Merchandising Minute Newsletter - December 2012

 Welcome to the latest edition of Hinda's "Merchandising Minute" newsletter.

"Merchandising Minute" brings you the latest news on merchandise and award trends.

This issue includes:

  • Trends in Merchandise - Dave Peer's interview with PIP Magazine
  • LeeAnn Schumacher joins Hinda as Director of Merchandising
  • Top Redeemers during the 3rd Quarter
  • Upcoming Trends in Housewares 

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Click here for the current issue of Merchandising Minute.

Happy Holidays!

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Merchandise Monday: Green ‘13

Pantone®, the popular authority on all things color, has announced that emerald will be the color of 2013. This soothing shade of green brings to mind everything from royalty and jewels to nature and fresh grass. Not only is it a pretty and versatile color, it also symbolizes eco-friendliness and sustainability, two very important concepts to be mindful of as we move into the future.

For today’s Merch Monday, we dove into our vast award assortment to bring you examples of both. All of these items were added just this year and represent the array of products we have available at Hinda for redemption. So browse away and get ready for a green 2013!


Sevya Malini Silk and Cotton Scarf

The Malini Silk and Cotton Scarf is hand-woven of fine silk and cotton in shades of green with a delicate and soft ruffle design. "Sevya" means caring through service; caring for humanity and for the environment we live in. Sevya is dedicated to preserving the indigenous art forms of India by supporting the artisan communities who uphold these traditions. Sevya's handmade scarves, clothing and bags bring together fair trade and fashion.

MyMela Green Luster Sterling Silver Earrings

Brighten your appearance with these radiant peridot and sterling silver drop earrings. The semiprecious rose-cut stone looks lush and alive – and you will, too. MyMela provides marketing support to its artisans, so they can continue their craft while caring for their families. Purchase of MyMela products ensures that the artisans have the opportunity to live in dignity while continuing to practice their traditional crafts.

Spaulding® NBA® Official Green Basketball

The NBA Official Green Basketball is made of 35 percent recycled material and features green and oatmeal colored rubber panels. Designed for outdoor play, the basketball is official NBA size at 29.5" circumference and 1.6 pounds. Watch your basketball fan go from novice to pro right before your eyes!


PremiumBag, LLC Eco-Friendly Roll Bag

The Eco-Friendly Roll Bag features a top zippered opening leading to main compartment, a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap and double web carrying handles with a Velcro wrap closure. A front zippered pocket and carrying handle are placed on one end of the roll bag. Feel confident as you tote your necessities and help Mother Earth at the same time.

Mobile Edge The Komen® Eco-Friendly Tote

This is the perfect bag for a new generation – a full-featured laptop case with a removable computer protection compartment that converts to an all-purpose tote in seconds. With the Eco-Friendly Casual Tote, you’ll be protecting your laptop and the environment at the same time, while making a simple yet elegant fashion statement. It’s a case you can feel good about carrying!

Wai Lana™ Eco-Friendly Bamboo Towel Set

This bath, hand and wash towel set is made from 100 percent bamboo, an ecologically sustainable crop. Sumptuously plush, soft and silky, these towels are more absorbent than standard cotton towels and are naturally hypoallergenic, antimicrobial and odor-resistant. You won’t go back to your regular cotton towels after using this bamboo towel set.

What do you think of Pantone’s choice for 2013’s color of the year? It’s calming, it’s eco-friendly, it’s lucky. Maybe 2013 will be a lucky –or luckier – year for some of us. Remember: green is also the color of money. Why not keep that in the back of your mind as we toss out our old 2012 hats and try our lucky emerald 2013 ones on for size!

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Your Monthly Check-Up: Incentivizing your Employees’ Healthy Lifestyles

A hot topic this year within both the incentive realm and the wellness realm has been the rise of obesity in America and the growing importance for health initiatives in the workplace. Incentive Magazine covers this topic in its November/December issue in an article titled “To Your Health” by senior editor Andrea Doyle. The main crux of the article focuses on wellness initiatives being not only good for your employees, but good for your bottom line by lowering insurance premiums.

Doyle’s article starts out by saying that, while most Americans are well aware of what it takes to be healthy, many are not willing to put forth the effort toward maintaining their health. She cites a study called “F is in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012,” which states, “By 2030, medical costs associated with treating preventable obesity-related diseases are estimated to increase by $48 billion to $66 billion in the US, and the loss in economic productivity could be between $390 billion and $580 billion annually by 2030.” This also translates to exorbitant medical costs spent on treating issues that are entirely preventable.

To combat this – and in direct response to employees spending more and more time in the office and generally sedentary – companies are offering wellness incentives to help raise awareness and offer motivation for choosing habits that have huge payoffs but are often very challenging to stick with, especially during holiday season and other times of year.

One such company noted in the article is Hallmark Business Connections, which offers 13 weeks of weight loss classes to employees. If an employee attends 12 of the 13 classes, the company pays for the program, according to Jennifer Patel, who leads Hallmark’s health and wellness team.

