Cindy’s Newsletter for Gift Shop Managers | April 15, 2022 💮

CINDY’S NEWSLETTER
for Gift Shop Managers

Cindy’s Newsletter for Gift Shop Managers delivers practical, ready-to-implement content to gift shop managers, retailers, and volunteers across the country. We help our readership of over 3,000 retailers optimize shop operations, grow revenue, and connect with one another. The newsletter is published monthly and free since 2001.

Have you paid your dues this quarter?

The value and richness of this newsletter comes from your participation. Do your part by submitting two comments per quarter, at minimum. Reply to reader’s questions listed throughout the newsletter (in green) or simply share what is working or isn’t working in your shop, a great selling product, a helpful website or resource, an operating question, your biggest challenge right now, a terrific vendor you’ve come across recently, tips on managing volunteers, or tips on managing yourself!

LEAVE A COMMENT! Click the green comment tags throughout the newsletter, enter it in the comment section, or send to cindy@cindyjonesassociates.com.


APRIL 15, 2022

CGH Medical Center, Sterling, IL


What have we learned in recent years

by Cindy Jones, Editor

What have we learned over the past two years? More than we ever imagined, but here are a few takeaways:

We’ve learned that the shop with the most inclusive approach and team work wins! Utilize everyone’s talents and help foster new ones. Give credit where due and speak in “We” not “I”.We’ve learned that the shop with the best ideas and ingenuity wins. The new challenge is to keep your mind open to new possibilities – and your ears open to new ways of thinking.
We’ve learned that the shop with the best leadership wins. But not the old, command-and-control style. Be a leader, not a boss.We’ve learned that the shop with the clearest sense of purpose wins! Pull out you shop’s mission statement and update it to reflect your shop’s goals for 2022.

Q. Alternatives to live flowers?

What are some alternatives to live flowers? We are located in a small town with two flower shops and neither want to partner with us. We currently are offering gift baskets but we still have people that want flowers. Thank you in advance! – Lanie Ray, Fairfield Medical Center, Lancaster, OH. 222 beds. 3/28/22

What are some alternatives to live flowers?
14
What are some alternatives to live flowers?x
CLICK TO COMMENT

Leave your comment here or enter it at the bottom of the newsletter.

Do you sell any alternatives to live flowers? Felt flower, paper, fabric, feather, dried, pop-up card, candy, cookie and balloon bouquets? 🌸 🌷 🌼

Thank you!

Connect. Share. Grow. ♡

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Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, May 8!

What do shoppers buy most?


Q. Does your online store have payroll deduction?

Does anyone accept payroll deduction on their online gift shop? If so, how do you authenticate the buyer (i.e., how do you verify they are using their employee number to make the purchase)? – Jill Dugaw, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Spartanburg, SC. 400 beds. 3/17/22

umichsale.com

We visited this topic in our four-part series Creating an Online Store. Several of the shops we interviewed were still trying to construct a solution for online payroll deduction. Hopefully some managers have found solutions since then and can SHARE them here.

We were only able to find one POS with a built-in ecommerce module that includes payroll deduction as a payment option – ARBA POS. This online shop created a workaround for accepting payroll deduction, though it’s a bit tedious. The employee enters a coupon code named “Payroll Deduction” at checkout and the price reduces to $0.00. The shop collects the employee number via email afterwards and completes the order. They use “Other payment” in the terminal. The site uses Square.

The University of Michigan Tech Shop has a different workaround that seems feasible. At checkout, employees select “Pay In Store” and they complete the payroll deduction process at pick up. Employees are notified via email when the order is ready. Orders not picked up within 3 days after email notification are cancelled.

“Please note that payroll deduction will not be offered as a payment option when you select in-store pickup; simply choose “Pay In Store,” and we will complete your payroll deduction process when you pick up. This allows you to make changes and/or add in-stock items to your purchase at the time of sale! You’ll be notified via email when your order is ready (usually within one business day). Orders not picked up within 3 days after email notification are cancelled and products released; however, please let us know if you need extra time.”

