Thursday, August 18, 2016

It's All About NEW at Sweet Tooth!!

Here's what's happening at Sweet Tooth as we prepare for end of summer, holiday season, etc.

First, we plan to have more in-store parties this year.  On Saturday, August 27 we are having a BACK TO SCHOOL party for kids 3 years to 12 years.  There will be cookie decorating, face painting, games and of course, a favor.

In November we are having a TROLL PARTY.  Remember those odd little dolls?  They are back and a movie featuring Trolls will be coming out in November.  We have already begun plans for Trolls.  Check out YouTube for preview videos.

In November as well, we will have our HOLIDAY PARTY.  That is always a bunch of fun, with a discount on all purchases that day and goodies to sample.

We are involved in tasting and planning for new candies.  In addition to seasonal candy which is always a great deal of fun, we will be bringing in a line of caramels (Annie's), Seattle Chocolates which are totally delicious (and the company is run by women!!), another candy company, South Bend Chocolate which is getting rave reviews in the trade magazines, as well as Pocky and Pejoy, Candy Coated Sunflower seeds, more Hammond's chocolates and hard candies....more and more.

On the Gift Side of the store, there is new SCOUT totes and storage pieces and we are going to offer monogramming on SCOUT.  Then there is new Trollbeads and Kameleon collections, new FRED (so much fun...belly laughing fun!), Donkeys and Elephant Dammit Dolls (don't you just feel like slapping the ground with a Dammit Doll?), new greeting cards, fused glass plates and Chala purses.

We will be hosting several trunk shows this fall for our jewelry lines...in addition to Trollbeads and Kameleon, there will be Obsidian jewelry, Forever in My Heart lockets and Ionic beaded jewelry.

Sneak Preview:  a new line of hand made, one of a kind scarves knitted by someone here in Tulsa that many of you already know.

Do I sound excited?  Hope so, cuz I am.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Snacking!!

The truthiness is out.  Snacking, especially by millennials is IN and by IN I mean that according to some statistics more than 80% of millennials are willing to drop a few extra coins in specialty stores selling upscale and a tad-more-expensive-than-a-Hershey-bar snacks and chocolates.

Of course that kind of attitude warms our hearts.  We enjoy hearing that people value quality over quantity (or cost) and are more selective in their choices for consumption.

Yes, we know that healthy food is in.  So is healthy recipes for chocolates and snacks.  We are hearing more often the importance of organic chocolates, natural chocolates, as well snacks which are full of healthy ingredients.

Sweet Tooth is researching new brands of candies and chocolates in order to fill the request for these sorts of snacks.  We are adding new items and eliminating most candies which are simply sugary.  We normally avoid snacks and candies which are sold in groceries and in/out stores.  We know that those stores do not make certain that the temperature, the light and moisture which destroy the quality of the candy and snacks are kept within the bounds of what is recommended for freshness.

Often those stores do not rotate their candy and snacks.  Therefore the customer cannot be certain that the candy and snacks are as fresh as they should be.

"Blooming" on chocolate is often mistaken for mold.  However blooming is not mold....it is the separation of the cream, butter and chocolate which naturally occurs if the candy is aged or not kept in the correct environment.

Do I cringe when I see people dispensing their own candy in a grocery store?  Do I want to run away from those barrels of candy when I see a store employee loading candy on top of what is in the barrel, rather than rotate the candy?

Yes.  I have to admit that after 24 years these things make me a little annoyed.  No matter the cost, the truth is that the savings isn't worth the possibility that these precious chocolates and snacks are not worth eating .

Thursday, July 7, 2016

What Sidewalk Sales Are All About

It is probably 110 Heat Index outside right now.   And we are preparing for our Annual Sidewalk Sale.  Let me say, that years ago we smartened up and put our Sidewalk Sale indoors where the cool a/c made all the difference in the world.

We started Sidewalk Sales when we were in our first location at the Farm Shopping Center.  We joined in with other retailers to take the mid-summer opportunity to offer left over merchandise at 50% or 75% off the retail price.  Everyone liked it so much, that even when we moved to the Harvard address where we are now, we continued the Sidewalk Sale.

Jeff was especially enthusiastic.  He bought 2 canvas awnings, set them up outside, got out the old boom box and a bunch of Christmas CDS (probably cassette tapes when we first started), pulled out 2 box fans and a canvas Director's chair and he was set to go.

Of course over 23 years, we have had all sorts of weather, from blistering hot to rain, wind and cool temps. 

We all took turns sitting outside with our merchandise and we just didn't know better.

Fast forward to our Harvard store where we first realized (DUH!) that we could do all of this inside and wouldn't have to sparkle (sweat) anymore.

