COMMENTARY: If This
Issue Doesn't Interest You ...
This is the biggest CLN ever, with more columns than ever.
If you can't find informative, thought-provoking, and helpful
information, I give up.
NEW COLUMNS THIS ISSUE
Thoughts, comments, and trends from the recent TNNA
Long Beach show written by two veteran needlework pros.
Da Vendor" What's wrong – and what's right – about
florals. A blunt interview with Larry Gold, president of the Aldik
division of Decorative Concepts.
Heard. A long-time craft manufacturer exhibits at the Dallas
gift show – with some surprising results ... Report on the huge PaperWorld/ChristmasWorld
show in Germany ... A letter from Europe on what's hot and what's
not in various countries.
Paper & Stamps. An Interview with Shane Cullimore, the
new owner of Crafters Home, the industry's most influential
independent memory retailer group.
Perspectives. 10 Tips for Spotting a Trend, by ace designer
Marie Browning, member of the new Creative Spirit Café
Legal Q. &
A. MagEyes, a U.S. manufacturer of vision/magnifier products
for needlework and other fine crafting techniques, sues a
counterfeiter – and wins.
An interview with Joyce Perhac, Exec Director of the Home Sewing
Assn., about HSA's future program and trade show plans.
Note. If you surf to a column and it's an "old"
column, click on the "Refresh" or "Reload"
button of your browser.
TAKE THE CLN POLL:
PREDICT GROWTH CATEGORIES
Which product category do you think will show the largest
increase in 2005? To vote, click on Industry Polls in the right-hand
column or click HERE.
CLN POLL: 2005 SHOW
It appears that a substantial number of retailers (35.3%) are
planning to reduce the number of shows they attend this year. That
equals the percentage of retailers who plan to keep their show
attendance the same as last year, while 29.4% are increasing their
show travel. Regarding the number of those they attended in 2004,
66.7% attended two or three shows, while 11% each attended "1
or none," "4-5," and "More than 5."
Meanwhile, 52% of vendors say they will exhibit at fewer trade
and consumer shows than in 2004. As for 2004, 57.7% exhibited at
"2-3" shows; 19.2% at "4 or 5"shows; 11.5% at
"1 or none"; 7.7% at "5-7"shows; and 3.9% at
"More than 7" shows.
CHA SHOW LOOKS LIKE A
The upcoming CHA show (Feb. 11-15, Atlanta) is a sell-out:
3,092 booths (up 2% from last year's record turnout) ... 200+ new
exhibitors ... 1,100 exhibitors ... 1.2 million sq. ft. of exhibit
space ... 4,300+ buyers pre-registered ... 400+ hours of seminars
and workshops (28 of whom are already sold out). Attendee categories
with the largest percentage increases are retailers (up 7%);
designers (up 82%); and non-exhibiting member service suppliers (up
CLN expects a) an increase in independents from the Southeast
– look for Sunday to be the busiest day, thanks to drive-in
traffic; and b) an increase in European buyers – the dollar is so
weak vs. European currencies that overseas travel to Atlanta is
relatively inexpensive; 600+ overseas buyers have pre-registered, a
CHA officials also report a 55% increase in pre-registered media,
so exhibitors should take more press kits for the press room than
New this year: a) a self-check-in badge station; b) on-site
ticket kiosks for buyers who have attended the last three shows; and
c) category-specific learning events, Product Spotlight
programs, featuring 150+ new products.
There's already been a 17% increase in the purchase of seminar
and event tickets, so attendees who have not already bought tickets
to the various events should do so as soon as they arrive at the
Pre-registration is now closed. For info, visit www.chashow.org.
INDUSTRY CHAINS HAVE A HOT
Michaels. Sales rose 12% to $244.2 million and same-store
sales rose 7%. Top categories were Yarn, Custom Framing,
Scrapbooking, Ready-Made Frames, and Impulse, and the top regions
were the Pacific, Northern, and Southeast zones. Customer traffic
rose 6% and average ticket rose 4%. A custom frame promotion in late
January shifted some deliveries into February.
Sales for the quarter rose 11% to $1.185 billion and same-store
sales rose 7%.The top regions were the Pacific, Southeast, and
Central zones and the top categories were Yarn, Scrapbooking, Custom
Framing, and Kids Crafts. Traffic rose 6% and average ticket rose
2%. The shift of custom frame deliveries into February reduced
quarterly same-store sales by 1%.
For the fiscal year, sales rose 10% to $3.393 billion and
same-store sales increased 5%. Traffic rose 4% and average ticket
rose 1%, thanks in part to a stronger Canadian dollar.