The best solution is to add a custom payment option for payroll deduction to your online store. This requires the addition of a custom “Payroll Deduction” button and a custom “Employee Number” field to the checkout page. Your e-commerce company will likely charge a customization fee. Your IT department may be able to implement these and avoid any fees.

We were able to add these customizations fairly easily to the our own online store powered by Shopify, but it did require some coding. We also found this example of an online store that has payroll deduction. You can step through the entire checkout process to demo how it works.

Many contracted scrub and uniform vendors or hospital pharmacies offer payroll deduction on their online stores. This may also be a good point to reference when starting the discussion with your IT and payroll departments.

By the way, if you don’t have payroll deduction for your in-store traffic, it’s time to implement it. The value of payroll deduction goes without saying. In a recent survey, 76% of shop managers reported having payroll deduction. Sales from payroll deduction averages between 40% – 65% of revenue.

Have you been successful adding payroll deduction to your shop’s online store? Or, do you have an idea or a workaround? Please let us know here. We’ll share your feedback in next month’s issue!


UPCOMING HOLIDAYS

MAY
May 2-6 – Teacher Appreciation Week
May 5 – Cinco de Mayo
May 6 – Nurses Day
May 7- Kentucky Derby
May 8 – Mother’s Day
May 19 – Senior Citizens Day
May 30 – Memorial Day
Graduation Season Begins
JUNE
Graduation Season
Jun 14 – Flag Day
Jun 19 – Father’s Day
Jun 19 – Juneteenth
Jun 21 – Summer Solstice
Jun 27 – National Sunglasses Day
JULY
Jul 4 – Independence Day
Jul 7 – World Chocolate Day
Jul 10 – National Pina Colada Day
Jul 14 – National Mac & Cheese Day

**Sometimes we include some pretty unique “holidays”. Use them to help generate off-season sales. “It’s National Sunglasses Day – 15% Today Only”. Build some fun displays. Be creative! Put all umbrellas on sale for National Pina Colada Day.


GiftBeat’s top sellers for April

Corkcicle held the #1 top spot for the mugs and tumblers category in GiftBeat’s April issue.

Silver Forest Jewelry held the #1 top spot for the earrings category in GiftBeat’s April issue.

Warmies held the #1 top spot for the plush category in Giftbeat’s April issue.


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Market research shows that a shop renovation can impact sales by as much as 35%
 
Hospital gift shops require special design experience. Your unique customer’s have unique needs that must be incorporated into the design plans, often in a limited amount of space. The goal is to provide an exciting, updated and clean palette in which to display and sell the shop’s merchandise.
 
A mini-department store approach is sometimes required. Best practices in shop design include:

  • Develop a conceptual floor plan and elevations indicating fixturing specifications, their locations and operational considerations.
  • Determine project cost estimation and comprehensive budget. Include prepared orders for fixtures, slatwall, hardware and other display needs. Use the most up-to-date custom fixturing, design elements and features.
  • Determine the color of the walls and fixture laminate.
  • Determine design recommendations for lighting, flooring, and laminate colors.

Don’t know where to start with your hospital administrator? Here is a sample letter requesting additional gift shop space, including square feet : net revenue gains.

🎯 TIP: Maintain a transparent storefront, creating lots of visibility through and into the store. Then present them with a great display right in the heart of the shop. 


May Action Plan

Buy

Buy lines where you can take a higher markup. Don’t dabble when buying. Buy enough to make a statement.

Buy what your customer will like, not what you like! Base buying decisions on research, past performance, price points and budget allowance. Not on impulse or instinct.

If an invoice comes in before the merchandise, do not pay it! Only pay after you have checked in all the merchandise.

