Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New CAMEO EZ Wholesale Websites

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Cala HomeCala Home, a new division of Conimar Group, LLC, has a brand new CAMEO EZ¬©¬†website. The Cala Home initial offering includes elegant hardboard table mats and coasters, packaged as a set of four in attractive gift boxes. Each of the 30 new licensed collections is designed for today’s casual dining and entertaining lifestyle, with a focus on art-driven transitional and contemporary on-trend patterns. Cala Home is proud to feature the WILLIAMSBURG brand with 14 signature collections. The designs are inspired by 18th century sources found within the museum collections of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The history and story behind each of the designs is included in every boxed gift set.


Lizbeth Jane DesignsLizbeth Jane Designs just opened its new wholesale website. Lizbeth Jane features frames, all made in USA, with a variety of paint colors and fabrics. Many of the products are cut by hand. Collections include Multi-board Frames, Rectangle Frames, Relevant Word, Pet/Hunting, No Place Like Home, Baby, Santa Suit (Christmas/Holiday) and other themes.

Zees Inc.Zees Inc. recently launched its new CAMEO EZ©wholesale website featuring beer glasses and tumblers, wine & champagne glasses, wine bottle stoppers, beer, water and soda can coolers, beverage dispensers, water bottles, cocktail glasses & mugs, lunch, beach and picnic bags, and more. Since 1993, Zees Inc. has introducted innovative products designed to make eating and drinking more convenient and fun. As a company that cares about helping the environment, all of its bottles and drinkware are BPA-free.


Healing CrystalsHealing Crystals¬†is another new CAMEO EZ¬© wholesale ordering site that has just been opened. Healing Crystals’ products have been available online since 2003 at their retail site¬†, and has become the leading educator and retailer of crystal products. With over 1 million followers on social media, Healing Crystals attracts a loyal and passionate audience. Featured lines include all natural Crystal Jewelry, Cut and Polished Crystals, Tumbled Stones, Natural Crystals and other accessories. Several Intro Packs are also available designed to give your retail store an opportunity to get started with a great sampling of a variety of products.

CAMEO EZ© is the B2B e-commerce system developed by OmegaNet Inc., publisher of this blog, for use by retailers in ordering inventory for their stores.



Labor Report Has Good News for Retail

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Two consecutive months of more than 50,000 retail jobs being added to the workforce may indicate improving fortunes for retailers generally. The most recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics report on employment in the USA shows more than 100,000 jobs have been created in the retail sector since the beginning of 2016.

According to the report, in February, more than 55,000 jobs were added in the retail sector, or about 23$ of the total 242,000 jobs added. This comes on the heels of January, in which 52,000 retail jobs were created. Many industry watchers say this can only be the result of improving health for retail.

New Federal Report Has Encouraging Indications for Retail BusinessNBC News quotes Georgetown University professor of public policy Harry Holzer: “I view this mostly as a good report. The job creation number was very good. [Growth] remains encouraging.”¬†(source).

A couple of factors are credited with the improvement in retailers’ fortunes. The price of oil and the weather.

“The low cost of gasoline and heating oil and natural gas are, I think, a big part of the reason for the big uptick in service jobs,” said Mitchell Goldberg, president of ClientFirst Strategy, in the NBC report. “We’re starting to see some of that money get spent more freely.”

But it could also be due to something as mundane as the weather, according to National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. ‚ÄúWeather has a serious impact on the retail industry, and when cold winter weather finally made its appearance shoppers headed to stores and brought shopping patterns to a good level,‚ÄĚ Kleinhenz said. ‚ÄúThis solid report shows that the consumer is confident and continuing to shop.‚Ä̬†(source).

So, low oil prices, the weather or both; either way, good news is welcome.

Survey Includes Encouraging Results for Small Businesses

In a time of growth of Big Box and online stores, small retailers may find encouragement from the results of a new survey by American Express. The study finds that a majority of Americans are willing to spend more to do business with companies that give good customer service and four out of five said that they perceive smaller companies place more emphasis on customer service.

Customers value service over priceAmerican Express polled 1,000 people over age 18 and found that, even in today’s shaky economy, 61% said they would spend about 10% more in order to do business with companies that give good customer service. The majority (60%) believe most companies don’t do enough to provide good customer service.