“A colleague lost almost 50 pounds as a result of participating in this program, and it has changed her life,” Patel says. “It’s also proof that if you provide opportunities and incentives for your employees to make behavior changes, amazing things can happen.”

Doyle points to another company in her article, FC USA, which has its own full-time wellness guru in Susan Levy Malandra – whose official title is Healthwise Coordinator for the company. While hiring a full-time health coordinator may be out of reach for many companies, the programs Malandra uses to motivate her colleagues are not.

Malandra, who has 20 years of teaching group fitness classes under her belt, uses pedometers, contests and organized runs to help motivate her FC USA colleagues. She also travels around the country and meets with all US-based employees for “Bio Age” consultations, which tests a variety of physical, nutritional and lifestyle factors to determine the employees overall well-being, or Bio Age.

Malandra notes that follow-up is key to success and she regularly checks in on employees’ progress and writes a monthly newsletter that includes healthy lifestyle tips and recipes. And as an incentive to stay on track or meet goals, FC USA offers trips, merchandise, raffles and cash rewards to its employees for maintaining their healthy lifestyles.

Implementing a wellness initiative at your company isn’t hard, but it does take time, creativity and the interest of your employees. The first steps are always the hardest, but if you can find ways to motivate your employees and incentivize their progress and goals, you’ll be that much closer to increased productivity and decreased medical costs. Plus, you’ll be setting up your employees for a lifetime of wellness, and there is truly nothing more important than your health!

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Merchandise Monday: Gear Up for the Holidays!

Hanukkah started this weekend, Christmas is a mere 15 days away, Festivus, Kwanzaa and Boxing Day are on the horizon – no matter what celebrations this month brings you, stock up on all the holiday essentials available through Hinda’s assortment.

If you’re anything like us, you probably still have plenty of shopping, decorating, baking and card-sending to do. Are we really ever done? Let us help you cross a few things off your to-do list with this great new merchandise that’s just been added to Hinda’s ever-growing assortment!

Alex® Very Merry Ornaments™

Make six Christmas ornaments with sparkling tiles and gems, then add the paper strips to the stem and snap together. It's so easy! The kit includes 108 paper strips, 475 sticky mosaic tiles and gems, plastic stems and knobs and easy instructions. Make room on your tree for these unique decorations!

Bright Endeavors, Inc. Holiday Sugar and Spice Spa Basket

Spiced up for the holidays, this basket includes an 8-ounce Orange Clove soy spa candle, 8-ounce Sweet Mint dead sea salts and two Rosemary and Mint bath tea pods. Makes a great hostess gift or a holiday de-stressor for yourself! Proceeds support training, mentoring and permanent job placement for the young women of Bright Endeavors.

Entrees to Excellence 12 Teas of Christmas

Each gift contains 48 teabags, four each of 12 varieties: Afternoon, Apricot, Christmas Spice, Cinnamon Plum, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Decaf English Breakfast, Ginger Peach, Japanese Green, Raspberry, Cinnamon Orange Spice and White Pomegranate. Give yourself a break this holiday season.

Godiva Holiday Beaded Ornament

Open up this bejeweled ornament to discover individually wrapped Godiva milk chocolate caramels. Use these as stocking stuffers, hostess gifts or hang a few on your own tree for whenever you’re craving a little something sweet!

Made by Hands, Inc.™ Make-Your-Own™ Holiday Cards

Celebrate all the holidays of the season!  This kit contains everything needed to send 10 awesome greeting cards that you design and create yourself. The kit contains over 250 brightly colored die-cut shapes in card stock (Pop-Outs!™), glue stick, 10 note cards, 10 envelopes and an idea card, all in a fabulous, sturdy briefcase-type box with Velcro® closure that kids can easily access.

The kit has been created from recycled material and is more than 90 percent recyclable. The cards are printed from earth-friendly, soy-based ink and the paper is taken from trees using responsible forestry methods. Feel even better about the holiday cards you’re sending this year!

The Book Company “12 Days of Christmas”

Set in Africa, this beautiful rendition of the classic Christmas carol has a unique twist: colorful icons illustrate the various gifts repeated in each verse of this cumulative song, creating a rebus-style text that gives young children a fun way to follow along and chime in with the lyrics. The gorgeous, wonderfully detailed collage illustrations comprised of colorful kente cloth and cut paper feature tribal drummers and dancers, traditional clothing and native wildlife, making every scene as visually striking as the last.

No matter what you celebrate, Hinda has everything you need to make your holiday season bright. From our expansive assortment of gift options, party and decorating must-haves and everything you need for prep, consider us your one-stop shop this holiday season and any time of year!

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Merchandise Monday: Pandora’s Jewelry Box

This one is for all you jewelry lovers out there. As the choice for women all over the world who want to express their own personal style, Pandora® offers something for every taste, and Hinda is proud to announce our recent addition of the jewelry line, just in time for the holidays!