If a manufacturer sends your order in two shipments, don’t pay the shipping on the second shipment. It was not your fault that they couldn’t ship your order all at once. Why should the shop have to pay the extra shipping that two shipments entail? Many shops are just not paying the shipping on the second invoice.

🧸 Display

Display all Mother’s Day related merchandise and a large display of potted plants.

Promote and display garden and home decorating items.

Promote and display graduation and Father’s Day. ⛳ 🎓

📝 Plan

Meet to discuss and write out your summer display plans.

To maintain adequate staffing over the summer, request that volunteer and paid staff submits vacation dates now.

National Nurses Day is May 6. Plan a 30% OFF NURSES DAY SALE just for nurses! Ask nursing department Chair or HR Director to email the sale to all nurses. 🎉

National Nurses Day

Begin planning a summer “refresher” for your shop. This includes a thorough cleaning but goes well beyond general clean up. Here’s where to start; replace scratched glass on the jewelry case, clean shop windows, clean vents and grills, dust top-to-bottom fixtures and spinners, replace burned-out light bulbs, re-do signage if necessary, organize and stock cashier station. Be like Spiderman; give your shop a once-over, looking for areas that need upgrading. 🧹

Many state auxiliary conferences are held in May. Most of them have gift shop seminars. Try to attend one. While there, take advantage of the many networking opportunities. 📅

Make travel arrangements to attend a major gift market in June and July. ✈️

If asked at a conference or by a hospital exec, could you state your shop’s sales, net profit, sales per square foot and average inventory? These are basic shop statistics that you should commit to memory. 💲 Get the formulas in our Guide to Calculate Shop Profitability

Total Sales $ _________
Net Profit $ _________
Sale per Sq Ft. $ _________
Average Inventory $ _________

This is an excerpt from the Twelve-Month Action Plan for Gift Shop Managers and Buyers.
Get the 50-page planning and operating guide for just $69.00.


PART 2: Do you have a loyalty program or keytags?

Does your shop offer a loyalty program or key tags to hospital employees? What company do you use for your customer loyalty program? What do you like, or dislike, about the service? Is it expensive?

Simplicity is the key to generating loyalty and creating a great customer ‘loyalty’ experience. It is the first step to getting your customers on board. The program has to be easy to understand. The more complicated, the more you will lose people.

Take the math out of the rewards equation for your customers. They don’t want to do mental gymnastics to figure out the value. For example, begin with 10% of however much a shopper spends. That money is then put into their rewards, which can be used toward future purchases. It’s a direct reward for their continued business.

Hospital employees shop at many places, so give your hospital employees a chance to consolidate their purchases in your shop.

Hospital employees are your shop’s largest customer base. It’s critical to nurture and retain their loyalty with such programs.

SUBSCRIBER RESPONSES

We are just bringing our loyalty program back after the pandemic. We have had so many asking, so I hope it really helps our sales.  – Jodi L Babineau, Lakeview Medical Center, Sunshine Gift Shop, Rice Lake, WI. 39 beds. 3/24/22

We have stamp/punch cards. For every $5 you get one punch.  After $150 you get $5 off. We have a volunteer who prints them on the business card stock sheets you can get at your local store. Our “sister” store uses their local printer. – Tricia Rochman, Carbondale Memorial Hospital, Carbondale, IL. 70 beds. 3/18/22

We do not have a loyalty program but might be a great idea since we lost payroll deduction in November, 2021. – Traci Gerdes, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. 3/17/22

Stanford Health Care Gift Shop offers a customer loyalty program and is managed through our POS VEND/Lightspeed. For every $10 spent, a $1 is earned towards customers next purchase. Customers are tracked via phone number provided at time of sign-up. Customers appreciate this as loyalty can be saved and used on small or large purchases. – Shellee Laubersheimer, Stanford Health Care, Stanford, CA. 600 beds. 3/17/22

We don’t as of now, but a great idea. – Helen Travis, Ascension. 3/17/22

Archived replies from 2021:

We have a punch card that I got through Vista Print. For every $5.00 spent they get a punch. It takes $100.00 to fill. Once full, they get 30% off 1 items. It works well and the employees love it. As we require a minimum of $5.00 purchase to use payroll deduct, this is another encouragement to spend at least that amount. – Ginger Taylor, Gift Shop Manager, Volunteer Services, Springfield, MO. 6/22/21

We do punch cards for every 5$ spent they get a punch, after the card is full, 9 punches, they get 10% off one item with that card. – Ann Payne. 6/17/21

We currently utilize MM Hayes Quickcharge POS. They have a built in Loyalty system that has several options and customizations. – Shea Fowler, Unity Point. 6/16/21

You can still leave your response.  Click here!

Connect. Share. Grow. ♡


Teacher Appreciation Week | May 2-6, 2022

Say ‘thank you’ this week, and throughout the year, to the extraordinary educators who have worked tirelessly with our students and families to keep things moving forward, despite such an unpredictable year.

Many parents give “teacher gifts” at the end of the school year. Display appropriately themed items and you will be surprised at how much you will sell in May and early June for teachers.

Help you and your customers show them our love and appreciation for all that they do during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2-6!


💮 CALENDAR 💮

GIFT MARKETS

**Always double-check show dates**May 3-5, 2022
Atlanta Spring Cash & Carry, AmericasMart
Jun 14-17, 2022
Dallas Apparel & Accessories Market
Jun 22-28, 2022
Dallas Total Home & Gift Market
Jun 26-28, 2022
Minneapolis Mart Gift, Home, Apparel & Accs Show
Jul 12-18, 2022
Atlanta Home & Gift Market
Jul 24-28, 2022
Las Vegas Market
Aug 18-21, 2022
New Orleans Gift & Jewelry Show
Aug 23-26, 2022
Dallas Apparel & Accessories Market
Sep 13-15, 2022
Dallas Total Home & Gift Market
Jan 4-10, 2023
Dallas Total Home & Gift Market
Jan 10-17, 2023
Atlanta Market
Visit Gift Shop Mag Trade Show Calendar for smaller local/regional shows.

NRF annual retail forecast: 6-8% growth

The National Retail Federation (NRF) issued its annual forecast, anticipating that retail sales will grow between 6% and 8% to more than $4.86 trillion in 2022. The announcement was made during NRF’s annual State of Retail & the Consumer virtual event where retail industry leaders discussed the strength of the consumer economy and the future of retail.

“Consumers are ready to spend and have the resources to do so,” Matthew Shay, president and CEO for NRF said. “We should see durable growth this year given consumer confidence to continue this expansion, notwithstanding risks related to inflation, COVID-19 and geopolitical threats.”

The 2022 figure compares with 14% annual growth rate in 2021, the highest growth rate in more than 20 years. This year’s sales forecast is notably above the 10-year, pre-pandemic growth rate of 3.7%

SOURCE: National Retail Federation


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Q. Do you have a resource for African-American Santas?

I’m searching for African American Santas. Do any of you have a resource? – Kathy, Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg, MS. 512 beds. 3/17/21

Do you have a resource for African-American Santas?
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Do you have a resource for African-American Santas?x

Do you have a resource for African-American Santas? Comment here or enter it at the bottom of the newsletter.

Thank you!

Connect. Share. Grow. ♡


MARCH 2022 NEWSLETTER: ISSUE #628
Did you miss last month’s articles, surveys, and discussions?

