Wednesday, March 12, 2008

S(m)elling Like a Rose

College stores are always looking for unique new products. Something that has a unique connection to the students or campus.

Well, the folks at the University of Alberta Bookstore (Edmonton, Canada) have created something truly distinctive--their own perfume!

Created by The Pampered Rose, "08" is custom fragrance created from the following individual scents:

Top: Ambrosia, Marigold, Dandelion
Middle: Bamboo, Rose, Hydrangea, Sugar, Tulip
Base: Bamboo (Again), Rose, Pikaki, Sugar

Store staff worked with The Pampered Rose to custom build the fragnace to their specifications, and designed their own label. They retail the fragrance for just under $40 for a 75ml/2 oz eau de parfume.

To find out a bit more, watch this vlog ("video blog") clip prepared by the folks at the Univ. of Alberta Bookstore exclusively for The Retail Muse!

Interested? The Pampered Rose is in Stephens City, VA, and may be reached at or online at

-- The Retail Muse

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Another Great CAMEX!

Well, one more outstanding CAMEX experience is in the books.

One of the wonderful things about CAMEX is that it is a living exhibition of our industry in action.

The excitement - The learning - The sharing - The passion

Education and Celebrations – Buying and Selling – Endings and Beginnings

Thanks to everyone that attended, exhibited, participated, presented, and shared.

CAMEX—like our industry—is truly unique and special. And it renews my energy and commitment to campus retail every year.

I look forward to seeing you all in Anaheim for CAMEX 2009!

Tony Ellis, CAE

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Cleaning up Green

"Green" is here to stay.

Why, they even had a green/eco-friendly section of the Cleveland Home and Garden Show (nation's largest, thank you very much).

This flurry of spring amidst a flurry of snow in late-February Cleveland is one of my favorites.

As the search for green products has busied the e-mail discussion lists and filled CAMEX sessions, it reminded me of a great product I found at the HG show this year.

Green Clean is a local company (although happy to wholesale nationally) that produces totally organic cleaning products. Their "show special" was a spray cleaner, liquid cleaner (mopping, etc.), a scrub (scented with peppermint essential oil), and a bowl cleaner in a great reusable canvas bag for about $25. An added touch--return your empty bottles for a discounted refill.

The display was based on bulk presentation of the bags with a few sets of the product presented on either corner of the table. A real eye-catcher and something that I could instantly see near the front of a college store for back-to-school, etc.

Now this producer may or may not work for you. And the "refill" advantage would obviously be for locals only. But there are two take-aways here for any college store:

1. Great new products (some with interesting local connections) can pop up in unlikely places. Always be on the look-out!

2. It's all about presentation. There were hundreds of booths with thousands of products. The clean (no pun intended), effective presentation of this product caught my eye and the "package deal" motivated my purchase.

More on Green Clean can be found online at

Tony Ellis, CAE