Summertime – for most it’s a time to kick back and take it easy – for shop owners, it’s time to make the pilgrimage to the major gift and home markets to see what’s new at the industry’s top brands.
Before you go – here are a few tips to make sure that you make the most of your time in the bustling buildings, and leave feeling inspired (rather than overwhelmed!)
1. Make a game-plan
Travelling with a team? Divide and conquer – determine your list of “must-visits” and “new” and spend your first day scouring and then reconvene in the evening to review your finds over dinner then make your plan to place those orders to take advantage of the show specials. Depending on your store type it may make sense to divide by trend, product category or season to help stay focused and make it easier to create a cohesive display story.
2. Define your color stories ahead of market
Before you head to market, decide on what your product trend and color stories for the upcoming seasons will be – this will help you seek out items that fit vs. feeling inundated with themes and trends. For example, if you’ve decided on a cream, green and gray fall color story – you’ll be focused and can curate a dimensional display and quickly eliminate products that don’t suit your vision (and can lead to distraction and indecision!)
3. Consult the experts
No time to plan and determine what trends you should carry? Don’t stress – at all. There are helpful product experts and artfully crafted showrooms designed to make crafting a product story simple. The best part of the show is being able to consult retail experts and ask about what’s trending, share what items work for you already and who your customer is – those questions will lead a seasoned expert to curating a great product mix for you. And, you’ll be able to touch and see these items in person (and even create mock displays to make sure the textures and colors you’re selecting are perfect!)
You have your go-to vendors – but make sure that you use your time at the shows to check out new line extensions, product types and trends that you might not have considered – use this time to be inspired, ask questions and get creative display ideas to bring back home and replicate in your store. Primitives by Kathy spends weeks designing our displays with authentic reclaimed materials that can be found anywhere and recreated in-store – we design to inspire!
Happy market season!