Friday, December 20, 2013

Emerald Expositions to Acquire GLM for 335 Million

Emerald Expositions, Inc. (Emerald) and George Little Management LLC (GLM) announced today that Emerald has agreed to acquire GLM from Providence Equity Partners (Providence) for $335 million, subject to certain adjustments at, and after, closing.

GLM creates face-to-face buying, selling and networking platforms for designers, product developers, manufacturers, retailers and operators through more than 20 leading tradeshows including four of the largest 100 trade shows in the U.S. GLM's tradeshows serve industries as diverse as home furnishings, home textiles, stationery and paper products, giftware, tabletop, gourmet housewares, contemporary furniture and interiors, personal care, art & design, antiques & jewelry, fashion, board sports & resort lifestyle, and e-commerce. GLM has approximately 130 employees and operates out of six U.S. offices. 

David Loechner, Chief Executive Officer of Emerald, said, "GLM is a truly outstanding tradeshow company with an exciting portfolio and an experienced and talented workforce. This acquisition expands upon our position as a leading tradeshow organizer in the United States. I am excited about the opportunities for customers and employees of both companies that will result from bringing these two high-quality portfolios together." 

Charles McCurdy, Chief Executive Officer of GLM, said, "This transaction demonstrates the strength of GLM's shows that have grown successfully thanks to the effectiveness of the GLM team and Providence's support. This is a compelling opportunity going forward for GLM and its stakeholders, and I wish David Loechner and his team the best of luck as they seek to further expand GLM's product offerings and accelerate growth." 

Michael Dominguez, a Managing Director at Providence, said "Charlie's leadership and the dedication of the entire management team were integral to the success of this investment. We're fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with GLM to accelerate growth, launch new products and make acquisitions that increased the breadth of its shows. We believe GLM has a bright future as part of Emerald Expositions." 

The transaction is anticipated to close in January 2014, subject to customary regulatory approvals. The acquisition will be funded with approximately $200 million of debt and a $140 million equity investment from Onex Partners III. Emerald was acquired by Onex Partners III in June 2013. 

BofA Merrill Lynch is serving as lead financial advisor, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor and Fried Frank is serving as legal advisor to Emerald. Credit Suisse is serving as financial advisor and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal advisor to GLM for the transaction. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to the financing sources for Emerald on the transaction.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Giftware News' Insider Look Book December Digital Issue is now Available
Please click on image above to start view digital Insider Look Book

AmericasMart Accelerates Gourmet, Housewares And Tabletop Growth

AmericasMart’s Gourmet & Housewaresand Living & Entertaining: Gifts, Tabletop & Accessories collections will extend its commitment to the culinary community with a new signature event at The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market in January 2014.

“Tabletop and Housewares items are definitely in demand and on trend for a broad range of retailers,” says Kristi Forbes, vice president of gourmet, housewares, tabletop & gift. “AmericasMart’s continued leadership in this segment has allowed us to increase the depth and breadth of our lines and to further support the culinary community.”

Driving the growth in AmericasMart’s Gourmet & Housewares collection is an expanded showroom for Sherry Matthews Marketing LLC and new showrooms for Chef’N Corporation, Gourmac, Magefesa USA, Typhoon Homewares LLC and Lancaster Commercial Products LLC.

The Living & Entertaining: Gifts, Tabletop & Accessories collection is highlighted by new showroom growth alongside expansions, relocations and updates of longtime AmericasMart exhibitors. Joining the collection for the January Market are Spartina 449 and Julia Knight, Inc. Welcome Home, LLC and Rosse & Associates, Inc. expand their spaces as Jason Products Ltd. and Keller-Charles of Philadelphia relocate to Floor 8. Exciting exhibitor updates include a completely redesigned showroom for Jay Strongwater/ MacKenzie-Childs and new owners for Lazy Susan USA Inc.

AmericasMart confirms its commitment to the culinary community with a new special event “Culinary Futures: Helping Tomorrow’s Professional Grow” to raise funds for Les Dames d’Escoffier International – Atlanta Chapter, a philanthropic society dedicated to fostering women in culinary and hospitality professions. The event, hosted in partnership with Cook’s Warehouse, Harold Import Co. and Dugan Bliss, features a cocktail hour and silent auction and is open to all buyers and exhibitors. It takes place onThursday, January 9 from 6 - 8 p.m. in the Fashion Theater on Building 3 Floor 15. Single tickets are $75, each additional is $50. Tickets will be available for purchase at door.

