Retail and E-Commerce Sales UP in January

The Department of Commerce recently released the January sales figures and reported that retail sales were up 1.1%.  Also reporting for January was comScore, which reports E-Commerce statistics, who that online sales grew 2% in January.  These are the first monthly increases in 6 months – despite dire predictions of lowered sales because of economic woes.

comScore did state that there is a shift in online purchases, with more people looking for bargains and coupons.  However, reported that they had their “best ever” holiday season, with 18% increase over the previous year.

The economic pundits and the media are still forwarding their “gloom and doom” predictions but the statistics show that people are actually going out and buying again.

What does that mean to us?

Well, hopefully it means that consumers are feeling more confident and are more likely to purchase now than they were before.  This is a good thing for all of us who make and sell soap and cosmetics!  Some members have already reported increased sales.

What to do now?

Now is the time to fortify, think smart, promote your products and improve your business however you can.  Start getting ready. Think about what you can do to improve your business and products, and take action now. As consumer confidence and the economy continue to improve, retail and online retail sales will continue to rise and part of that will come to our small industry sector.

Shameless plug: Attending the HSMG Annual Conference can help you with tools to boost both your business and your products!

Marie Gale, President, HSMG

Member Spotlight – Simmons Natural Bodycare • Making EveryDay Special

Simmons Soap Shop

Part of the 60’s back-to-the-land movement, Dottie Simmons relocated to rural Northern California due to allergy/sensitivity problems aggravated by the San Francisco Bay Area atmosphere. In 1968, she started “homesteading”, raising goats, poultry, other livestock, and gardening. Here she met her husband, Dennis, raised three children and, in 1977, they purchased their own property. In 1979, she began making soap. Dottie, like many of us, could not easily find soap that did not cause a reaction.  That led to the start of Simmons Naturals.

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More CPSIA – Toys in Soap

If you make soap for children with embedded toys, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) may apply to your products.  If the toy is intended for use by the child after the soap is used, then the toy would fall under the CPSIA regulations.  At this point, implementation of the regulations is still being worked out and there are daily updates at the CPSIA site.  Be sure to watch them for updates.

Hopefully, either through the interpretation and implementation of the CPSIA by the Comsumer Product Safety Commission or through the passage of Sen DeMint’s bill, testing of toys done by the manufacturer will be sufficient, so your final product won’t have to ALSO be tested.

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