Holiday budgets are growing, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). The NRF 2004 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, which was conducted by BIGresearch, for NRF, found that the average consumer planned on spending $702.03 on the holidays, up 4.5 percent from the prior year. And total holiday spending was estimated to reach $219.9 billion for 2004.
In addition to the large ticket items that consumers plan on buying, there are many impulse purchases made at, and around, the sales counter. Point of Purchase or POP Novelty items are the "just one more thing" that consumers are often tempted by as they stand on the check-out line. These can include film boxes placed within reach or packages of batteries next to a sign reminding customers to stock up before they set out on holiday trips or plan family gatherings.
According to psychologist and relationship expert, Dr. Michelle Callahan, the drive to remember others and strengthen connections with loved ones is particularly heightened during the holiday season. Figures from studies done on behalf of the Greeting Card Association, show that Americans purchase nearly seven billion greeting cards every year. Adding photo greetings to the specialty retailer's product offerings can benefit the bottom line.
Read on for some of the new POP Novelty items you can offer this holiday season…
Memory Maker Photo Bracelets, (www.memorymakerbracelet.com) has expanded its product line of fashionable photo-frame jewelry, with the addition of a four frame bracelet that features delicate scroll styling with black epoxy and silver plating. Jet black beads link the frames.
The company also offers a limited edition Breast Cancer bracelet featuring pink ribbons and hearts in addition to the frames.
With advanced laser cutting technology, Golden Graphics, (email: email@example.com) applies quality craftsmanship and experience to produce photo sculpture pendants in sterling silver and gold.
Golden Graphic's Mini-Meez is the ultimate personalized charm.
TAO Electronics' Spectare product line, (www.spectareproducts.com) features the KeyPix Digital Picture Keychain and Pendant. Each KeyPix holds up to 56 digital images. Four styles include: gold round, silver square, and silver diamond shaped keychains, and a silver diamond shaped pendant. The KeyPix's battery holds a 2-1/2 hour charge, and software for transferring images to the KeyPix is included.
Snapshot Chocolate, (www.snapshotchocolate.com) uses patented technology to create delicious tasting and great looking chocolate photos, expressions, and greeting cards. Using food coloring as ink, images are transferred to a range of chocolate shapes and varieties including milk, white, dark, kosher, and parve. The range of products include: photo chocolate- ornaments, CDs, portraits complete in an ornate chocolate frame, and 2x3-inch chocolates that come packaged in a plastic case that can also hold a wallet photo or business card. Stock designs include: newborn announcements, thank you, holiday, celebration, and wedding.
The company has a turnkey business model for retailers who want to offer personalized Snapshot Chocolates to their customers; a start-up kit has everything you need. The company also offers Photo Throws: 40x60-inch blankets with an image knitted into it—either grayscale or a four-color logo design.
Personalized Pillows.com, (www.personalizedpillows.com) has an affiliate partner program for shop owners looking to add a unique personalized photo novelty item to their store. The pillows, which come in a variety of colors and styles, can feature an image, favorite saying, or even a child's drawing—by submitting a digital photograph or scan.
USA Blanket And Scarf, (www.usablanketandscarf.com) offers a range of blanket and scarf products, including 40x60-inch acrylic knitted photo blankets that can be made in either color or black and white (black, white and two shades of grey; or black, white, and two shades of brown). The company can also create blankets and scarves from your own unique design ideas.
Treasure Knit, (www.treasureknit.com)—the company that brought the customized duotone knit blanket to market now offers a full-color blanket. Images are woven directly into the blanket, using 100% hypo-allergenic yarn. Contact the company for wholesale pricing.
Cottage Mills, (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) has created the PixPen, a great photo-related POP item. The PixPen is a fun way to carry a favorite photograph. The PixPen combines black, acid-free ink in a ballpoint pen that can hold a 2-1/2x1-3/4-inch photo—that's easily inserted in the barrel by the customer and can be changed as often as is desired.
PixPens come in a display box that is ideal for placing on the sales counter. Put away all your other ballpoint pens, and have your sales staff use PixPens—it's a sure way to get customers to notice them and get them in their hands!