Michaels will release its quarterly and fiscal year earnings Mar.
2. It expects earnings/diluted share to be $0.77-$0.78 for the
quarter and $1.48 to $1.49 for the year.
Jo-Ann's. Net sales rose 7.4% to $135.7 million and
same-store sales rose 6.6%. For the fourth quarter, sales increased
6.4% to $588.1 million and same-store sales increased 4.3%. For the
fiscal year ended Jan. 29, sales rose 4.5% to $1.812 billion and
same-store sales rose 3.2%.
The company reports earnings for the year and quarter on Mar. 7
and continues to expect earnings/diluted share to be $2.05-$2.15,
excluding a first quarter pre-tax charge of $4.2 million, related to
certain debt financing initiatives. Jo-Ann's plans to open 40
superstores this year.
Others. Walgreen, +10% ... Target, +9.4% ... CVS, +8% ...
Family Dollar, +5.2% ... Dollar General, +5.1% ... Big Lots, +4.0%
... J.C. Penney, +3.3% ... Wal-Mart Stores (U.S.), +3.2% ...
Duckwall-ALCO, +1.5% ... Sears, +0.8% ... Hancock, -8.0%.
STAFFIERI TAKES OVER AT RAG
Ron Staffieri, former president at Michaels, was named CEO
of Rag Shops by its new owners, a division of the investment
firm, Sun Capital Partners. He is the third leader of the company in
the past five months.
In September Sun Capital took control of Rag Shops in a stock
deal and the president, Jeff Gerstel, left, later to become Exec. VP
of Store Operations for A.C. Moore. Sun Capital announced Tom
Souza as CEO in November.
Before joining Michaels as president in 2003, Staffieri spent 30+
years in retail, including as president of chains such as
Waldenbooks, Things Remembered, and KayBee Toy Stores.
Rag Shops was founded 42 years ago by Stanley Berenzweig and
currently operates 69 stores in the East and Southeast.
(Comment: The influence of Michaels CEO Michael Rouleau
continues to spread as former employees assume leadership positions
with competitors: Dave Bolen is a vp at Jo-Ann's, Larry Fine
is president of A.C. Moore, and now Staffieri is CEO at Rag Shops.)
1. Limited Edition Rubberstamps is joining Hampton
Art. Hampton will gradually assume shipping and operational
responsibilities of Limited Edition out of its Long Island facility,
while LE's founder, Leigh Edwards, will continue to manage the LE
brand and website, focusing on new product development, marketing,
and education. Both companies will exhibit at CHA, where Hampton
will unveil 200+ new stamps.
2. Dynamic Resource Group has launched the PaperWorks
Kit-of-the-Month Club. Each PaperWorks packet includes several
sheets of cardstock, a variety of coordinating papers, an assortment
of embellishments, and a project sheet. Club members can choose to
create a two-page scrapbook layout or make a collection of cards,
tags, bookmarks, and other personalized items. The Club is
published by DRG's House of White Birches division and is
available by subscription. Cost for each month’s kit is $14.99,
plus postage and processing. For more, visit the www.paperworksclub.com.
DRG also publishes PaperWorks magazine. Visit www.paperworksmagazine.com.
3. eBay has begun its first eBay Scrapbook Contest.
Entrants submited a 250-word essay describing a scrapbook theme and
story, and the items they'd purchase on eBay, with $750. Five
finalists win $750 in eBay Anything Points with which to purchase
items on eBay and the Grand Prize winner, who will be selected by
the eBay community, wins a trip for two to the Las Vegas Memories
Expo Apr. 1-2. Finalists will be chosen in late January and will
have one month to create their scrapbooks. Visit www.ebay.com/scrapbookcontest.
4. The first Professional Scrapbook Retailers Organization
(PSRO) Convention will be Feb. 19-23 in Orlando in conjunction
with the Photo Marketing Int. Assn. (PMA) show – less than
a week after the CHA show in Atlanta. PSRO members can take
advantage of various PMA sessions by registering for a PSRO Full
Education Package, which is $150 for members and $220 for
non-members. Speakers include representatives from Making Memories,
EK Success, My Scrapbook Store, Bricking Ltd., Autumn Leaves, Scrapbook
Retailer magazine, AccuCut, Celine Countryman, Ellison, and Die
Cuts with a View. Advance registration is available until Feb. 11.
5. Circuit City (626 stores) is the latest retailer to offer
online photo services. Visit www.circuitcity.com/photocenter.