  • Inflationary pressures are coming
  • New gift shop construction at Trinity Health
  • National Healthcare Volunteer Week: Apr 17-23
  • Trends and predictions for 2022
  • RESPONSES: What are some fresh new jewelry lines?
  • Q. Does your shop offer loyalty program keytags?
  • Single-channel, omnichannel and multichannel retailing
  • Generating non-seasonal sales
  • Job Openings
  • Q. What vendors sell products made in America?
  • 2021 Best Sellers, Christmas Vendors, Volunteer Decline, Snack Vendor
  • Gift Market Calendar

DISCUSSION


NEW JEWELRY LINES

Q. We are looking to freshen up our jewelry. We currently use Periwinkle but looking for something new along the same price point. Any suggestions? – Tracy Torres, St. Augustine. 1/20/22

Silver Forest and their Spirit earrings, made in Vermont. Renaissance Glass earrings and pendants made in South Carolina (maybe North.) – Michelle Suggs. 3/21/22

We do very well with Silver Forest and Anju Jewelry. – Cherie Towers. 3/18/22

Accessorize Me always performs well. Megan Brown designs is trending up for Spring. – Kevin Shaw, Methodist Hospital Gift Shop, St. Louis Park, MN. 3/17/21

Main Street Earrings are a big hit for us. Great quality, great price. We sell them for $8.99! – Lanie Ray, Fairfield Medical Center, Lancaster, OH. 2/28/22

Canvas has some great pieces at great price points. – Holly Weiss. 2/17/22

We do well with Periwinkle and Coronet – Helen Travis. 2/16/22

Rain Jewelry is performing very good for us as well! – Sabra Shields. 2/16/22

I love Rain jewelry. It flies off the shelf. – Stephanie Barnes. 2/16/22

We also do really well with Coronet and Accessorize Me jewelry. – Tamara Szarszewski, Gift Shop Manager, Logansport Memorial Hospital Gift Shop, 83 beds. 1/17/22

Connect. Share. Grow. ♡


MADE IN USA

Q. We’re looking to carry mostly made in America items. What vendors are you guys using for American made products? 🇺🇸 – Carol Myers, Ascension Providence Hospital, Rochester, MI. 250 beds. 2/18/22

Faire has an area on their site devoted to Made in USA products. Also Town Pride makes custom  – state, town, city, zip code – wholesale goods. Everything from knit sweaters to candles, stationery, drinkware, serve ware and jewelry.  – Nicole, Cindy Jones Assoc, 4/16/22.

Duke Cannon men’s products. – Cyrielle. 3/28/22

Silver Forest Spirit earrings, made in Vermont. Renaissance Glass earrings and pendants made in South Carolina (maybe North.) – Michelle Suggs. 3/21/22

What’s your favorite MADE IN USA product? You can still leave a comment.  Click here!

Connect. Share. Grow. ♡


CHRISTMAS MERCH VENDORS

Q. Have you been able to source Christmas merchandise? Anyone know of a vendor for “out of the box” Christmas merchandise? – Jill A Dugaw (She/Her), Spartanburg Regional, Spartanburg, OH. 1/19/22

Opportunities has great Christmas merch at good prices. There is a $400 fee each year to join this group but the prices for the exact same items that many other vendors carry are much lower. They carry everyday and seasonal merchandise. clothing, candles, etc. – Diane Honsberger, Mercy Health St. Anne Hospital. 2/18/22

Connect. Share. Grow. ♡


DECLINE IN VOLUNTEERS

Q. Have others encountered losses in the number of volunteers through the pandemic? We started out with over 30 non-gift shop volunteers and are now down to 7. In our gift shop, we had 17, now 3, one of which started mid-COVID (God bless her!). We are currently thinking of hiring a part-time employee to man the front desk from 1-5pm. What have you done to remedy staffing and volunteer issues during the pandemic? Did anyone hire paid personnel? Thanks. – Sarah Folio, Garrett Regional Medical Center, Oakland, MD. 55 beds. 12/22/21

We have had our gift shop volunteers for two years now – starting the front desk this week. – Tricia Rochman, Carbondale Memorial, Carbondale, IL. 70 beds. 3/18/21