Evening Out

This sterling silver clasp bracelet features two silver roses, two Murano glass beads - one with black bubbles and one with white bubbles – and a silver bell with pearl ringer. Perfect for an evening out or whenever you need a touch of sophistication.

Simple Heart

The Big Smooth Heart charm has been a part of the Pandora jewelry collection from the very beginning. This 3-D heart stands out on any Pandora bracelet because of its smooth, shiny surface. This iconic charm paired with the silver clasp bracelet makes for the perfect Pandora beginning.

True Love Bracelet

This lovely bracelet is made of the best quality sterling silver and features a Pandora clasp strung with a Love and Hugs 14k charm, a Nostalgic Romance bead and an Open Your Heart charm.

Snowflake Aqua Charm

Bring in the winter season with the Snowflake aqua cubic zirconia charm. A delicately etched snowflake with a sparkling aqua zirconia center adorns this sterling silver charm.

Boy Charm

A perfect bead for a mom, grandmother, aunt, godmother or nana to represent a son, grandson, godson or nephew, this sterling silver bead features a little 9.5mm boy.

Girl Charm

A perfect bead for a mom, grandmother, aunt, godmother or nana to represent a daughter, granddaughter, goddaughter or niece, this sterling silver bead features a little 9.5mm girl.

Bell and Pearl Dangle Charm

Ring in the New Year or any time of year with this charm.  A pretty sterling silver bell rings with a lustrous, swaying pearl.

Angel of Hope Charm

Let this heavenly angel watch over someone you love! This sterling silver bead features an adorable angel. Perfect for the holiday season or any special time of year.

Now that we’ve taken care of all the women on your holiday list, check out Hinda’s awards assortment and start crossing off everyone else!

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LeeAnn Schumacher Joins Hinda as Director of Merchandising

Hinda Incentives is pleased to announce the newest addition to the team. LeeAnn Schumacher has been named the Director of Merchandising. Previously, LeeAnn was the director, merchandising and procurement for Summit Group, LLC. Prior to that, she was vice president business management/ sourcing for Enesco, Inc. and also had stints with Wilton Industries and Spiegel, Inc. She brings more than 25 years of global sourcing experience to Hinda.

“LeeAnn brings extensive experience in all aspects of the incentive merchandising supply chain to Hinda,” says Hinda president Dave Peer. “Her client focus provides the ability to partner with our suppliers as well as with clients, providing a new level of engagement in this important area of Hinda.”

LeeAnn, who has her Incentive Professional (IP) designation from the Incentive Marketing Association, will be responsible for finding innovative products and designing new merchandise assortments to programs. “I’m really excited to be working with such a successful and growing organization,” she says. “I plan on strengthening supplier relations and using these techniques to maximize revenue.”

LeeAnn lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Jeffrey Forsythe. She enjoys reading, vintage shopping, scrapbooking, art and theater. She’s also an avid button collector.

Welcome aboard, LeeAnn!

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Dave Peer Talks to Premium Incentive Products about the Future of the IMA

“As we approach the end of the year, the IMA maintains its quest to inspire – through annual events such as the Motivation Show – and looks to 2013 and beyond with optimism, continuing its position as a promoter of the incentive industry,” says Deborah L. Vence, Associate Editor of Premium Incentive Products (PIP) magazine, at the beginning of her article “IMA Roundtable: Education and Partnerships are Vital for Incentive Industry Growth.”

Vence’s article in the November/December 2012 issue surveys top industry experts who are also IMA board members about what the IMA has to offer, and Hinda president Dave Peer – who is also the president of the IMA – weighed in.

According to her article, Vence states that, “…the Incentive Marketing Association [is] an organization that’s become known to many for imparting value to its members by offering education, research and networking opportunities, all while presenting resourceful ways to acknowledge employees, sales professionals, channel partners and customers.” And there’s no sign of this changing or slowing down in the coming year.

“A big benefit is the opportunity to exchange information with people who are experienced and who are facing the same challenges as you,” Peer says. “[There’s a] great deal of trust, so even competitors can get together and discuss things in a way that is mutually beneficial… One of the most important benefits is the annual IMA summit, which will be held in Denver in 2013. The Summit has emerged as one of the premier events in our industry where top talent is able to get together, attend workshops, exchange information and educate one another.”

Peer also says that that the IMA and its members are vital when it comes to lobbying the benefits of properly designed and managed reward programs with legislators in Washington, DC. The industry came under fire earlier this year with the GSA scandal, and the IMA and its members have taken pains in the aftermath to return the industry to a positive light and to stress the key initiatives of the IMA, which Peer says include ensuring the financial strength of the association, continuing to improve member benefits and communication and collaboration with industry trade groups to further generate awareness of the business.

“I’m confident about the future of our industry,” he says. “We’re seeing significant recovery from the Great Recession, and companies have recognized the need to engage and retain employees. There is also fierce competition in consumer loyalty… The IMA will remain the primary resource and advocate for all facets of the incentive industry but will adapt to change as the market does. The IMA services as the primary industry resource for education, research, advocacy and networking, and the association will evolve and continue to serve in this important role.”

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