6. The West Valley (AR) Republic highlighted Scrap
Happy Sisters, a store owned by sisters Kit Pope and Kris
Whitten in Glendale. The store holds weekend scrapbooking sessions
which run until 2 a.m.. The sessions have been full since they
opened their store in September.
7. The Jan. 27 issue of the New York Times profiled
mother-of-five Dawn Oldham, 42, the highest-earning sales rep for Creative
Memories since 1997. "The phenomenon seems partly rooted in
a fixation with nostalgia ... but also, more specifically, in
honoring family life as Christian culture has articulated it. Mr.
and Mrs. Oldham are evangelical Christians who home-school their
children and begin the day with a Bible devotional at the breakfast
8. There's growing evidence of some vendors using having
employees pose as consumers who post messages on Internet boards
raving about the company's product.
9. Memories Community is filing a complaint with the
Federal Trade Commission regarding Scrapbook Expo's announced
policy on exhibit space for future Expos, for vendors who
exhibit at Memories shows. CLN reported on the
controversy in the 1/17/05 issue. To read the original
article, click on CLN Archives in the right-hand column.
10. ScrapbookBIZ, the new trade show slated for
Columbus this spring, has announced its educational lineup. Visit www.scrapbookbiz.com.
11. Memory Makers magazine voted Design Originals'
bottle caps one of the Top 50 new scrapbooking products of
12. A new home-party plan has appeared – Leaving Prints.
13. Stationery giant C.R. Gibson has entered the
scrapbook market big time with its new Tapestry line. Visit www.tapestrybycrgibson.com.
AUSTRALIAN CHAIN TO BE SOLD
Lincraft, one of the two major craft/fabric chains in
Australia, has been placed in receivership, the Melbourne Herald Sun
reported. Its largest creditor, the ANZ bank, has appointed
KordaMentha as receivers and managers. Officials at KodraMentha
said, "For the time being, it is business as usual," but
its first option would be to "sell the business as a going
The 55 year-old chain operates 40 stores and has 1,200 employees,
with sales of approximately $100 million. The first fabric store
opened in 1950 as Suzanne Silks. In 1980, Suzanne took over its main
competitor, Lincraft, and in 1990 evolved into superstores.
STARS ON PARADE AT CHA
(Note: Numerous exhibitors will have well known industry
designers demonstrating or teaching make-it/take-its in their
booths. Here's just a sample. Obviously the designers won't be there
the entire show – check the booths for schedules.)
Arnold Grummer’s. Arnold Grummer, Suze Weinberg, and Maria
Nerius will be doing demos using the company's papermaking kits and
C&T Publishing. Jan Bode Smiley will teach creating
personal treasures using Ready-to-Go! Blank Board Book pages.
ColArt. Altered book artist Beth Cote will be demonstrating
her process and answering questions on Sunday, 2:30 to 4:30.
F+W Publications. North Light/KP & Memory Maker
authors of new and recent books will be demonstrating, including
Tera Leigh, Claudine Hellmuth, Jayne Davis, Stephanie Kimura, Heidi
Boyd, Lin Wellford, Patricia Kimle, Angie Pedersen, Lisa Pavelka,
Debbie Jackson, Mary Jo McGraw, Carol Zentgraf, Lorine Mason, Lee
Hammond, Jana Ewy, Deborah Spofford, Maureen Carlson, Debra
Quartermain, Ellie Schiedermayer. Visit www.fwpublications.com/cha2005.asp.
Delta/Rubber Stampede. Sarah Lugg will be demonstrating and
signing autographs at the booth Feb. 12-13 as part of the company
launch of the Sarah Lugg Paper Crafting Collection. The
winning projects of the 2004 Delta Painting Challenge will be
displayed in Delta's booth – and in the booth of the Society of
Design Originals. Lisa Vollrath and Michelle Charles will be
demonstrating, as will Tim Holtz, author of the new collection of Distressables.
Hampton. Karen Neuberger will host a "Pajama Party
Event" on Feb. 14 as part of the launch of the company's
largest catalog with 200+ new stamps, including licensed-designer
collections from Karen, Bella Geste, Jill Meyer, and Clear
The Mountain Idea. Judy Ross will be demonstrating projects
based on her new book, Air Dry Clay, published by Design
WALLIES. Has a new line designed by Anna Griffin who will be
showing the line in the booth at various times.
