• When it comes to MAP pricing, you snooze you LOSE

    As a store owner, you know the ease of online shopping is a double-edged sword. Sure, it’s convenient, but for business owners, the underbelly of counterfeited products, price discrepancies, and showrooming, replace the thrill of finding a sale with the disappointment of losing one. The main culprits are usually on Amazon or eBay, selling the same product you are for less.

    These retail giants hijack MAP pricing, leaving you with inventory that’s difficult to move because you’re selling at the actual price. Your overhead costs don’t allow cutting margins to compete. And if sales continue to decline, you’re less inclined to take buying risks that might differentiate you and pay off down the road.

    We call this scenario L.O.S.E. – the Loss of Online Sales Effect.

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  • 2017 Summer Trade Show Schedule

    Summer trade show season is upon us, folks. At The Grommet office, we are packing up the metaphorical tour bus with some of the newest additions to our catalog and getting ready to hit the road. If you're planning to attend any of these shows, stop by our booth and say hello. We'd love to meet you!

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    June 21 - 25: Dallas Market Center (TM 634)

    July 13 - 17: AmericasMart Atlanta (3-2-900)

    July 20 - 24: LA Mart (Lobby)

    July 30 - Aug. 2: Las Vegas Market (P1-1104)

    August 4 - 8: Minneapolis Mart (233- 4)

    August 15 - 17: Independent Garden Center Show (1522)

    August 17 - 19: Ace Hardware Show (3684)

    August 19 - 23: NY Now Market (NC1/Lobby)

     

    Before you hit the road, be sure to review our six tips for successfully conquering any trade show.

    Catch the action of each show by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • 4 Retailers Tell You How to Start a Gift Shop

    Maybe you've walked into a store and imagined a new career or you’ve wanted to be your own boss for years and are ready to make it happen. There are countless reasons for wanting to own a store or gift shop, but it's important to know what to expect and how to prepare. For that, we turned to some of our Retailers to dole out their number one piece of advice for those looking to open up shop.

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    Marie Canfield of Larkellen. Reno, NV

    "Start with an idea. For me, that was American made. Once I focused on that, I started looking for the type of products I wanted to sell that fit under that umbrella. While American made was my core, I branched off to other values I believe in. For instance, anything not American made is fairly traded or made from recycled materials. The idea evolved over time, but I always made sure, I wasn’t selling anything I wouldn’t buy for myself or as a gift. If I do that, the passion I have to run the business every day disappears. So have a really solid concept, love it, and run with it."

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  • In the World of Main St. Retail, It's War

    ‘You need to differentiate or you die.’

    On the front lines in hometowns around America, 5,000 independently owned Ace Hardware stores are waging this war. It’s the very same fight we’ve championed for Makers, inventors, and entrepreneurs from day one.

    Last year, we joined forces with Ace in the struggle, and we couldn’t be more excited. It’s a strategic alliance that, as in any war, can be key to turning the tide.

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  • The Merchandising Corner: It's White-Hot In Here

    I’ve worked in all sorts of retail environments – apparel, home décor, online – and one thing they all have in common, they host a “white hot” event or marketing push. When you create a powerfully disruptive white display, whether stark white, shabby chic, vintage white, or somewhere in between, your customers will be moved.

    So why is ‘white-hot” a thing and how do you leverage it to your shop’s advantage?

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  • Why Us, Why Now

    As a shop owner, you’re often looking to make your store stand out. Usually, the biggest way is by having unique products. Luckily, we’ve created an easy, streamlined place for you to find—and buy—those competitive-edge-gaining items.

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  • The Power of Small

    “We all succeed when small businesses succeed.” You heard this line ad nauseum throughout the election cycle, but practically, outside of a sound bite, what does that look like?

    It starts by looking something like this.

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    We are Jules Pieri and John Venhuizen, the CEOs of The Grommet and Ace Hardware and we are bridging local store owners, Makers – and you, to help small businesses thrive.

    We passionately believe that there is power in small. The small business. The little guy. The dreamer. The inventor whose vision could be the next big thing. The folks who wake up every day with a chip on their shoulder because they have to duke it out against the shackles of bureaucracy and the Goliaths of business every day. We believe that there is a liberating strength and might in our collaboration.

    We share many of the same goals. We want to strengthen Main Street. We want to amplify the maker movement and launch a new and different kind of industrial revolution. We’re working together to bring more early-stage businesses into your backyard. This creates jobs for people you probably know, gives you higher quality products and bolsters your local economy.

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    We believe in the consumer. We know that consumers yearn for more than cookie-cutter, commoditized, generic stuff anyone can get from nearly every store. We know that consumers still believe in discovery, values-driven brands and a local face behind their retail purchases.

    We firmly believe that there is more to the shopping experience than just faceless interactions and drone delivery. Together, Ace and The Grommet, we can offer our customers more of what we believe makes America special, the unbridled creativity of the local entrepreneur.

    And we’re not budging. We’ve seen the business landscape stacked against the underdog for too long. The way we can tip the scales is by investing in innovation. So we will. And we hope you join us.

    You play a vital part in this success. We humbly ask for your continued support. Visit your local Ace, try these innovative products from the Grommet. It takes tenacity, guts and grit to build a company and help it grow. Learn more about our collaboration that’s putting Grommets in Ace stores in your neighborhood, including more than 170 locally-owned Ace Hardware stores just last month.

    Thank you for your support, for supporting small.

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  • Winter 2017 Trade Show Schedule

    Today we excitedly embark on the Winter 2017 trade show circuit. Our first stop: Atlanta, Georgia for AmericasMart Atlanta. If you’re attending this or any of the shows below, make sure to stop by and say hello. We’d love to see you and we’re sure you’ll love to see the newest products in our catalog.

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  • Learnings from Boston Winter Village

    Throughout the month of December, the Wholesale team found itself dog-fooding throughout Boston. No, we weren't eating puppy chow for lunch; we used our own product as a customer preparing for our chalet at Boston Winter and our storefronts at TownPool and the Boston Design Center.

    We and 40 other Boston-area Retailers exhibited in European-style chalets at City Hall Plaza for a winter wonderland accompanied by a bicycle-powered Christmas tree. Your guess is as good as ours.

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  • Selecting the Right POS System for Your Store

    Maybe you’ve grown tired of doing mental math with a green, transparent visor. Maybe you’ve had an over the counter cash register for years. It’s served you well, but you’re curious what else is out there.

    Maybe you’re ready to throw your old cash register against the wall, but what comes next? What should you look for? Where do you even begin?

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