AmericasMart’s internationally renowned Gourmet, Housewares and Tabletop collection is brought to life by live cooking demonstrations from national culinary stars and presentations by entertaining experts.

Highlights of Market programming include:

• “A Taste of Bacchanalia” presented by Chef Anne Quatrano, executive owner of Bacchanalia, sponsored by Le Creuset. Known for her deep-rooted care for ingredients and technique, Chef Quatrano creates her signature dishes in the new Le Creuset Palm color. Thursday January 9. 2 p.m. Building 2, Floor 8, Demonstration Kitchen.

• “Picture Perfect Parties” presented by Annette Joseph, celebrity entertaining expert and author. “The Today Show” entertaining expert demonstrates her stylish solutions for entertaining with panache. Thursday, January 9. 3 p.m. Building 2, Floor 9, Seminar Room.

• “Marcus Samuelsson’s New American Table” presented by Marcus Samuelsson of Food Network’s “Chopped All Stars: Judges Remix.” Samuelsson shares recipes from his cookbook, “The New American Table,” which takes a journey through the inspired food of the United States, his beloved adopted country. Friday, January 10. 1 p.m. Building 2, Floor 8, Demonstration Kitchen.

• “Wine Tasting with Georg Riedel.” In a unique tasting and glass discussion, Georg Riedel, head of Riedel and 10th generation glassmaker, will demonstrate the relationship between the shape of a glass and perception and enjoyment of wines. Cost is $50 per person. Registration is available at Friday, January 10. 3 p.m.Building 3, Floor 15, Fashion Theatre.

• “Picture Perfect Starters: Straight from the Garden” presented by Annette Joseph, celebrity entertaining expert and author. From extraordinary tablescapes to delicious and easy recipes, Joseph teaches how to create and host a picture perfect party from farm to table featuring easy recipes that are perfect for spring. Saturday, January 11. 1p.m. Building 2, Floor 8, Demonstration Kitchen.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Giftware News' December Digital Magazine is Now Available for Viewing

Don't miss the latest digital Look Book Insider issue: NOW VIEWABLE ON all devices...

To start reading, please click HERE.

Make sure you sign up for your complimentary subscription of GWN's Look Book Insider, which is delivered directly into your inbox each & every month.

Did you miss an issue? Catch back up with our digital archives.

Outdoors Takes Center Stage at 2013 International Pool, Spa, Patio Expo

A special report by Giftware News columnist Marilyn Nason

Badmitton sets from Water Sports, LLC (
"The family that plays together stays together" certainly emerged as the overall theme of the annual International Pool, Spa, Patio Expo in mid-November in Las Vegas. In the past few years this show has clearly identified food alone is not the only reason the backyard has become the ideal place for everyone of every age and interest to focus on spending quality time in a lifestyle that increasingly encompasses not only food, but also all-age activities, entertaining and family/friends togetherness.

More varied types of relaxing activities in or near the pool are emerging as not only enjoyable but totally fashionable for the youngest to the oldest to enjoy. Exhibit displays at the show offered countless exciting tips on ways to fully experience backyard living today at its best

Great for young beginners to learn how to play the game of pool with confidence this cue from CueStix International ( features an attached cue ball.

As the 2013 trade show year comes to a close, backyards, patios, the beach and stadium parking for tailgating have all emerged as perfect venues for young and old to enjoy the outdoors.

Cascade" Acrylic Rainbow Drinkware from Merritt International (
For the more athletically and or competitively-inclined, water and backyard sports were shown as diverse as age and ability can conquer, with badminton and other ball sports, darts, table tennis now available in every price range and ability challenge level.

Indicative of consumer interest in expanding their variety of potential activities and entertaining (even on the most modest budget), food preparation and attractive, colorful serveware for the backyard introduced at the show expanded on that already growing category of tailgating and partying items increasingly important at both gift and outdoor trade shows in recent years.

From grills to pizza ovens to rainbow-hued sturdy attractive tableware, thermos and water bottles, the show identified the almost limitless depth and breadth of available items introduced at this show this year as ideal for self-purchases, as well as welcome gift-giving when invited for a backyard party.
Packaged cleaner kits from Flitz International (

Exciting options for outdoor décor included well-designed clocks (some shaped like sailfish and dolphins); barometers, thermometers, humorous signage, fun/functional garden figures and decorative planters.

