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Cinde W. Ingram

Changing for the season

Casually Speaking

Budding trees, blooming flowers and chirping birds remind us everything has a season and a purpose, even if temperatures haven’t turned warmer yet. Signs of spring’s renewal promise better days ahead.

A number of casual industry players are responding to the ever-changing conditions around us by trying new things rather than sticking with old practices. By now, your stores are staged for the season. You’ve got an assortment of products to attract return customers in your locale. If you haven’t yet had a few photos made in your store(s), now is the time to capture your creative displays at their best. Submit those photos, whether digital or print, by the end of April to be considered for one of Casual Living’s annual Merchandising Awards.

What? You’ve never entered before? Well, you may be in a lucky spot because we have created a new category to reward our best first-time entry. Designer Mark Abrams will consult with the winner of the first-time entry category to provide advice he felt was not really needed by previous top award winners in the Most Fashionable category. So there’s opportunity to improve what you already feel good about.

Because sales reps visit lots of stores and know which have the best-looking displays, we’re asking reps to encourage those retailers to enter. If a sales rep’s recommendation leads to an award, we may even include the rep in an award presentation at the Preview Show in July.

Planning ahead, the International Casual Furnishings Association has set dates and show hours for the July Preview Show and September Casual Markets through 2014. You will find those inside this issue along with plenty of advice about the power of presentation, successful sales strategies and the value of adapting business models to meet the demands of today’s consumer.

Outdoor dining set sales projections are showing growth to come. While we’re living in the present, we’re looking ahead and preparing for a successful season.

Feedback? Send your comments to:
Cinde W. Ingram
Casual Living Editor-In-Chief
7025 Albert Pick Rd., Suite 200, Greensboro, N.C. 27409

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