly and look forward to her innovative, experienced and trend-driven approach to design and product development in the reinvention of our home décor lines,” says Frederic Contino, president of Midwest-CBK. “Her depth of experience and knowledge of marrying today’s trends with specialty retailers’ changing needs will play a critical role in Midwest-CBK’s new home décor approach, helping our customers to achieve even more success and increased sales and growth.”

Tasty greeting cards coming from American Greetings

press release

PHILADELPHIA, PA – For 114 years, David Michael & Co. has innovated the way consumers experience food and beverages. This effort was transcended five years ago when the company aligned with First Flavor, Inc., creators of Peel n’ Taste® flavor strips, a tool that utilizes the sense of taste to enhance marketing campaigns. Together, David Michael & Co. and First Flavor utilize taste-matching technology to replicate a wide range of flavors in an even wider range of products.

For David Michael & Co, working with First Flavor illustrates how a valuable partnership with a technology-driven company can expand the use of flavors beyond the food and beverage market.

This tasteful partnership recently took an exciting turn with a rather unconventional application – greeting cards. First Flavor and David Michael & Co. were tapped by American Greetings Corporation to assist in development of its new line of cards called Tasties™, which enhance the traditional greeting card experience to include edible Peel n’ Taste strips of chocolate, glazed donut, cupcake and even margarita. Since its launch earlier this summer, Tasties have garnered a great deal of media coverage and consumer attention.

First Flavor has utilized David Michael’s flavors in a number of Peel n’ Taste campaigns, including print advertising, direct mail and point-of-sale sampling promotions, but this newest endeavor marks a new future for Peel n’ Taste strips, creating an interactive celebratory experience.

Las Vegas gift show report

press release

World Market Center Las Vegas’ Inaugural GIFT + HOME™ Show Exceeds Expectations with Record Number of Gift Buyers in Attendance

56 percent Increase in Gift Buyers Compared with Previous Year; Explosive Growth in First Time to Market Attendees

(LAS VEGAS)—September 09, 2010—Continuing to build momentum in becoming the West’s premier destination for the gift industry, World Market Center Las Vegas’ inaugural GIFT + HOME™ show, which ran in tandem with the Summer 2010 Las Vegas Market, was an overwhelming success, attracting 35 percent more gift buyers than the Winter 2010 Market and increasing buyer attendance by 56 percent compared with the previous year.

The GIFT + HOME show, the first-ever gift-focused event inside of Las Vegas Market, provided market attendees with access to a growing number of leading gift and home décor manufacturers. The show featured more than 350 temporary and permanent showrooms encompassing more than one million square feet of dedicated space. According to post-market figures, 59 percent of attending gift buyers were first time attendees to Las Vegas Market, marking an 85 percent increase in first-time gift buyers and a 49 percent increase in first-time accessory buyer attendance.

“The success of our inaugural GIFT + HOME show brings us another step closer to realizing our goal of becoming a ‘total home’ market where a diverse mix of categories are represented,” said President and Chief Executive Officer, World Market Center Las Vegas, Robert Maricich. “The GIFT + HOME and specialty store sector continues to expand at Las Vegas Market, now representing more than 20 percent of our total business. Our mission is to build upon this success and continue to grow the GIFT + HOME show by attracting new exhibitors, providing fresh and forward-thinking programming for attendees and offering our buyers an experience they will not find anywhere else.”

Meanwhile, other highlights of the August GIFT + HOME show included the addition of more than 60 new-to-market exhibitors, including leading manufacturers Russ Berrie, Demdaco, Yankee Candle, Natural Life, Peking Handicraft, Melrose International, Couronne, Mercana,
as well as many others representing a wide range of categories such as seasonal, floral, decorative accessories and general gift. Additionally, holding the GIFT + HOME show in conjunction with the Summer 2010 Las Vegas Market, provided added value to retailers, exhibitors and buyers, allowing for vast crossover potential among the existing industry sectors.

First time exhibitor Ferne Bork of Yankee Candle said, “We are really impressed. The facility is easy to shop and the people have all been incredible and helpful. We enjoyed seeing many customers and many soon-to-be customers we met for the first time.”

Richard Wood, director of sales for leading gift manufacturer Russ Berrie, commented on their participation in the first time Gift+Home show. “The market has surpassed our expectations and we love this venue. We see this market continuing to grow and we will be moving to a larger showroom. Our customers have been talking about Las Vegas; we have seen our customers here as well as opened new accounts. This is definitely the place to be. We’ve seen more traffic here than expected and we are seeing a significant number of international buyers as well.”

Another new to market exhibitor, Lisa Robin of Couronne Company, said, “We wrote almost all new accounts and there are very good quality buyers at World Market Center.”

Buyers were equally enthusiastic with their first Las Vegas Market experience and came from across the country. As expected, GIFT + HOME had a strong west coast pull with 63 percent of buyers hailing from the west, 16 percent from southwest and 10 percent were from the midwest. From the east coast, 7 percent visited from the southeast and 4 percent attended from the northeast.

“We are pleasantly surprised with our first visit to Las Vegas Market and bought more product than we expected.  We found some new gift items and ordered from existing vendors.  We need a viable gift show for the west coast and hope Las Vegas Market continues to grow,” said Dave Dorsey, owner Dorsey’s Hallmark in Oakhurst, Calif. and member of Palmer Marketing.

Patti Bagnato, owner of Fiori's in Los Gatos, CA said “We shopped until we dropped and found many new lines and well-displayed showrooms.  World Market Center is becoming a buying destination for Gift.  The services offered by this well-run market made our shopping experience very enjoyable and buyer-friendly.”

The next GIFT + HOME at Las Vegas Market will be held January 24-28, 2011. Attendees can book discounted rooms online.

Holiday-themed pillows

Eastern Accents has an array of holiday-themed throw pillows, as well as table runners and Christmas stockings. All pillows come with down inserts.

Retailers: Contact the manufacturer for prices and minimums.

Shoppers: Ask your favorite independent retailer to order this item for you.