EPPS Buzz: Specialty Toy EPPS and the Home & Gift EPPS  5/3/2016

Both the Home & Gift Efficient Program Planning Session (EPPS) along with the Specialty Toy EPPS took place in Denver Colorado in mid-May, 2016. The following provides a high-level recap of the trends and other happenings that took place during both EPPS events.


Industry Happenings:

More and more retailers are using the gift category to grow sales. By positioning these items at the register or as impulse buys, retailers can offer the customer a unique product while increasing the bottom line,” said one supplier who attended the Home & Gift EPPS.

But the home and gift category is much more than just an impulse buy, rather these categories are expanding across multiple retail channels. This expansion is happening because consumers are not only looking to specialty stores to find giftables or housewares items. Instead, large retailers, such as mass merchandisers and discount stores, have become convenient places to buy inexpensive gifts. The category has even expanded into truck stops as these retailers are selling gifts and souvenirs to tap into the tourist market. This channel blurring was echoed by the number of ‘non-traditional’ gift retailers that attended the EPPS like Kmart, Office Depot, Six Flags and others. 
Now, in order to thrive, organizations must differentiate from one another by offering specialized merchandise, providing superior customer service, or by creating a unique shopping experience.  Click here to watch a video from suppliers discussing some of the latest trends in the home and gift category.

Home & Gift EPPS Product Showcase Videos:
Suppliers that attended the Home & Gift EPPS also had the opportunity to present their newest and bestselling items like Punch Studio’s one of a kind decorative stationary which makes the perfect stocking stuffer, or the lifestyle pillow by Pillow + which is great to use at the pool or when traveling. Catch up with all of the latest products here or view the video playlist below!

2017 Home & Gift EPPS:
If you are interested in attending the upcoming 2017 Home & Gift EPPS taking place April 2-4, 2017 at the Westin Chicago Northwest in Itasca, Illinois, contact Mike Brown at mbrown@ECRM.MarketGate.com.  To learn more about why you should attend the 2015 Home & Gift EPPS watch this video testimonial from Home & Gift supplier attendees.


Industry Happenings:  
The Specialty Toy EPPS, featured several innovative items that highlighted the growth and development of the category. According to Hoovers, specialty toys have recently outpaced the overall sales of traditional toys. During the Specialty Toy EPPS it was the tech items that really left an impression on the buyer community. Technology is becoming more ingrained in everyday life, and specialty toy manufacturers have clearly caught on to such developments as several innovative technology items were presented like a 3D printing pen and a roll up piano.

Specialty Toy EPPS: Buyer’s Choice Awards
The suppliers who attended the Specialty Toy EPPS had the opportunity to submit their hottest items to be judged by each retailer in attendance during the Buyer’s Choice Awards hosted by edplay Magazine. Buyers had a tough choice but the following items won top honors:
  • 3rd place went to Tegu Corporation for their 42 piece Magnetic Wooden Blocks
  • 2nd place went to CreoPop for their 3D Printing Pen
  • 1st place went to Mukikim for their Rock and Roll It – Roll Up Piano
All three Buyer’s Choice award winners along with several other manufacturers that attended the Specialty Toy EPPS will be featured in product showcase videos which can be found at edplay.com and will be distributed via the edplay email newsletter within the coming months. These videos bring the products to life with demonstrations and other valuable information.

2017 Specialty Toy EPPS:
The 2017 Specialty Toy EPPS is taking place April 2-4, 2017 at the Westin Chicago Northwest in Itasca, IL. For more information about how you can attend this 2017 EPPS contact Chris Eyring at CEyring@ECRM.MarketGate.com. To learn more about why you should attend the 2017 Specialty Toy EPPS, watch this video from supplier attendees.

Home & Gift EPPS: 5th Season, Inc. had a great meeting room set up! Tons of great seasonal and everyday offers.
Home & Gift EPPS: Bonitas International's booth was decked out with fabulous jewelry, accessories and more!
Home & Gift EPPS: Lionel LLC, went all out with their seasonal and home decor set up!
Specialty Toy EPPS: BeginAgain had great product displays to offer buyers.
Specialty Toy EPPS: Scentco, Inc. caught the attention of the buyers with this great display.
Home & Gift EPPS: Candle Warmers Etc. let their product display speak for itself in their booth!
BUYER'S CHOICE AWARD 1ST PLACE WINNER: Mukikim for their Rock and Roll It – Roll Up Piano
BUYER'S CHOICE AWARD 2ND PLACE WINNER: CreoPop for their 3D Printing Pen
BUYER'S CHOICE AWARD 3RD PLACE WINNER: Tegu Corporation for their 42 piece Magnetic Wooden Blocks
Suppliers from our Home & Gift EPPS showcased their newest or most innovative product offers. Take a look at these best sellers!

Rachel Mayfield

Director of Marketing

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