Saturday, May 30, 2015

A new generation of collectors helping Department 56 stage second act

By Kavita Kumar
At Department 56 offices in Eden Prairie, this is one of the Christmas season offerings.
MINNESOTA---The Department 56 die-hards who still line up to have their miniature holiday villages signed by their artists are dominated by a graying set. But these days, newer faces are also in the crowd. To better cater to younger customers, Department 56 has been ramping up its presence on social media and focusing on licensed products that tap into newer trends such as Disney’s “Frozen,” Elf on the Shelf and the television show “Downton Abbey.” About two-thirds of its business is still funneled through the hundreds of mom-and-pop gift and Christmas shops around the country. But most of the recent growth has been from the remaining third with national retailers such as Sears, Macy’s, Dillards and Hallmark stores. Amazon has also become one of its biggest customers. [link]