Archive for August, 2010

Industry News

Monday, August 30th, 2010

bildeWith profound sadness we report the death of Peter Lenz, the 13-year old grandson of Andy and Cynthia Lenz owners of Lenz Art in Santa Cruz, CA. Peter was a motorcycle racing phenom. He was killed doing the thing he loved best, racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a practice lap prior to the start of the U.S. Grand Prix Riders Union race. He had been one of the top youth riders in the nation. Our heart goes out to the entire Lenz clan. Peter Lenz Article

Think Pink: New from Art Alternatives!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

pinkbooksAvailable now in all warehouses!

Art Alternatives developed these limited-edition Pink Ribbon Pen & Ink sketch books and notebooks to help in the fight against breast cancer.  Our goal is to raise much needed funds for research.  Together, MacPherson’s and retailers will donate $1 per book to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF.)  “How does that work?”, you may wonder.  Well, we usually give you an extra 5% discount when we promote Pen & Ink, but we are doing something different this time.  By purchasing the Pink Ribbon Books at our regular discounts, you give 50¢ per book to the BCRF.  MacPherson’s takes the other 50¢ per book out of our own margin. At the end of the year (or when we run out of Pink Ribbon Pen & Ink books, whichever comes first) we’ll send a check to the BCRF. Stay tuned – we’ll let you know how much we raise!

Offered in our 2 best-selling styles, these books are a one-time special order in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. We won’t be replenishing so get them while you can!

16-Book Sketch Book (Blank) Asst:  AA10351 | msrp $159.84 | 65% off
16-Book Notebook (Lined) Asst:  AA10353 | msrp $159.84 | 65% off
Open Stock Sketch Book (Blank):  AA10350 | msrp $9.99 | 60% off
Open Stock Notebook (Lined):  AA10352 | msrp $9.99 | 60% off


Chroma News, August 2010

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
Atelier Interactive Painters’ Challenge Winners!
Chroma Inc. was proud to sponsor an Atelier Interactive Acrylics Painters’ Challenge in conjunction with Jerry’s Artarama for North American artists this year. We are pleased to announce the winners:  1st Place, Two Flutes, by  Karlene Voepel of  Rimrock, AZ; 2nd Place, Fantasy, by  Gabriela Trimbecka of  New Cumberland, PA; 3rdPlace,  Tree With A Window, by Veronica Winters of  State College, PA.  Honorable mentions were awarded to Justin Rossi of Orlando, FL; John Shadowwolf of Benton, LA; and Robert Wince of  Daytona Beach, FL.  Artists from across the USA and Canada entered, and we were thrilled with the quality of the artwork and the amazing talent all these painters showed. Click here to read and see  more!

Two Flutes

Two Flutes



Winters Trees with Window

Winters Trees with Window

Big Idea: Art Supply Stores, Claim Your Google Search Results!

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

ypBack in the day new customers looking for local products and services let their fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages.  Those days are not quite over, but consider this; over 80% of people are now using web search engines to get their local shopping information.


That means Google, Yahoo, Bing & are a new consumer’s gateway to your store. To underscore the point, Google according to comScore/TMP, grew its local search market share from 15% in June 2008 to 26% in June 2009. As these numbers grow, are you getting your rightful piece of the local search traffic? All of these sites want to offer the most useful and accurate information as possible, but gone are the days when a sales rep from the phone company would proof your listing and help you sort out the best image approach that’s custom tailored for your store. The good news is that a basic listing for all the most popular search sites is free. That allows you to write your story, post photos, videos, store website link, operating hours, services offered, and more. The possibly not-so-good news is you are required to “pump your own gas.” More to the point, if you want the best results, you’ll have to do your homework. Getting this simple and free listing right has the power to make or break a retail business dependent on the local market.

Here is a basic check list for turning this opportunity into something huge:

1. Business Information on the Web Must be Consistent, Accurate, and Up-to-Date

Google relies on information it finds on the Internet to improve the relevancy of their results. Customer reviews and mentions of your business information on the web play a big role in how Google ranks listings — it is important that Google associates them with your business. Inconsistencies in how your local business is presented online can make this impossible, which in turn can significantly reduce your local search visibility. Risk factors that can trigger inconsistencies are change of address, phone number or business name.  At the end of the day you want to eliminate all inconsistencies.

2. Claim and Verify Your Business Listing

Amazingly, most local business listings have not yet been claimed. Hey, it’s free to do, so there’s no excuse. We’ve provided links to the top search sites below. Google relies on business owners to keep information up-to-date and accurate via Google Places.

