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It’s that time of year again with the trade shows fast approaching but will they help rejuvenate the independent retailer? Will they excite the indie’s giving them a fresh sense of ‘oh la la’ or will the caveat remain ‘in difficult economic times’? Just writing that phrase gives me a headache!
Trade shows are great fun – full of drama, imagination and creativity and above all else liaising with PLUs – people like us – what could be better? Having said that it is also full of wannabes – people who want to be in the industry, but aren’t. They usually arrive on the Sunday and the big boys and girls on the Monday.
Trade shows are also located in energetic cities, which are fun places to be. Travelling to the show in itself is exciting and a change from the usual 9 to 5. Then as one enters the venue, which is usually an impressive building, your blood starts pumping faster. Your eyes are awaken at every angle by colour, graphics, the artistic and inspirational stands, the new original collections and the amount of well dressed, stylish and I-want-a-dress –like-hers-o-and-shoes-too-people in one place, all this stimuli enables us agents to subtly clinch those sales and try and make even higher targets than the previous season.
Being part of both camps – a retailer and also an agent – I can enjoy both sides of fashion and can use this as one of my sales tools. Some manufactures have listened, thank goodness, and have introduced new lower priced collections, helping to keep the brand out there, encouraging new and fairly nervous retailers to purchase them and resulting in agents continuing to enjoy the after show drinks party.
It is wonderful selling these collections to other retailers. Instead of hearing the…..”I could make this myself”….or “how much?” comments that us retailers hate hearing from customers, as they don’t usually help ‘end of day banking’, reception is much more positive with indies happy to take on stock they can sell. So roll on trade shows to give us all the pickup we need.