Not only has home decor become equally important for backyards, but aromatherpy, too, is beginning to play an interesting role as well. Several retailers offered all natural spa and bath crystals/beads, humidifiers, candles and diffusers in dozens of exotic scents.

While every backyard may not include a family room with professional billiard table, those who do found the perfect item to help the novice learn to play pool without destroying the table top-thanks to a specially-designed ball to replace the cue stick tip during the challenging learning period.
Colorful Galaxy balls from TRC Recreation (

Ever mindful of pool safety were several items including lockable wristband for youngsters and headband for swimmers. Not to be outdone by the mattress industry that touts its ability to offer mattresses that retain the shape of the individual sleeper, several exhibitors showed colorful polyethylene nylon and mesh floats almost replicating this same ability to create the floater's shape. Some styles even offered room-for-two space.

Wisely, the industry has not overlooked one critical, ever-present basic of outdoors living/entertaining: cleanup. Exhibitors showed attractively packaged outdoor fabric/metal furniture care kit, as well as BBQ grill care kits, not only perfect for self-use but as welcome gifts.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Americasmart Home: Design, By Design, For Design

AmericasMart Atlanta continues to expand its role as a comprehensive design-driven marketplace with a growing furniture product mix anchoring what in January 2014 will be the largest home furnishings merchandise presentation in its history.

New lines and designs in case goods and upholstery, accessories, casual furnishings, lighting, area rugs and much more across hundreds of showrooms and in select Temporaries collections assure designers and retailers unmatched selection in the convenience of a fully integrated product mix under one roof.

Setting the pace for the January 7—14 The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market and January 8—11 The Atlanta International Area Rug Market featuring the National Oriental Rug Show is the continuing convergence of home and area rug merchandise, with showrooms on floors three, four, five and six of Building 1 featuring the rich eclecticism of lifestyle merchandising.

“From top to bottom, AmericasMart’s Home collection offers all of the product retailers and designers need for trend making domestic style,” says David Savula, executive vice president of leasing for AmericasMart Buildings 1, 2 and 3. “Exhibitor growth across Building 1’s large and growing HOME merchandise resources has produced a complete spectrum of selection, particularly on floors four and five, where exhibitors are perfecting the lifestyle mix designers and retailers seek.”

AmericasMart Building 1 in January 2014 continues as the Market destination for all things HOME across 18 full floors of merchandise—all categorized for optimum efficiency. The Building One HOME collections include:

Floor 1: HD HOME, the exclusive juried collection of design-focused home furnishings & décor. 
Floor 2: Area rugs presented in the National Oriental Rug Show Temporaries collection. 
Floors 3—6: Area rugs, furniture, lighting and accessories. 
Floor 7: Furniture, accessories, lighting, fine linens, home textiles and more in the HOME Temporaries collection. 
Floors 9—10: Home accents, furniture and fine linens. 
Floors 11—14: Furniture, home accents and accessories, lighting, and area rugs. 
Floors 16—20: Holiday, floral and home décor.

For additional information about The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market® and The Atlanta International Area Rug Market featuring the National Oriental Rug Show,

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Giftware News' November Digital Magazine is Now Available for Viewing

Don't miss the latest GWN digital: NOW VIEWABLE ON all devices...

To start reading, please click HERE.

Make sure you sign up for your complimentary subscription of GWN Digital, which is delivered directly into your inbox each & every month.

Did you miss an issue? Catch back up with our digital archives.

Holiday Sample Sale in Seattle Area Underway to Benefit Gift for Life

Gift for Life, the gift and home industries' charitable organization, has announced that the 17th Holiday Sample Sale is being held now through January 12th 2014 in Edmonds, WA.
Park Avenue Agents of the Pacific Market Center is managing the sale of donated gifts, toys, books, home accessories, and more available to the public at wholesale prices with all proceeds going to Gift for Life.

This year the sale is located at 22824 100th Ave W in Edmonds, WA. Merchandise has been donated from many Pacific Market Center wholesale showrooms, independent retailers and manufactures across the country. Unsold merchandise will be donated to local AIDS-related charities such as the Lifelong AIDS Alliance and Seattle Children’s Thrift Shops.