3. Categorize Creatively to Increase Your Search Results

Proper categorization in Google Maps is essential to matching consumer needs to your store’s unique mix. It can make a difference between a poor listing and a great one. Google will suggest categories as you type and you will have to use one or more of those predefined categories to classify your business. Examples that fit classic art materials stores are: Art Supplies, Painting‎‎, Drawing‎‎, Crafts & Kids‎‎, Graphic Arts & Cutting‎‎, Paper‎‎, Board & Films‎‎, Books & Video‎, but you can also create custom categories such as art instruction, encaustic supplies, urban art, spray paint,  graffiti, etc. When choosing custom categories think about the words a customer would use to find a specific type of product or service you offer.

4. Your Store’s Description Entry is Important

The description field should be used to emphasize what is unique about your business and to inspire trust. All that, in less than 200 characters! Having something remarkable about the business in the description is a must. Maybe you have the oldest company in your town, or your staff features practicing artists. Take great care with this critical field.

5. Pictures and Videos

Images and videos are ideal tools for making listings compelling and bringing their conversion rates up. Google allows 10 images and 5 videos to be added to your listing. Some types of images that would help your listing in many ways are: Company logo, key brands carried, pictures of the store, logos of trade associations like NAMTA you belong to, any video of the store or interviews, etc…

6. Details (Hours of Operation, Payment Options, Additional Details)

7. Coupons Get Results!

Coupons are a great way to promote products and services, however in Google Maps they are possibly the only reliable way to track business generated by your Google listing. It doesn’t have to be fancy:  store logo, one time discount, a place for the customer’s name and email address plus a disclaimer like “one per customer, only” will cover the basics.

8. Spread the Word

Even Google recommends this one. Strive to get your local business information mentioned on other web sites:  local art societies, Facebook or any trusted website. Google claims that they rely on mentions of your business information on the web to improve the quality of search results. That means the more mentions of your business on the web Google associates with your listing more certain they are that your business is real, in operation, and important. Google rewards this with greater local search visibility.

9. Get Reviewed

Reviews and Web citations (mentions of your business) are extremely important for similar reasons. Encourage reviews on Yelp, Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines and make it easy for people to review you. Make it a part of your routine to ask for reviews from happy customers and point them in the right direction. You can also ask for reviews in your email signature, business cards, on the bills you send out, etc.

10. Consider Using Special Marketing Services

Offered by Google and others, services like AdWords can optimize your search engine results to get noticed more. This can be especially valuable if you are located in a large metro area where there are many choices in art and craft supply retailers.

Here are a few more online resources for claiming your store’s very own Google business listing:

Google Places How To and Support Guide

Add a Google Places Listing

Google Places Start Page

Bing local listing center

Bing Listings How-To Guide

Add a Bing Listing

Add a Listing


If you’d like to see a great “real life” example of claiming your Google Business listing, type “art supplies, 94103” into the Google search box. This mirrors what a consumer living in San Francisco’s zip code 94103 might do if they were looking for their options for buying art supplies in their neighborhood.  Note that the top unpaid choice is Flax on Market Street. Now click on the More Info link next to the store name. You’ll find concise description of what makes this store unique, photos, videos, reviews, and more. Now that’s helpful and compelling!

Canson’s Eco-Friendly Back-to-School

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Go back to school with a new Eco-Friendly Line of art products featuring Eric Carle!


Canson’s new Eco-Friendly art products featuring the illustrations of renowned and beloved artist Eric Carle, are the perfect pads to pack in kids’ backpacks as they head to school next month.  The art pads all feature illustrations from Eric Carle’s “What Do You See” collection, such as Brown Bear, the Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Lonely Firefly among others.

Canson recognizes the importance of art in a child’s development; in fact, experts say that exploring different artistic options like drawing and painting are all first steps to the development of reading and writing, while tracing, cutting and pasting develop fine motor skills.

The new line of Eco-Friendly art products, which may be purchased directly from the Eric Carle Museum, offer a complete range of recycled, environmentally friendly products that were developed to inspire creativity and imagination in young children.

Canson’s new Eco-Friendly line can be further explored at, and it also just received its very own Facebook page, found at: Canson’s Facebook Page.  The first 200 people to post what their child saw this summer and expressed through art on the Facebook page, will win one of the new Sketch & Tell books in the Eco-Friendly Line.

ColArt’s Featured Deals for August 2010

Friday, August 6th, 2010

You still have time to stock up and save on all these ColArt Essential BTS Color Ranges!


