September 6, 2019
Smoky Mountain Gift Show and ZAG’s Zootique Buying Tour spotlights animal-themed gifts

The Zoo and Aquarium Buyers Group (ZAG) and the Smoky Mountain Gift Show are teaming up to host the new Zootique Buying Tour on Friday, Nov. 8 at 11 a.m. during the 2019 show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. From home décor to memorable gifts, the retail sales potential for animal-themed merchandise is, dare we say, wild. The Zootique Buying Tour is a collaborative effort to help retailers find new animal-themed resources and new ways to merchandise and market them.

The Zootique Buying Tour, which is open to all attending retailers and ZAG members, will kick off with a brief merchandising seminar, led by Tommy Brown, St. Louis Zoo. From there, Tommy will take participants to visit vendors on the show floor to learn even more tips and strategies to merchandise and sell animal-themed products in their stores. Lunch will be provided to those that complete the tour.

St. Louis Zoo's Tommy Brown will guide the Zootique Tour during the Smoky Mountain Gift Show.
St. Louis Zoo’s Tommy Brown will guide the Zootique Tour during the Smoky Mountain Gift Show. Photo courtesy of Museums & More

“Whether you’re a zoo gift shop retailer or other souvenir/specialty boutique buyer, you won’t want to miss this fun, idea-packed program that promises to help you think outside of the box when it comes to new ways to sell and showcase animal-themed items,” said Christina Bell, show director with Smoky Mountain Gift Show. “We’re also bracketing the tour with mimosas before and lunch after so retailers can network and share other ideas too.”

Exhibitors participating in the Zootique Buying Tour

  • Art For The Young At Heart
  • Cold River Mining Corporation
  • Dodoland
  • Go Fun Face!
  • Kalan L.P.
  • RexTooth Studios
  • Sea Creations
  • Turdcules
  • Wildthings Snap-Ons
  • World End Imports

Additional Buying Tours

In addition to the Zootique tour, the Smoky Mountain Gift Show and ZAG will host two curated Made in America buying tours during the show. Members of ZAG and attending retailers will be able to visit Made in America vendors on the show floor and learn the best ways to bring these products into their stores. A complimentary lunch will also be provided to those that complete the tour.

The following two tours will be led by Terri Scheunemann, Como Zoo and Tommy Brown, St. Louis Zoo on Wednesday, Nov. and Thursday, Nov. 7 from 11-12 p.m.

For more information on Smoky Mountain Gift Show, visit

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