Collectibls Industry Experiences Transformation, But Remains Strong The collecting gene is alive and well! The state of the collectibles industry remains positive, according to Linda Kruger, Executive Director of the Collectors’ Information Bureau.
News-Antique.com - Feb 25,2009 - Grundy Center, IA – The collecting gene is alive and well! The state of the collectibles industry remains positive, according to Linda Kruger, Executive Director of the Collectors’ Information Bureau, a trade association comprised of top manufacturers in the field of limited edition collectibles. Kruger evaluated the collectibles marketplace while conducting business at the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market in January, which is one of more than two dozen market centers and gift shows open for retail buying during the year. Kruger spoke with vendors and retailers about buying trends and future plans for 2009.
“Generally, retail traffic at the AmericasMart was lighter this year,” explained Kruger, “But most showrooms were buzzing with traffic, and the majority were writing orders. Many vendors had not heard negative comments from their retailers about the past year and some even asked, judging by the activity on the Christmas floors, ‘Where's the recession?’"
Despite the challenging economy, both large industry vendors and cottage industry vendors noted the demand for collectibles remains high. Retailers were actively buying in Atlanta, negotiating purchases of smaller quantities and reserving the right to reorder as needed throughout 2009.
"Collectibles are both positive and steady in today's market," reported Mark Roberts, of the Mark Roberts Collectible Gallery (www.Christmas-Magic.com), which is known for its limited-edition Santa fairies and nativities. “Whimsy and tradition are attracting collectors and [demand for] religion is strong, despite the controversies,” remarked Roberts.
Joe Wolfe, the director of sales for Rauch Industries, Inc. (www.RauchIndustries.com), which produces Christopher Radko ornaments, noted that a shift within the industry toward more traditional collectible items has occurred. Buyers are looking for quality, traditional items, said Wolfe. Rauch plans to produce more traditional, limited-edition Christopher Radko ornaments in 2009, as it seeks to meet this new consumer demand.
Similarly, in 2009 Swarovski will focus more efforts on growing its collectibles segment. Bill Lippe, vice president of sales at Swarovski (www.Swarovski.com), noted that, as always, the production of luxury items and quality of product will remain paramount within the company.
Many small cottage industry companies are also experiencing success as a result of unique product and attention to detail. Elaine Roesle, artist and owner of the St. Nicholas Collection (www.StNicholasCollection.com), shared that orders from department stores pulled her through what could have been a tough year. Roesle’s pieces, which are handmade in Ohio, are one-of-a-kind and use traditional old-world colors.
Teresa Thibault, whose primary market is collectors, can share similar stories of success for her company Heart Gifts by Teresa (www.heartgiftsusa.com). Thibault’s American-made ornaments have set record sales over the past two years. She is known for her hand-written Old English script on glass ornaments, which provides a matchless, personal flair.
Uniqueness of product is the key to success, according to Scott Bryson, the vice president of sales at Precious Moments, Inc. (www.PreciousMoments.com). Collectibles are holding substantially at Precious Moments Inc., as every Precious Moments’ figurine bears a sentiment or expression that connects the giver with the giftee.