I’m often asked by Independent Retailers how they can compete with larger businesses. My answer is that they need to do 4 key things...
There is no doubt that retail players in all channels dominate the market – using their buying power to get better cost prices which allows them to make more profit and then offer lower retail prices, more promotions and have mega sales. This buying power allows them to grab customers’ attention and buy market share.
By definition discounters always offer cheap prices and many consumers use them as their main outlets. Online sellers (Amazon and the like) have broad product ranges, cheap prices, are accessible anytime, usually offer quick delivery, and often make it cheap and easy to return.
When you think about their way of doing business and what they can offer it is easy to feel down hearted and that there is nothing you can do to counter this - but this is absolutely not the case!
With so many different approaches to selling Christmas cards - I'm often asked when is the best time to launch them? Of course, the biggest influence should be what your customers want. It is worth spending some time planning this and whether you should put your range out in two stages; maintaining your everyday sales without compromising your Christmas sales could be your biggest sales gain this Christmas.
Despite all the hype as we approached the millennium about us moving to paperless offices -the sales of paper continue to be strong be it for A4 refill pads, notebooks or diaries. However, given that environmental matters continue to dominate modern life I am sure that consumers will become more savvy over issues such as product miles, country of origin and packaging. If in the future we can reduce any price premium, I am sure that will help products with environmental benefits grow in popularity with the consumer market and put pressure on retailers to stock them...
DIY stationery is a big trend in 2017 so have you dedicated space for it in your shop?
Stationery users fall into two camps: those who just want a notebook to write in and a pen that works because "anything will do" (this article is absolutely not about them) and those who customise their stationery... those who really care!
Greetings cards are sold in more retailers now than ever before; from museums to motorway services, garden centres to Glastonbury. For many retailers a spinner of greetings cards is a really useful addition for shoppers who need a card to go with the gift they have just bought but the key question is what proportion should be for specific occasions?