We had about 65 volunteers in the gift shop before the pandemic. I now have about 35-40 in the shop today. I am blessed to have some very dedicated volunteers who worked all but the 3 months we were closed. Even then when we were closed we thought outside the box and started doing FB Live shows twice a month and continue with today. They are a ton of work, but truly saved our gift shop. Other volunteers stayed home but made mask for the hospital and our community in the time of need. Our Auxiliary as a whole never really stopped fundraising during the pandemic and overall our numbers grew about a dozen last year. – Ramona Kennedy. 3/17/21

We reduced our hours in the gift shop and have been able to get enough volunteers, but the traffic is not there. Hospital has been remodeling and we have been closed quite a bit. We no longer have foot traffic from front entrance of hospital. Thankfully the employees still shop with us. Our problem lately has been elderly volunteers who refuse to read manual, consequently the computer is often not turned on correctly, they don’t use the scanner to ring up items, they basically sit on their chairs and hope no one comes in. We are all volunteers so we don’t have paid staff. I end up having to drive to hospital quite often to straighten out a situation. I held trainings on 2 different Saturdays and only 2 people came. I don’t want to offend the volunteers but they don’t seem to get it. Hopefully things will pick up and we can do more business. – Martha Burke. 2/17/22

We started with 10 volunteers and now have 4 sometimes 5. We were open 5 days per week with 2 shifts, now open 3 days per week 10-2. – Helen Travis. 2/16/22

We too have fewer volunteers since the pandemic. We are open a shorter timeframe each day. M-F & Sun 10-3. In order to keep all our gift shop volunteers informed, we have a spiral notebook we write updates in. Our volunteers also write notes to us to let us know if they have any needs or something special needs to be ordered or if they have suggestions. Works well for us! – Brenda Welcher,  AdventHealth Zephyrhills, Zephyrhills, FL. 59 beds. 2/16/22

Our store is open five days a week, 12-4pm. We had a good December! Visitors are so few now with no outsiders. I had 13 people working for us but now only 5-6.
Hope you all are healthy, Harold. – Harold Shiffman, St. Catherian Hospital, Smithtown, NY. 550 beds. 1/31/22

Our Gift Shop has remained closed since November 2020. Overall, we have lost some folks but we have also gained some. Currently they are not cleared to serve in the hospital due to COVID restrictions. However, some have been assisting at the Vaccine Clinic along with over 30 additional new volunteers who are at the Clinic. I believe a good portion of those 30 will continue to serve at the hospital once given the word to do so. – Peter Waugh, Memorial Hospital, North Conway, NH. 25 beds. 1/18/22

Internally, I am devastated! Externally, I move on and work with what I have. We are open two shifts during the week. Happy and grateful to have volunteers that will staff the shop. I went from 200 volunteers to about 45 in the overall program. I have about 13 in the gift shop. – Connie Slingluff, Blount Memorial, Maryville, TN. 201 beds. 1/17/22

We have been blessed with willing volunteers who have made it possible to remain open. Although the hospital shut us down for a few months in 2020, we have been able to come back and remain busy. Our Holiday Extravaganza of 3 days did not happen but we held special 12 Days of Christmas sales to encourage employees to shop with us. It was gratifying to see the staff regularly and hear them thank us for being there for them. We enter 2022 with a healthy bottom line and interested buyers, we’re keeping it simple and hoping that our current path is the right one to be on. – Marilynne Field, MercyOne, Dubuque, IA. 263 beds. 1/17/22

We went from two volunteers to one volunteer per shift and are doing ok. But this takes away the buffer if someone can’t come in for their shift. We have had to be closed at random times due to no substitutes. Looking to hire a PT person to cover those shift and help manage stock. – Christie Delbridg, Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center, Bolivia, NC. 74 beds. 1/17/22

Most of mine did come back. I had about 30 with teens. I have 14 adults and 2 teens. Our hours are limited Mon-Fri 9-5. We were on a role and then Omicon hit and no more visitors. I spilt the volunteers shifts to two hours instead of their four hours. – Margaret Legut, Elmhurst Hospital, Elmhurst, IL. 258 beds. 1/17/22

