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Ready, Set…Go! The Holidays Are Almost Here

Posted: September 16, 2013, 11:45 a.m. EDT


By Julie Jacobs

Time truly does fly. It just feels like yesterday that I was writing about preparing for the holiday season, and here we are again. And this year it is a very early start as Chanukah starts on Thursday, November 28, which happens to also be Thanksgiving in the USA.

Time to step back and evaluate your business plans, check your inventory levels, review your marketing plans and any other things that you know will make or break your holiday season. Time to put on your thinking caps.

How are your orders and stock levels for holiday-oriented items—with current business trends in your store? Do you need to boost them?  Do you have enough gift items on order for both pets (toys, treats, other) and their two-legged owners? Have you scheduled your advertising and marketing promotions? Have you set forward plans to convert your website to a more holiday-like theme? Ordered holiday themed bags and gift wrap? Need to bring in some new display items to freshen your presentations? There is still some time to fine-tune your needs.  Good preparation will hopefully bring a very successful and prosperous selling season and a great end to the year.

Dog Days Calendar
Dog Days 2014 Calendar. Julie Jacobs

Holiday-oriented items can encompass so many things. One key classification is gifts—whether they are for pets or humans. Dog treats, cookie gift boxes, toys, and bling—all are great sellers for our pets. And such an array of gift items for their owners.  It is important to be unique in what you offer versus what everyone else offers.

I spent a few days in August at the NY Now (formerly known as the New York International Gift Show). My goal was to seek out new and exciting gift-giving items for my assortment, as well as to share with you some of the more unusual items I found.

For those of you who never have attended this show, saying it is huge would be an understatement. It overtakes several floors of the Javits Center and overflows to the Pier with everything and anything you can imagine.

Although there are minimal pet companies with pet products at the show, a few resources were in attendance. However, if you shop the entire show, you will see there are many pet items for humans, especially dog and cat related. The offerings encompass a range of items from jewelry, household items, clothing and more. So for me, I find it a great way to add a twist to the typical assortment I offer. It is also a great time to order some new and hopefully unique items for your assortment, and with some luck, they will arrive in time to boost your holiday inventory offerings. In my next few blogs, I will share with you some of the unusual items I found. Timing-wise, all may not make it to your selling floor prior to the holidays but still are great items to carry year round.

So let’s kick off the holidays with a truly seasonal item—a calendar with a twist!

"Art For Everyday” Dog Days Calendars makes for a great gift to ring in the New Year. Twelve playful pups by artist Erica Leigh are a pure joy to view every month. Whimsical, sometimes mischievous and oh so cute, these take  calendars to a whole new level.  Each month you slide another piece of calendar art to the front of the easy-to-use frame, providing a collection of revolving art to enjoy. There  is also a magnetized frame, ideal for placement on a refrigerator or file cabinet. I truly loved this calendar because the artwork is so much fun and is a great way to enlighten your wall or desk. And the dual function of calendar and art makes it a great gift option for all ages. They wholesale $8 for the 5x7 desktop/icebox size or $14 for the 11x14 poster. Frames range from $2.50-$4.50. Visit www.artforeverydayonline.com, email wholesale@artforeverydayonline.com or call 888-967-9800 for more information.

As always, feel free to contact me at julie@dogandfriends.com with any questions or ideas to present to our fellow retailers in future blogs.
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