“With the holiday season right around the corner, this event gives consumers the perfect opportunity to shop at wholesale prices while supporting a great cause,” said Heidi Park of Park Avenue Agents.

In 2011, the last time the biennial sale took place, proceeds of $30,000 were presented to Gift for Life. Since 1992, the sale has raised more than $300,000.

“The Pacific Northwest has always been a tremendous partner,” said Stu Teller, chair of the Gift for Life board. “It’s a region with strong ties to wholesale, healthy retail conditions and generous people; therefore, we expect this year to be another great success.”

For more information, visit

Thursday, October 31, 2013

High Energy at High Point Market

A special report from Giftware News’ columnist Marilyn Nason

From pillows and poufs to framed/unframed prints; hammered silver/gold wall designs; eye-catching figurines and spectacular colored and/or stained tabletop, glassware and wood pieces, home decor was clearly a strong motivator for buyers attending the recent more than a century-old High Point (NC) Market.

For retailers and decorators, this expanding emphasis on what completes a room or outdoor living area, once case goods, flooring and textiles have been determined, showed retailers how to achieve repeat better-best business as consumers continue their serious focus on their homes, no matter what size.

As these decorative accessories, home furnishings and home decor items assume growing importance in the inventory mix of savvy furniture retailers,it also opens the door to the total giftware industry for both self-use and as gift purchases.

Proving that poufs have achieved status as a significant, flexible element in the home, dozens of poufs were an important part of the furnishings in the High Point Media Center this time.

LaurelHouse Designs

As upholstery, window treatments and other types of textiles become important in completing the look of a room via poufs, the same designs, patterns, colorways, textures and embellishments were also influencing the literally thousands of pillow introductions, allowing decorators and individual consumers alike to coordinate window treatments, bed coverings, throws and rugs to create the total look a homeowner wants.

Lamps, too, joined in this look potential both in base colorways and finishes, as well as in shades, some exhibitors achieving this textile-styling in cotton, flax and burlap shades, especially for bedside and occasional table lighting functions.

As oversized wall clocks take on strong eye-appeal, frames and edging also featured matching and coordinating colors and textures similar to lamp shades and pillows.

Oopsy Daisy

Thanks to the limitless flexibility of ceramics and quality acrylics, lamp bases, wall clock faces and decorative sculpted pieces offered coordinated looks for every trend styling from rustic and natural to traditional and sleek looks and shapes. Several cleverly combined elements of crystal, silver, gold and metal in rivet and swirls accents.

Abigails Elena Collection
Several home furnishings buyers indicated the expanding styling choices and emphasis on home furnishings and accessories is creating a positive, challenging approach to incorporating more and more of these carefully-selected items in both traditional massive furniture designer showrooms and home decor boutiques, as they appeal to an ever- widening variety of customers.

Several voiced a familiar industry theme, noting "I can only sell a customer one mid-to-high-ticket dining room or bedroom set at a time but with these decor items coordinating with their style preferences in case goods, they're coming back into the store for these items as gifts and to augment their own homes."

On this point several furniture retailers acknowledged, "Guess I'm finally sliding into the better-best home decor gift industry.

New introduction from the Surya Outdoor Pouf Collection

Fine Arts Lamps

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tabletop Oct 2013: Lavish and Opulent, Dramatic and Edgy

As was evident at the recent New York Tabletop Market, tabletop is really back in full force. Traffic was very high, , showrooms packed, some spilled out into the corridors and there were long waits for the elevators.

This year is not conservative, nor cautious in design. Extensions were wide, even to frivolous accessory and add ons. Colors were bold, bright and there were many introductions. Even the most conservative companies had electric orange and bright turquoise..Turquoise in all shades was the stand out star and represented in more than 75 percent of the showrooms.

There was contrasting textures: Textile and straw mats, glass and metals on serving pieces, bamboo bowls with enamel coatings. Texture, relief and reverse relief are very strong.

Another strong trend is metallics. Everything was present, bronze, gold, platinum and silver. And sometimes there was more than one on a product.
Then there was Vintage, 50s and 60s-influenced pieces like something out of a movie set -- turquoise, avocado, or mint greens, peach to orange with graphics that many will remember.

Another trend is geometics. Tabletop patterns resemble men's classic suit materials, herringbone, chevron, tweeds. In textiles,and then used in relief on china or replicated in graphic designs on plates. And bold geometrics--Gray, black, rich browns, then off set with pinks!