We lost about 20 volunteers. We have reduced our hours and days of operation. – Ginger Taylor, CoxHealth, Springfield, MO. 1014 beds. 1/17/22

We’ve lost many of our volunteers. Our shop is closed on weekends. We are open some days from 9-5, but on days we can’t get enough volunteers we’re open 10-4. This eliminates 1 volunteer per day. We are lucky to have some volunteers picking up more shifts to fill the gaps. We ask people to call before they come to see if we’re open and we post our hours on FB. – Debbie B, Bell Hospital, Ishpeming, MI. 1/17/22

We have had approximately 1/3 of volunteers return, 1/3 not return, and 1/3 defer return. Our volunteers are dedicated and a special part of our success! Also, being part of a university, we have also added student volunteers to our Shops as of December. The students had been volunteering in patient areas before the pandemic, but with that not yet possible, they are helping the Shops! The students are professional, eager, and energetic! We’ve gone from 45-50% of shifts with at least one volunteer, to over 80% of shifts with at least one volunteer! – Mary, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI. 1000 beds. 1/16/22

Connect. Share. Grow. ♡


2021 BEST SELLERS

Wow! We asked, you answered! Thanks to everyone who shared their best sellers from 2021. Here are all the responses. A great variety of products. Some surprising ones too!

Apparel, especially plaid jackets and gnomes were very popular. – Ann Bergmann, Cumberland Healthcare, Cumberland, WI. 25 beds. 1/21/22

Covenant Rings. We have a display of 60 rings and every 6-9 months, new rings are added and slow sellers are removed. I’ve had lots of luck and consistently sold them for over 7 years.  – Jennifer Stuber. 1/21/22

Yes, Covenant Rings have been good, consistent sellers for many years! – Cindy

Clothing is my best category and loungewear from DM was my best seller during the holiday season and beyond. They have great price points and a huge margin builder. I received the floor display and I had to rearrange the entire shop to fit it in my space, but worth it. Strongly recommend the fixture as it keeps the product well organized and easy to shop. – Carol Colpitts. 2/20/22

One product line that we dropped was a CBD line. Just did not sell. Melissa & Doug eductional/toy items have done very well for us as well as hospital logo wear. Snack and personal care baskets that we create have worked out well for call-in orders. – Greg Holtgrewe. 2/19/22 

Q. What all do you put in your personal care baskets? I am new to this position so extra help is awesome!! Thanks in advance – Jaci, Hays Medical Center Gift Shop, Hays, KS. 1/20/22

Usually hand and body lotions, lip balms, decorative nail files, shower gels, fancy soaps, body sprays and bath bombs. Some of the vendors are Naked Bee, Inis, Duke Cannon, Ganz, San Francisco Soap and Bomb Cosmetics. We get our celophane bags, ribbon and packaging supplies from Nashville Wraps. Most of the time we do not use a basket but a clear desert plate for a base so that all of the items are easily seen. Sometimes you have to get creative during construction to get everything to stand up maybe using a ribbon to group things. We suggestive sell snack bags that we put together and balloons to go along. – Greg Holtgrew

The Ganz Crystal Expressions colored birds of any kind are a huge seller for us. I always think the popularity will fizzle out but it hasn’t and we have customers buy multiple at a time. Light up snow globes/lanterns this past Christmas were the best thing I have brought into the Gift Shop. I sold 11 in one day (we are only open to staff & patients 6 hours a day Mon-Fri) and my total stock of 63 were sold within 3 weeks. – Sarah Ryan. 1/18/21