“Customers want and expect superior service,” said Jim Bush, Executive Vice President, World Service. “Especially in this tight economic environment, consumers are focused on getting good value for their money. Many consumers say companies haven’t done enough to improve their approach to service in this economy, and yet it’s clear they’re willing to spend more with those that deliver excellent service ‚Äď suggesting substantial growth opportunities for businesses that get customer service right. It’s important to see customer service as an investment, not a cost.”

The study also found that, in spite of the conventional wisdom, customers are more inclined to talk about a positive experience (81%) than a negative one (52%).

More than 80% have decided to never do business with a company again after a negative experience and more than half said they expect something in return, more than just resolving the problem.

Made All Over the USA

Whether you prefer “Made In America” as sung by Toby Keith, Kanye West or Bon Jovi, the importance of manufacturing within the borders of the USA is a recurring theme in music, movies and news reporting. ABC News’ World News With Diane Sawyer has a regular weekly feature about companies manufacturing in the USA (see the May Issue of Gift and Home Retailer News)

While the conventional wisdom seems to be that all manufacturing is now done elsewhere, Gift and Home Retailer finds among its advertisers and OmegaNet/CAMEO EZ web sites nearly 60 companies manufacturing all or part of their products in the USA.

website-1Imagine Design is based in Minneapolis, MN and produces a unique variety of home decor and gift items made with the finest quality materials. Items are three-dimensional, embellished, and eye-catching. The best part? All products from Imagine Design are made in the U.S.A. by people with disabilities and other barriers to finding work.  They product lines include fun and functional gifts, framed art, photo plaques and gourmet gifts.  When you choose Imagine Design, you give a gift from the heart.

Tuscaloosa, Alabama has been home to The Professionals & Kidsville, USA for the past 40 years. One of the company’s specialties is the Jr. Scrub Suits for children dressing up as: Doctors, Nurses, Dentist, Vets, E.M.T.’s, and Firefighters. The Professionals also cuts, sews, prints, and appliques a wide range of children’s bags and various accessories, plus has professional gifts for teachers, nurses, office staff, etc.

Betsy Drake Interiors is an exclusive line of home decor featuring the original art and designs of North Carolina artists Betsy Drake and R. B. Hamilton. The line includes outdoor/indoor pillows, wall art, kitchenwares, tiles, coasters and more — all featuring Betsy and her husband’s realistic renderings of florals, wildlife and scenes from their travels.

In 1998, Bob Harju founded Pumpernickel Press in his basement in Leesburg, VA. With distinctive quality, unique designs, and beautiful artwork featuring detailed sculptured embossing, the company produces greeting cards that are “more than just a card, they’re a gift!” The entire line of Christmas and Everyday greeting cards, recycled paper and packaging are made in the USA.

seagardenKiss Me In The Garden, Inc. is a family owned business dedicated to manufacturing high quality, American made merchandise. Karen Mandell spent 17 years developing her unique line of products that include body oils, body lotion and cream, shea butter balm and so much more. Customer satisfaction is their primary concern.  A great deal of time and thought has gone into the design of each product.

Karen makes everything that she sells in her factory in Northridge, California. This gives them extraordinary quality control as well as the ability to make a super high quality products and still sell them at a competitive price. Kiss Me In The Garden is always on the cutting edge, continually researching new formulas, new botanical ingredients and new ways to make the product better, more environmentally friendly and more natural. PRODUCTS MADE IN U.S.A.  Because Karen does it all (from the raw ingredient to the finished product), she has superior quality control and can afford to put in large amounts of the finest ingredients on the planet!

The Dish brings a perfect balance of beauty and whimsy to your table. Whether you want to celebrate your hometown, cheer on your favorite team, or support your political party, The Dish has a collection for your customers. Featuring signature black illustrations on white china, our designs are instantly recognizable and as attractive as they are functional. The Dish works with select artists and designers to create exclusive pieces that celebrate the landmarks and events that make each place we feature special.  Designed and Decorated in the USA.

There are many, many more ‚ÄúMade In USA‚ÄĚ manufacturers besides those we‚Äôve featured above. See the ‚ÄúFeatured Vendors‚ÄĚ below for links to more Made-In-USA vendors, indicated by the red outline and bunting. Many more vendors manufacture and/or assemble their wares in the USA, including: