Wednesday, December 7, 2016

First Data report: Thanksgiving, Black Friday spending up 9 percent

First Data released its analysis of consumer spending for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Unlike other reports, First Data's analysis is based on actual consumer transactions rather than surveys or speculation. Topline Facts:

Overall, Retail Spending growth was up 9 percent year-over-year (YOY), which represents solid growth on top of strong growth from the prior year (9.4 percent in 2015 and 3.5 percent in 2014). The total share of eCommerce spending has increased significantly, nearly doubling over a four-year period YOY: 15.7 percent YOY (2014), 18.3 percent (2015), and 24.7 percent YOY (2016). Meanwhile, several malls and retail chains were closed on Thanksgiving morning and afternoon, most opening their doors until evening. Retail sales growth took a hit, but across the nation, consumers jumped in at 6 p.m. and sales recovered. In terms of overall spend (not just retail), the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is becoming just as strong as Black Friday.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Store owners from U.S. and abroad shop the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas


Retailers and buyers not only from across the country but across the world visited Las Vegas Oct. 18-21 to be at the ABC Kids Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Zavnvra Pingkan and Ratih Danisworo, co-owners of Mom's & I in Jakarta, Indonesia, had been to one other trade show in Singapore, but it was their first time at the ABC Kids Expo. "We heard everyone say that the ABC Expo, you need to go there. We did hear it's more to the U.S. market, but we don't totally agree with that," says Danisworo. The two also noted that they were happy to meet with vendors that they already have relationships with, such as Bebe Au Lait, Weegoamigo and Little Linen.

This was the third year at the Expo for Jaimee Nicolino and Kari Newman, co-owners of the Swell Shop for Baby in Iowa. They said they spent most of their time browsing the Modern Baby section, which is more in line with their store concept. "We're always trying to bring new products into our area, so that's the reason why we come to ABC—to see what's new and what's different and what we need to bring back to Des Moines."

In addition, Newman says she values the opportunity to make connections with new vendors and network with your existing vendors. "We like to show them that we're supporting them and we continue to enjoy having their products in our store," she says. This year was the third Expo for Jill Geyer with Kaplan Early Learning Company in North Carolina, who noted that the Margarita Meet-up, Modern Child Wine Bistro and Modern Child Coffee Café were all much-appreciated options this year.

"It's just a little benefit. We went to the coffee one so far," she said on the floor. It's the first Expo for her co-owner, Lila Catrett, who said she loved seeing the wide array of different vendors so she can view products and know what's on the market, even if they don't fit her concept. In addition, she found visits with her existing vendors—such as Kids Preferred and EduShape—to be an invaluable part of the Expo experience. "They can explain the product to us and say this is new and this is why we love it, and they give us pointers on how to use it. It's wonderful." The ABC Spring Conference and Trade Show will take place May 1-3, 2017.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

New product: Big Red Rooster's projection alarm clocks

Big Red Rooster has added three new animals to its Projection Alarm Clocks: Dog, Cat and Dinosaur. With green eyes and white paws, the cat alarm clock projects the time and four different feline images; the brown and white dog projects the time and four images, and can rotate its head 340-degrees; and the dinosaur alarm clock projects four prehistoric images as well as the time. Whether it is used as a nightlight or alarm, customers can decide to project just the time, the image or a combination of image blended with the digital time. "Our mission is to create innovative products that help people fall asleep or get out of bed in the morning," said Brian Johnson, founder of Big Red Rooster. "The three animal clocks are ready to become bedside buddies as kids choose the best companion to be their first alarm clock."

For more information, visit bigredroosterproducts.com.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Matimati's soft drool bib keeps baby mess-free

The trendy baby bandana drool bib from Matimati Baby is made out of 100 percent soft organic cotton so it's extra absorbent while the back layer boasts soft fleece. It features a unique design that makes it functional, and it comes with adjustable snaps. These bibs are a stylish accessory that's available in various colors and patterns. Matimati Baby was created by the mom of a serious "drool monster" for other parents and their drooling little babies.

For more information, visit matimatibaby.com.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

GUND campaign donates 1,000 plush toys to kids in need

GUND has announced that its #HowDoYouHug charitable campaign reached its 10th milestone on August 3. According to the campaign's website, the goal is to transform expressions of love into real-world comfort for children in need. The social media driven campaign represents 20,099 "hugs" that have been shared via Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. In addition, 1,000 plush toys have also been donated to children in need at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital, Starlight Children's Foundation, Our House Grief Support Center and Comfy Cozy's For Chemo.

"It's been an amazing opportunity to partner with organizations that help so many children in need," said Sally Drewes, vice president of marketing. "We're looking forward to sponsoring even more charitable programs in the future."

For more information, visit howdoyouhug.org.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Delta Children to furnish new lactation rooms in New York

In honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio recently signed a bill requiring certain city offices and service centers to provide a lactation room for nursing mothers. Joseph Shamie, president of Delta Children—a manufacturer of strollers, cribs and other juvenile products—has pledged to decorate the rooms with the necessary furniture. Currently, there are only three lactation rooms in Brooklyn, which Delta has already furnished with changing tables and gliders.

"Medical research shows the health benefits of breastfed children," said Shamie. "As a community, we are all helping the next generation of children to become healthier, happier and smarter by offering these facilities."

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Babyletto launches on-trend colors for fall collection

Babyletto is introducing black, grey and white palettes in three of its collections: the Maki, Origami and Lolly. Nurseries featuring the color trend has taken off on social media, so retailers can help their clients stay on-trend with a bold and playful style. Currently, the Origami Mini Crib is available in matte black. 

The Maki Folding Portable Crib will be available in white, grey and black. The Lolly 3-in-1 Convertible Crib will be available in matte black and a washed natural finish, as well as the Lolly dresser, which will feature a matte black finish and washed natural feed and pulls.

For more information, visit babyletto.com.