Walnut Hollow. Priscilla Hauser, Rebekah Meier, Denise Clason,
and Janine Medeiros will demonstrate WH's new Creative Textile
Tool and the Creative Leather Branding Tool – and Makin's
Clay, "The No-Bake Clay," which the company is now
selling and distributing. (All Makin's Clay products will
ship from WH's Dodgeville, WI facility as of Apr. 1.)
CHECK OUT EXHIBITORS BEFORE
The CHA show is too big to see everything, and savvy
buyers will do as much advance scouting as possible to make up their
"booths-to-visit" list. CHA's website can help; follow
1. Go to www.chashow.org.
2. Click on the Exhibitor menu, then 2005 Exhibitor List and
Floor Plan. 3. Click on 2005 Preliminary Floor Plan and wait
for it to load. 4. Make certain your "pop-up
blocker" is off. (You can find that on the Tools menu of your
browser). 5. If you double-click on an exhibitor's name in
the exhibitor list in the left-hand column, you will be taken to the
CHA PRODUCT PREVIEW
(Note: Most exhibitors will eventually have their new
products on their websites. Some who already have them have been
previewed in recent issues and below. It's a good way for buyers to
do some advance scouting while preparing their
AC Marketech. Marketing a new line of paints: Spectra
Paints. Visit www.spectrapaints.com.
Color Wheel. Will be showing Qgrip organizers for
holding pens, brushes, and other crafting tools. www.qgrip.com.
Delta/Rubber Stampede. Has Pure Color Rich Pigment Inks,
FabriCraft Peel ‘n’ Stick Fabric Collections, Ceramcoat
Trend Palettes, Disposable Peel nd Stick Stencils, and Geometric
Fiberscraps. Acid-free E-Z Walnut Ink and Colorwash
Fibre-Craft. Creative Hands brand presents new
licensed kits (Scooby-Doo and Nickelodeon) and craft
foam products, such as sun catchers, wind chimes, art kits, etc. www.fibrecraft.com.
Krylon. Has an impressive new Paper Finishes line. www.krylon.com.
Morex. Has new lovely new Bobbin Ribbon. www.morexcorp.com/morex.htm.
Polyform. Offering a Party Projects Oven-Bake Clay Party
Kit with the materials and instructions for up to 8. www.sculpey.com.
Stampington. A new exhibitor, unveiled the Clearly
Impressed stamp line. www.stampington.com/html/wholesale_clearlyimpressed.html.
CHA POINTS OF INTEREST
The show is so huge, it's easy to overlook interesting events and
people. For example:
Design Faire. A special section of the convention center is
set aside for designers to showcase their talents. Need a free-lance
designer or two? Go to the Faire.
For example, in booth #5212 you'll see the Creative Spirit Café,
a new consulting group that includes excellent, business-savvy
design pros: Karen Booy, Marie Browning, Cheryl Fraser, Cindy Gorder,
Debba Haupert, Jill MacKay, and Debra Quartermain. It's a
"creative think tank" for clients. For more, call Karen
Booy at 604-820-8424; email firstname.lastname@example.org,
or visit www.creativespiritcafe.com.
(And read Marie Browning's excellent, "Ten Tips To Spot a
Trend" by clicking on Designing Perspectives in the left-hand
column, or clicking HERE.)
Main Stage. The "Stage" in the convention center
will feature a variety of interesting, informative programs, such as
Kathie Stull's "The How To(s) of How-To," an interactive
experience showing retailers and vendors how to make the connection
between "how-to" PBS tv programs and product sales.
SCD. Visit the Society of Creative Designers' booth,
#239, to see a remarkable Doll Deco project. For more info,
email Debra Quartermain at email@example.com.
Same-Differences. This is a new exhibitor (booth #7352), a
diversity-based sticker company featuring designs that include the
disabled, senior citizens, ethnic diversity, and people of different
sizes. If your products relate only to white, healthy young mothers,
you're excluding the majority of your potential customers.
Symposium. Deb Murphy's trends symposium will feature some of
the industry's best and brightest: Brenda Lugannani, former
merchandising vp for Michaels; Chris Skinner, President of EK
Success; Peter Russo, one of the industry's top product
developers – and thinkers; Bob Ferguson, one of the industry's top
independent retailers; Jerry Payton, who knows mergers and
acquisitions better than just about anyone; and Robert Workman,
President of Provo. It's Fri., Feb. 11, 9:30-11:30 am.
(You'll need a ticket; it's Event #504.)
MISCELLANEOUS WAL-MART NEWS
1. Talk about bad employee morale. The Wal-Mart in Du Quoin,
IL was evacuated afer receiving a call claiming there was a chemical
bomb in the duct system. There was no bomb and police arrested a
suspect – a Wal-Mart employee. Police complimented Wal-Mart
employees on their handling of the situation.
2. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
Wal-Mart reported it had expanded the company's definition of
"immediate family" to include civil unions and domestic
partnerships for same-sex couples, the Associated Press reported.
3. To receive his retirement benefits, newly retired Wal-Mart
vice chair Thomas Coughlin had to agree not to even talk to a
competitor. A total of 31 chains are on the "no-talk"
4. A study shows that 9,617 Wal-Mart employees in Tennessee
are on TennCare, the state's expanded Medicaid program, the
Associated Press reported. Wal-Mart offers a health plan to
full-time workers after six months and to part-time employees after
two years, but critics said its high cost is out of reach for
low-income workers who are forced to turn to publicly financed
health insurance – and the taxpayer pays the bill.
5. Employees at a Wal-Mart auto maintenance shop in Loveland,
CO were granted approval to hold a union election that could create
the first union at a U.S. Wal-Mart.
6. Almost 80% of the 138 suppliers that either volunteered or
were ordered to meet Wal-Mart's RFID requirements have met the
mandate. The remaining 29 companies are expected to be RFID
compliant by the end of this month.
7. By 2010, Wal-Mart will top $500 billion and own 12% of all
non-auto/non-gasoline retail sales in the U.S. forecasts the
consulting firm, Retail Forward.
SHOPA FORMS ALLIANCE WITH
The School, Home & Office Products Assn. (SHOPA)
announced a new show, Paperworld USA, will replace its
regularly scheduled trade show. The dates are the same – Nov.
9-11, in Las Vegas. The show is a cooperative venture with Messe
Frankfurt, one of the world’s leaders in organizing trade shows,
and PROPAPER, a Spanish trade association.
In an email to previous exhibitors, SHOPA President Steve Jocober
wrote, "Paperworld USA will expand beyond traditional
product categories to include office equipment, computers, office
furniture, social stationery, greeting cards, technology, and more.
New domestic buyers and vendors, coupled with expanded product
categories and channels of distribution, will bring tremendous
opportunities to our marketplace. Paperworld USA also will
bring a heightened global appeal with increased international
outreach and unsurpassed member benefits."
The announcement was made late last month at the Paperworld
trade show in Germany, which was huge and very busy, accord to U.S.
exhibitors. (To read a report on the Paperworld show, click Here.)
(Comment: The traditional SHOPA show has clearly been in
decline in recent years and this no doubt is an effort to revitalize
RANDOM NOTES, RANDOM THOUGHTS
1. One thing that drives journalists absolutely crazy is
interviewing some top exec who regales us with exciting news,
wonderful goals, and a perceptive vision for the future. Then the
exec leaves the company about 20 minutes after the interview is
It just happened to Craftrends. The January issue includes
an interview with Rag Shops then-CEO Tom Souza, who
apparently packed his bags shortly after the issue landed in
readers' mailboxes. It happened to me a few years ago when I
interviewed John Menzer, then president of the old, corporate Ben
Franklin. John waxed euphoric about BF's ability to overcome its
problems. A week later, John took a job at Wal-Mart and the old BF
continued its inexorable slide into bankruptcy.
It's no wonder journalists become cynical.
2. Now it's time for my annual lecture: At the CHA
show some large retailers will find a great new product in the new
exhibitor section, but worry that the small vendor won't be able to
service large accounts. The buyer will be tempted to ask an
established vendor to copy the newcomer's product.
Don't do it. It's unethical, immoral, and unfair to both vendors.
Instead, bring the two vendors together, tell them you want the
product but not from the little guy, and have them work out a deal
whereby the little guy makes the product, and the big guy handles
3. Our very best wishes to two independents who are closing
their doors. Russ and Margie Trentlage of Crafts Galore in
Centralia, WA and Ruth Ann and Wayne Wheatley of Craft Supply in
Oxford, MS are retiring. Another retiree is C. Boyd, a LONG-time,
very popular sales rep in the West. We're glad they're all doing so
in good health.
4. The nicest news I've heard in a while is that CHA
is giving its President's Award to Tom Yaley of Yaley Ent.
at the annual business meeting. Tom is basically the creator of
candle crafting, and he is as nice as he is smart. To learn more
about why Tom has been so influential in our industry, read a CLN
profile of the company, click HERE.