Sarah, where do you source the light up lanterns from? – Cindy

I order the snow globes/lanterns from a couple of companies, but the best place I found was Razimports.com. They have a wide selection of both globes and lanterns and a great price range of everything. They have small options with a lower price point all the way to large options and high price points. A lot play music, which is always a big hit. The variety of options was the best in my option as well. Search their website for Water Globe or Water Lantern and it will bring up all the options in both categories. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with! I love getting your newsletter, it is always full of great information! — Sarah Ryan. 1/18/21

We too sold out of the light up water lanterns in less than a week. Retail prices were from $50 up. We will certainly buy again from either Roman or Raz. – Kathy Kramer, Carousel Gift Shop Driscoll Children’s Hospital, Corpus Christi. 1/21/22

Brief Insanity brand lounge pants – it was insane how well they sell! – Jill Dugaw. 1/18/22

Who was your vendor? Thanks in advance!! – Jaci, Hays Medical Center Gift Shop, Hays, KS. 1/20/22

SE Marketplace – Jill Dugaw. 1/26/22

Worlds Softest Sock Company (Crescent Socks) were huge for us fourth quarter. You have to order now for inventory for fourth quarter this year. If you don’t, you will miss out as they sell out every year. – Sabra Shields. 1/18/22

Anything with a cardinal on it. – Margaret Legut 1/17/22

Warmies! The slippers, neck wraps, and all of their animals. We also sell them over the phone like crazy. Customers love the thought of something warm and comforting going to their loved one. – Linda Armstrong. 1/17/22

See’s Candy! We brought them in late, but they moved really quickly. It was great to have options for holiday candy for our staff. – Justin. 1/17/21

Wicked Minis crackers are a popular snack and they come in several flavors. Our top seller is the Dill flavor. Itzy Ritzy is a great baby line! They have a wonderful selection of trendy designs and moms love the variety of teethers, toys, pactifiers and lovies! Last June we picked up a new line of sun glasses and readers from DM Merchandising. The brand name is Optimum Optical. They have awesome displays where the extra boxes of sunglasses are stored next to the sunglasses which keep our volunteers from going to the back so much. The displays have a modern, sleek design. Our employees love the designs! We have restocked twice so far! You can’t go wrong with Funky Freshies car scents made by Funky Fleur De Lis. We have used them for about 2 years and always sell out. Cute designs and great scents! – Betty Beck. 1/17/22

Our winners for 2021 was an increase in clothing sales. Staff who were not willing to hit the malls during COVID were shopping in our Gift Shop! – Lynn, Misericordia Health Centre Gift Shop, Winnipeg. Manitoba, Canada. 1/17/22

Santoki Lego Keychain LightsRoman light up holiday lanterns.  Cardigans from Davi & Dani and Rose N Mary. – Stephanie, San Juan Regional Medical Center, Farmington, NM. 1/17/22.

We’ve done great with Paint by Sticker books for adults and Kids from Workman Publishing. They were a great find for us during the pandemic! – Keri Schwartz. 1/17/22 

Loungewear particularly sleep/blanket hoodies did great! Careful for 2022, the cost on the blanket hoodies have increased tremendously with certain vendors!! Giftcraft, Simply Southern, LazyOnes. – Connie Slingluff. 1/17/22

Umgee USA clothing and Myra handbags – Ginger Taylor. 1/17/22 

Our Jen & Co purses were great sellers this past year. We also do really well with Coronet and Accessorize Me jewelry. Our Evergreen’s Sassafras Mats and garden flags are also top sellers. Crazy as it sounds, our Ganz mini glass animals are an item we can hardly keep in stock. They sell so well for us at $1.95. For books, we are very pleased with Choice Book Distributors. Other surprising best sellers are the satin pillowcases and microfiber hair towels from Morning Glamour. We sold out of these over the holidays and just got more back in, due to the continuing requests. – Tamara Szarszewski, Gift Shop Manager, Logansport Memorial Hospital Gift Shop, 83 beds. 1/17/22

TY Squish-A-Boos are great sellers for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Gift Shops. -Traci G. 1/16/22

Connect. Share. Grow. ♡


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