·         Winton Oils
·         Galeria Acrylics
·         Artisan Water-Mixable Oils
·         Liquitex BASICS & “free-style” Painting Knives
(all the above get +10% off list; CAP dealers get +15%)

CAP Dealer Exclusive deal*:
·         Liquitex Heavy Body 2oz Acrylic Tubes – +15%!!!!!

Derwent’s Best-Selling Pencil Tins: +20% off! and…
·         Derwents’s newly reformulated Pastel Pencil Range (+10% on open-stock & asst’s)

All Conté brand  drawing media: +10%!
*Save more year-round become a CAP dealer. Ask your MacPherson’s or ColArt rep how!

Winsor & Newton’s Premier Artist Acrylic Color Range is now complete with 14 essential core mediums!


·         Uses the same cutting edge clear resin as the color range
·         No Color Shift wet to dry
·         Unrivaled brilliance & depth
·         Maximize benefit of Artist Acrylic Color
·         33 sku’s total
(All Artist Acrylic product ranges are featured at (+10%) off list thru 12-31-10. Drop ship only.)

Elmer’s News – August 2010

Friday, August 6th, 2010

ELMER’S has some hot things to share this month…


Elmer’s Products will be running all 4 of its commercials on television throughout the Back-to-School Season. Watch for them!

1.    Krazy Glue Bungee Jump
2.    Elmer’s no run School Glue
3.    Elmer’s Glue Sticks
4.    Elmer’s New Improved Glue All

Back-to-School is like Christmas for Elmer’s Products, so Elmer’s pulls out all the stops to promote Elmer’s at this time of year. Take advantage of this national advertising by promoting Elmer’s products!


New for 2010, Elmer’s Products is offering a $5.00 rebate when purchasing 1 Elmer’s Board SKU plus 1 Elmer’s branded Board accessory SKU (ie: Project Popperz). All new products will have bursts on the package directing the Consumer to go to the Elmer’ site for redemption.


New on-line promotion designed to randomly give away $250 in Elmer’s branded school supplies to Teachers who sign up on the Xacto $250 Giveaway website.

X-Acto remains one of the most trusted brands in the industry. Promote this contest & X-Acto products to take full advantage of this promotion.


The latest update to the Elmer’s website includes a sneak peek at the new Crafters program. The site also includes new Project ideas with instructions and features the Elmer’s Painters Gold Leafing Pen. Go check out the website for great ideas & instructions on unique projects using Elmer’s Products!

Industry News

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

wylySamuel and Charles Wyly, the billionaire brothers from Dallas who are large donors to philanthropies and to conservative causes, were charged Thursday July 29th with conducting an extensive securities fraud that the Securities and Exchange Commission said reaped $550 million in undisclosed gains. According to the SEC, offshore accounts were used to disguise illegal stock trading in companies they owned or controlled as well as to shield the Wylys’ money from taxes. The brothers served together on the boards of four companies in which they owned large stakes: Michaels, a leading arts and crafts chain; technology firms Sterling Software and Sterling Commerce; and Scottish Annuity & Life Holdings. The Wylys dispute the charges. Read more about it in the Reuter’s account: The Wylys

In related news, Mike Hartnet of Creative Leisure News reports the following in his most recent online issue: “There were unconfirmed rumors that Michaels’ owners, Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group, will try to take the company public within a year. ”

turntable_225Tools of the Trade; Montana Gold. Starbucks  has released their first hip-hop compilation. Entitled Back in the Day: A Summertime Hip-Hop Mix, it’s a compilation of songs from what’s known as “the golden age of hip-hop” (c. 1988-1996) To create the perfect cover art, they commissioned Seattle graffiti art legend Sneke One. Check out this video of the  one-day creation, where he mesmerized an audience of videographers, Starbucks people and hip-hop fans, taking his “style writing” to a new level with a case of Montana Gold and a huge blank canvas that quickly became a colorful burst of abstract magnificence. It was later photographed and sized to fit the cover. Watch the making of the Back in the Day Video

bn-college_thumbBarnes & Noble Inc (BKS.N) shares soared 21 percent on Wednesday August 4th after the struggling bookseller said it was up for sale and could get a bid from its founder to go private. Barnes & Noble, the No. 1 U.S. book store chain, said on Tuesday that company founder and top shareholder Leonard Riggio is considering bidding for the company as part of a larger investor group. Barnes & Noble Inc is the parent company of Barnes & Noble College Stores, a division that manages 637 college bookstores across the U.S.A

Blaine’s Art Supply has announced their move to 1025 Photo Avenue in Anchorage, AK. They hope to be open in their new location, which is very close to their current building, by August 17th.