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wholesale marketplace controversy

updated sat 15 nov 97


Wendy Rosen on fri 14 nov 97

Has anyone received or responded to the letters sent out by Arts & Artisans

Art and Artisans Galleries (4) of Chicago has sent hundreds of artists and
dozens of galleries letters regarding the wholesale craft marketplace and
the summer show schedule.

The gallery owners are concerned about high quality crafts in the regional
gift shows such as Chicago. They claim that when crafts are exhibited next
to cheap imports that it will bring down the perceived value of fine
craftwork and destroy the "quality" market that we have struggled to build
over the past decade.

Most people will agree that outside New York, the gift shows have had
little or no success drawing high quality boutiques and craft galleries who
are willing to purchase items that will retail for $100+. The initial
orders seem to turn into a big disapointment when it's time for
reorders... are these buyers purchasing for their own use? Or are they
really turning merchandise in stores? Are they lighting and displaying
work so that it stands out from the imports they sell in other areas of
their shops? Do they deeply discount work that doesn't sell?

How do you feel about this situation?

Replies will be forwarded to the Editors of Niche Magazine.

Wendy Rosen

Wendy Rosen
The Rosen Group
Niche & AmericanStyle Magazines

3000 Chestnut Ave #304 Baltimore, MD 21211
Voice: 410/889-3093 Fax: 410/243-7089