Originally published in Gifts & Decorative Accessories May 2016 issue
Gift retailers are expanding product lines and services in an effort to set themselves apart from chain stores. Diversity of product and services has provided gift retailers an avenue to increase sales, while creating a customer-friendly environment.
When it comes to adding new product lines, gift retailers are sticking with the familiar. The majority of stores responding to Gifts and Decorative Accessories’ 2016 Today’s Gift Retailer Survey are expanding product depth in categories they already have in their stores.
The product category most retailers are expanding is educational toys, referred to as STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math/Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math).
Holiday products, jewelry, greeting cards and scarves top the list of the top 20 products carried by gift retailers. One-quarter of the top 20 products belong to the larger fashion and accessories category, while the remaining 75 percent are all within different categories.
This year’s exclusive survey results, collected during February and March, are based on the responses of 105 gift specialty stores. More than half, at 54 percent of the responding retailers, describe themselves as gift specialists and 7 percent are classified as home accessories stores. Other retailers responding include hospital gift shops, children’s specialty stores, stationery and card stores, bookstores and hardware and garden stores. Annual sales for 2015 for 64 percent of responding stores were less than $500,000; 35 percent had sales between $500,000 and $4.9 million; and one percent had sales in excess of $5 million.
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