And then there was tabletop with designs and patterns that brought to mind visions of Marrakesh. Metal lanterns and chandlers, rich deep vibrant purples, reds, oranges, and stylized gold art work could all be seen on table settings.

Giftware News was there as well and here’s a sample of what we saw.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Buyers Market Will Return to Philadelphia in 2014 With New January Dates

Buyers Market, the nation's largest wholesale trade show of American-made products, announces it will return to Philadelphia, January 18 to January 21, 2014. The show will be jam-packed with retail seminars, workshops, and exhibits, located in new halls at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Since its inception, the Buyers Market's mission is to bring together top American-made artisans and retailers from U.S. and Canada under one roof, featuring fine crafts at every price point.

Early bird registration for the Buyers Market is now open with an early bird special of 40% off admission if attendees register by October 21, 2013. The Buyers Market showcases a large collection of product categories that range from apparel and accessories, to eco-friendly fine crafts and metal works. With a vast range of production artwork and one-of-a-kind works, the show brings together more than 800 artists and 4,500 buyers from across the country.

The Buyers Market will also host a variety of seminars with all new speakers from SnapRetail, beginning Friday, January 17 through Monday, January 20. The six information-packed seminars are included in the registration and will cover topics around harnessing the power of Pinterest for businesses, event marketing, creating brand advocates, to name a few.

"The Buyers Market is a vital component of our buying strategy," said Woody of Woodruff of Twisted Root & Loonland."Buyers Market is what puts our business ahead of much of our competition," said Jeri of J. Jeffrey Taylor Jewelry Fine Art. "As our customers become more aware of 'American Made,' they appreciate our efforts to support this movement."

To register for this event visit, or for more information,

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Largest Wholesale Trade Show of American-Made Products Moves to Nation’s Capitol

The American Made Show, formerly known as The Buyers Market of American Craft, is relocating indefinitely in 2015 to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The trade show, presented by The Buyers Market, will take place Friday, January 16– Monday, January 19, 2015.

The nation’s capital provides the perfect backdrop to spotlight and celebrate American-made products by artisans from around the country. The move will not only heighten the pride of domestically produced goods, it will benefit both exhibitors and buyers. Exhibitors will save on lower booth fees and exhibiting costs and will also be able to reach a wider audience. With the new centralized location, many buyers who were unable to attend in past years, will be able to take part. Additionally, attendees will have access to, affordable public transit, exciting dining and nightlife, and the all-new Marriott Marquis directly connected to the Convention Center.

The show will feature the same quality American-made products and artists, but will also introduce additional new product lines from hundred of new artists. Buyers can find products ranging anywhere from home and garden, to jewelry and fashion, to metals and glass, and even gourmet cooking. The show's new home and name will be more inclusive and welcoming to those buyers seeking American-made merchandise to accommodate the growing consumer interest in Made-in-the-USA.

“This is more like a homecoming than a move, in our mind,” said Show Director Rebecca Rosen Mercado. “The convention center will be transformed into a bustling marketplace filled with the finest American-made crafts just blocks from national monuments and museums that house some of the most exquisite American-made products produced centuries ago.”

For more than 30 years, artists and retailers have looked to the Buyers Market of American Crafts as their definitive source for authentic American-made merchandise.

For more information, visit

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ty Warner, Beanie Babies Creator, Pleads Guilty To Tax Evasion

The billionaire who created Beanie Babies has pleaded guilty to a tax evasion charge.

H. Ty Warner broke down crying in court and apologized for hiding millions of dollars in a Swiss bank account. He removed his glasses and sought to regain his composure before a federal judge in Chicago. 

He added, "There's no excuse for my actions." 

Judge Charles Kocoras stopped Warner and told him "there will be time for you to bare your soul" at his Jan. 15 sentencing. 

In court, Warner acknowledged that he told no one of his foreign bank accounts, not even his accountants. Warner even concealed his name from one account by registering it as "Molani Foundation," a "sham company," prosecutors said in court. 

His lawyer said he'll also pay $53.5 million in civil penalties for not disclosing the existence of a foreign bank account.

The 69-year-old also admitted he failed to pay around $5 million in taxes due over 11 years. Tax evasion carries a maximum five-year prison term.