Sidewalk Sales are full of bargains.  Holiday merchandise and everyday items at deeply discounted prices.  Most retailers love Sidewalk Sales because those days help us to send lots of good merchandise home with folks, clear out space for 4th quarter goodies, gives us the opportunity to see that "once a year shopper" who is probably also hitting garage sales on the same weekend.

Jeff's theory is that people like to rummage through boxes and crowded tables.  I was not convinced at first but have since seen evidence that Jeff was right on target.  There is always a surprise or 2 at the bottom of the box.

There is definitely a psychology to shoppers who enjoy Sidewalk Sales and we really depend on that psychology to help us through the dog days of summer.

What do we do with any leftover Sidewalk Sale items?  We box them up and donate them to schools and other organizations in town which can benefit from getting free stuff to use for their programming.

Hope to see you at Sweet Tooth July 8 and 9...this year we'll dress up the Sale with a snack table and our own fun personalities.

On to ordering for the 4th quarter.  We'll talk about that later.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Happy Place Is Being Reinvented

After 23-1/2 years of owning Sweet Tooth Candy & Gift Co. we have to take a serious look at our store, its presentation, its inventory, its marketing and its staffing.

You know how hard it is to do that?  It is almost impossible to extract our own attitudes, opinions and love of  certain inventory and just say to ourselves, "This and that just aren't working anymore."

We have to reinvent ourselves and in doing so, we know that some of our customers will be disappointed when their favorite candy or gift item is no longer available. We also take the chance that people will think we are "going out of business" when in reality we are simply reinventing ourselves just a bit to keep up with the times, with people's tastes, with what is "trending", etc.

Summer is actually the most opportune part of the year to do just that.  People are out on vacation, or working in their gardens, or hibernating from the heat and humidity.  It takes a great deal of motivation to get out of the house and go shopping.

With less customers, we can begin to move things around, to plan our annual Sidewalk Sale, to take time to order fall gifts and candy.  Some days are a little lonely...so don't forget about us at Sweet Tooth.

There is only so much space in the store.  When research shows that a certain gift line is no longer popular or that people are not thrilled with honeycomb chips (one of my favorites), then it is time to  let it go, let it go.

Therefore I just want you to know that we are beginning this process of deciding what we will no longer carry. We are hot on the trail of new candy, new gift items and a new approach for the store.

Watch for the NEW.  Watch for more events and parties.  Watch for the excitement that the NEW brings to our staff and hopefully to our customers.

Here a hint: Remember Trolls??  In September you will find a reinvention of those little guys that we used to sell a long time ago.  Watch for more theatrics and fun.  You know, we call Sweet Tooth our HAPPY PLACE.  We are working to make it even HAPPIER.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Pencil Shortage



The tremendous response to Adult Coloring books threatens a world wide pencil shortage!!

In 2014 the sales of Adult Coloring books reached 1 million copies.  2015 raised that bar by another 11 million books....a total of 12 million in books sold..

Pencil manufacturers like Staedtler, Stabilo and Faber-Castell are struggling to keep up with manufacturing pencils.

Wow!  in this age of online greeting cards and other substitutions for pencils, pens and paper, the fact that the world is running out of the finer coloring instruments is unbelieveable.



Friday, April 29, 2016

Buying a Gift For Mom

The National Retail Federation reports the following:

** Americans will spend $21.4 billion on Mother's Day
** the average amount spent by each consumer is $172

Let's see how that divides up.

** $4.2 billion on jewelry
** $4.1 billion on outings, like to restaurants or movies or theatre or ball games
** $2.4 billion on flowers
** $2.2 billion on gift cards....who buys their mom a gift card?
**$1.9 billion on clothes....who buys their mom clothes?
**$1.6 billion on personal services, like a spa
** $792 million on greeting cards

Here's where people are expected to spend their money for Mom.

** 33% will go to a department store  (I guess that is for the clothes, gift cards and perhaps jewelry)
** 28.7 will go to a specialty store....like Lowe's or Home Depot or maybe the flower shop??
** 23.1% will go to a local small business (LIKE SWEET TOOTH, WE HOPE AND PRAY)

And, of course, here is the killer for the local small business:  27.3% will go online to buy a gift.

Where will you be spending your $172 for MOM?



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Update on The Beard and His Candy

For those who are following The Beard (James Harden) and his relationship with Trolli candy, here is the latest.

The marketing campaign for The Beard's candy is called "Beardly Awesome" and somewhere there are t.v. commercials featuring James Harden. 

There will be a launch of Trolli Sour Bite Weird Beards, which are shaped to resemble Harden's face

It is suggested that Millennials (ages 18-24) will be especially interested in this new candy.

I think that anyone who watches professional basketball and follows The Beard, will think this whole campaign is a real funny deal.

If you come across the commercials or any other info, let me know.