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Fall 2010 Trends Trackers, Fall 2010

It really is true that every cloud has a silver lining. That saying holds true in retail as well—where the recession has made room for certain concepts to flourish. Timeless staples also continue to hold steady. Here’s a rundown of a few trends in specialty retail.

Grand Appeal

Baby boomers are now squarely in grandparents territory and looking for ways to spoil their brood. Carts selling innovative toys, gifts for baby—especially personalized baby gear—continue to do well.

Smartphoniacs

As the very idea of a “home phone” or landline becomes increasingly obsolete, Samsung estimates that there will be 500 million global smart phone users by 2012.

Consumers continue to look for fun ways to dress up their phones. Phones are now becoming personalized accessories that make a statement about the owner. Look for carts selling trendy cellphone accessories at a wide range of price points.

Pawsitively Pet Crazy

Man’s best friend(s) continue to be top dog in sales. Look for concepts selling freshly baked treats, fun outfits for pets and pet essentials. As continuing proof that specialty leasing in malls is changing quite rapidly, even pet shelters have set up shop in malls.

Multiple Personalities

In a weak economy, innovation is the name of the game. So it is that Miche bags—one bag with interchangeable shells; SwitchFlops (flip flops with interchangeable bands) and jewelry based on a similar concept are all doing really well. Customers get many looks for the price of one—add-ons cost a lot less than having to invest a whole new unit


Patricia Norins

Norins is the founder and publisher of two national trade magazines and two trade shows. Specialty Retail Report, the voice of the specialty retail industry (carts, kiosks and temporary in-line stores) has a readership of more than 75,000 and GIFT SHOP, the magazine for independent gift shop owners, has a readership of more than 60,000. She also serves as consultant to small independent retailers across the country.

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