TNNA. The National NeedleArts Assn.'s recent show broke
records again: the sold-out show had 705 booths representing 303
exhibitors, up 14%, including 44 new exhibitors. Buyer attendance
was up 10% – 2,108 representing 924 companies. The number of
classes rose by 30 and 1,500+ attended. The Needlepoint Group's
Galleria and the Yarn Group's Fashion Show had significant increases
in participation. (To read about the product and design trends,
click on Category Reports in the left-hand column or click HERE.
MARTHA. The producers of the tv series The Apprentice will
film a new reality show starring Martha Stewart. Sixteen to 18
contestants will vie for a one-year job with her company and a
$250,000 salary. Presumably filming will not begin until Martha is
out of jail.
YARN. Solutia is leaving the acrylic fibers business, pending
approval by the bankruptcy court. "... the business has simply
been unable to compete as fiber and textile manufacturing has moved
outside the U.S.," said John Saucier, president of Solutia's
Integrated Nylon division.
PEOPLE. Popular industry veteran Nina Rancourt is National
Sales Manager for Delta/Rubber Stampede. Call 800-423-4135,
ext 1758 ... Michaels' Logistics VP Steve Gartner has left
the company and Tom DeCaro, Sr. VP/Inventory Management, has been
given significant additional supply chain responsibilities ... Jo-Ann's
named Gertrude Van Horn as Sr. VP, CIO (chief information officer).
Van Horn had worked in senior information positions for Office
Depot, Limited Brands, American Express, and JP Morgan ......
Jo-Ann's named David Holmberg exec vp, store operations. Prior to
Jo-Ann's Holmberg was president of Cole National and Zales ... Kandi
Corp. named Joyce Harris as Sr. Account Exec.
SEWING. Robin Lewis, the publisher of Robin Reports and
a retail consultant, is the keynote speaker at the Home Sewing
Assn.'s show Mar. 21-23 in Las Vegas. "As an expert in
analyzing, interpreting, forecasting and identifying strategic
growth opportunities for major corporations in the retail and
related consumer products industries, Robin will provide significant
food for thought for our membership as we chart the retail waters of
2005 and beyond," said HSA Exec Director Joyce Perhac. Visit www.sewing.org.
(To read CLN's interview with Joyce, click on Business-Wise
in the left-hand column or click HERE.)
... Congrats to Claire Shaeffer, author of Sew Any Fabric: A
Quick Reference to Fabrics from A to Z, for first place in the
non-fiction technical division in the contest conducted by the
National Federation of Media Professionals Communications. Krause
is the publisher.
CHARITY. The (PA) Times Herald reported that sometimes
when consumers buy a car magnet or bracelet in support of a charity
or U.S. troops, none of the proceeds go to the organization
consumers think they're supporting. One exception: the article said A.C.
Moore donates 30-70% of the profits from the sale of the
yellow-ribbon car magnets to the USO.
HANCOCK. Has launched its 4th annual Quilt of Dreams
project to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Singer Amy
Grant is the spokesperson again. (Comment: This is the best
industry-related charity program we've ever seen. Visit www.quiltofdreams.com.)
PAINTING. There are a limited number of 10'x10' and 5'x10'
exhibit spaces available for the Society of Decorative Painters show
May 23-28 in Tampa ... Exhibitors can also sponsor or co-sponsor
various events for added exposure. Call Yvonne Banman, 316-269-9300,
ext 109 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
... SDP is also sponsoring a CHA workshop, "Crossover
Crazy!" to show how painting and paper crafting can produce
great products and improve sales. To see the projects, visit www.decorativepainters.org/emails/first_friday_spec2_05.asp.
RESEARCH. Spending on home improvements rose 5.2% to $233
billion in 2003, according to a report by Harvard's Joint Center for
Housing Studies, Retail Merchandiser reported ... ... U.S. consumers
spent $705 billion on entertainment and recreation in 2004, up 6.8%
over 2003, according to a new study from Unity Marketing ... Fewer
households shopped at big chains this past Christmas, according to a
new study by Leo Shapiro & Associates and reported by Retail
Merchandiser. Chains who scored lower than the previous year include
Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, and Best Buy.
INTERNET. The new 2005 U.S. Web2Store research study
indicates that in 2004, 83.4 million U.S. consumers made purchases
in stores – after being influenced by online information, an
increase of 19%. Respondents said they used the web to check prices,
product features, availability, stores hours and locations, product
reviews, and coupons or discounts.
ART MATERIALS. Online registration is now open for the National
Art Materials Trade Assn. show Apr. 14-16 in Chicago. Visit www.namta.org
... Fila, an Italian manufacturer of school and kids
products, has acquired Dixon Ticonderoga, the maker of Prang
SEWING. "Husqvarna Viking dispelled the winter
doldrums in New York City recently by hosting a lovely breakfast at
the Marriott Marquis for editors and designers to introduce their
new line of embroidery designs and kits by renowned textile artist
and author, Kaffe Fassett. Fassett has a fascinating background,
including designing knitwear for the Italian fashion design firm,
Missoni, and designing and making quilts influenced by his love of
color. The morning event also included the launching of their new
Designer SE machine, a computerized sewing and embroidery machine
that is totally interactive and user-friendly. This machine is the
first ever sewing machine with a full VGA screen featuring over
65,500 colors. After a fascinating presentation, the audience moved
into a classroom and had their turn at using this exciting machine
to make one of the pillows in the new Fassett line." – Ellie
Joos, Ellie Joos & Assoc.
RETAIL. Federal regulators have cleared the way for Kmart
and Sears to conclude the merger between the two companies
... The National Retail Federation predicts retail sales will rise
3.5% in 2005, slightly more than half the increase in 2004. Higher
gas prices, mediocre job and income growth, rising interest rates,
and no new tax cuts are the culprits.
QUOTATION: "A consumer might buy grocery staples at
Wal-Mart and sports clothes at Target in order to afford other goods
that cost 200% more than average ones – but have real technical
benefits that satisfy emotional need." Michael Silverstein, The
Boston Consulting Group (in USA Today).
WRITERS. In the last issue CLN described needlework
designer Lois Winston's pending success as a novelist. She's not
alone. Visit www.annbenson.com
to learn about Ann Benson's historical novels (which are excellent,
one CLN subscriber said); her needlework designs; and her
bead kits and patterns. Now Ann has even opened a bead store, Beads
East, in Vernon, CN.
FRANK'S. The bankrupt, out-of-business, once mighty chain
canceled an auction to sell its remaining real estate, which the Detroit
News says is "spurring industry experts to speculate the
properties will be sold to the nursery's largest creditor, Kimco
LOOKING TO HIRE. Walnut Hollow is looking for a sales manager
with at least five years of industry experience. Will report to the
Dir. of Sales and will be responsible for direct selling to major
national accounts and for managing independent rep groups.
Relocation required. Up to 50% travel ... Also looking for an Asst.
Product Manager to assist with the management of new product
development. Must have five 5 years product management experience.
B.S. or equivalent, etc. Send resume/salary history and requirements
to Walnut Hollow, Human Resources Manager, 1409 State Rd. 23,
Dodgeville, WI 53533.
LOOKING TO HIRE. Wrights is looking for a Sales VP/National
Accounts. Must have five years experience in consumer products sales
and managing multi-line product categories and be computer literate
(MS Office). Extensive travel required. Submit resume to Wm. Wright
Co., Attn: Ed Dembinski, 85 South St., West Warren, MA 01092; email:
JOB HUNTERS. Experienced sales/marketing exec seeking
involvement with craft industry company. Extensive experience in
strategizing and selling majors, with a particular emphasis on
Wal-Mart ... Another sales pro with extensive experience in
paper-related categories is looking for an account exec position.
Email Mike Hartnett at email@example.com
for more info on either.
CORPORATE DOUBLESPEAK. When asked to explain why Best Buy outsourced
its information systems department and cut 130 jobs, spokesperson
Susan Busch said, "Now we can focus on the things that we do
best; things that are customer facing." (DSN Retailing Today.)
COMPANY PROFILE: LASX
You have an idea for a great product, but you have neither the
equipment nor the facility to transform your idea into a
profit-making reality. Do you give up on your idea? No, you make
arrangements with an OEM manufacturer who will produce and package
your product for you.
One such manufacturer who has been making its mark on our
industry recently is the StencilSharp division of LasX
Industries in suburban St. Paul, MN. The company began in March,
1998 by inventing a new laser processing technology, LaserSharp.
This unique technology eliminated the need for dies to be made, but
the productivity of the equipment can still match the production
output of die cutting, while producing highly intricate and
The first applications in our industry were stencils (more than
three and a half million have been produced for vendor clients), but
company execs quickly realized the capability of the equipment
enabled them to provide products for a wide variety of scrapbook and
Because the equipment is digital, it can quickly and easily etch,
score, cut, or perforate incredibly detailed and minute designs
on/in most materials, such as acrylic, vellum, denim, and textiles.
One of the first vendor clients was Fiskars, who has
StencilSharp produce its ShapeBoss™ embossing templates.
StencilSharp® provides complete product management – sourcing the
material, screen printing the material, package headers, and
packaging the line. The results were so successful that Fiskars®
had StencilSharp® produce three additional lines, ScrapBoss™
, MiniBoss™ and Parchamore™.
StencilSharp® now provides products for 14 additional industry
manufacturers. To keep up with the ever increasing demand, the
company is installing a second production system to handle future
growth opportunities and is actively pursuing additional vendors.
The company will be exhibiting at CHA in booth #5518 where they will
display a wide variety of examples of their capabilities.
"Our experience in total product management allows us to be
your one call to satisfy your customers," said Amy Ernst,
StencilSharp Account Manager. "Our digital work environment
allows us to easily and quickly provide prototypes and samples
without costly tooling and set-up. Design modifications are easily
accomplished to allow you to create the perfect look you
KEY EXECS: William Dianuer, President 651-407-0011, ext 201 firstname.lastname@example.org
... John Dillon, VP Contract Services 651-407-0011, ext 250 email@example.com
... Dan Beekman – Graphic Arts Manager 651-407-0011 ext 209 firstname.lastname@example.org
... Amy Ernst, StencilSharp® Account Manager 651-407-0011, ext 224 email@example.com.
ROLODEX: LasX Industries, 4817 White Bear Parkway, White Bear
Lake, MN 55110. Call 651- 407-0011; fax 651- 407-0110; email firstname.lastname@example.org;
Note: CLN will profile one company per issue, which will
remain online for at least a year. A Profile is a perfect way for a
new company to let itself be known to the industry, or for an
established company to enhance its reputation by showing the
industry its history, diversity of products, personnel, etc. For
more information on how your company can be profiled, call Mike
Hartnett at 309-925-5593 or email email@example.com.
THE CREATIVE NETWORK: JOB
To read the latest listing of available jobs, click on Jobs in
the left-hand column or click HERE.
THE CLN RETAIL INDEX
A. C. Moore (ACMR). Last*: 27.20 ... Change**: +0.10
Hancock Fabrics (HKF). Last*: 8.93 ... Change**: -0.43
Jo-Ann Stores (JAS). Last*: 28.90 ... Change**: +0.93
Michaels (MIK). Last*: 32.65 ... Change**: +1.65
Wal-Mart (WMT). Last*: 53.46 ... Change**: -0.53
CLN Retail Index. Last*: 151.14 ... Change**: +1.2%
Dow Jones Index. Last*: 10,716.13 ... Change**: +1.5%
*February 4 ** from January 14 Prices are exclusive of dividends
LAST MINUTE TRADE SHOW ADVICE.
1. The long-range Atlanta forecast for this Thursday and
Friday: sunny, with a highs of 53 and lows of 31.
2. Wear comfortable shoes.
3. Scrapbook buyers should walk the entire show, not just the
scrapbook and new exhibitor sections. Numerous vendors in other
sections have memory-related products.
4. Most buyers visit the new exhibitor section first. The
result is a mob scene which makes it more difficult to see all of
the products in a booth and talk to the vendor. Visit other parts of
the hall first, then visit the new exhibitor section when the
mob has dispersed and you can actually see the products.
5. Advice for navigating Atlanta, emailed from a native
Atlanta is composed mostly of one way streets. The only way to
get out of downtown Atlanta is to turn around and start over when
you reach Greenville, South Carolina. All directions start with,
"Go down Peachtree" and include the phrase, "When you
see the Waffle House." Peachtree Street has no beginning and no
end and is not to be confused with Peachtree Circle, Peachtree
Place, Peachtree Lane, Peachtree Road, Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree
Run, Peachtree Trace, Peachtree Avenue, Peachtree Commons, Peachtree
Battle, Peachtree Corners, New Peachtree, Old Peachtree, West
Peachtree, Peachtree-Dunwoody, Peachtree-Chamblee, or Peachtree
Atlantans only know their way to work and their way home. If you
ask anyone for directions they will always send you down Peachtree.
6. Wear really comfortable shoes.
1. For more information on how your business can be the subject
of a "Business Profile" call Mike Hartnett at 309-925-5593 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. If you want a hard-copy of this issue, click on "Printer
3. If your company is a paid subscriber, everyone in the main
office is welcome to register, free. Just click on "Current
Subscribers Click Here To Register."
4. If you want to recommend CLN to a friend, use the
"Tell Your Friends" box on the home page.
5. Creative Leisure News is published the first and third Mondays of each
month. Your next issue will be Monday,