For most retailers, this summer has proven to be a difficult time. I could give you many of the reasons why; however, you already know them. But what a difference a month makes! We think the upcoming holiday season will be strong… here’s why.
The Economy: What Other Retailers Are Saying
Nashville Wraps is in touch with over 100,000 retailers across North America. We listen to them. Here’s what some are saying:
“July was a terrible month but I am seeing August as much stronger. I am a manufacturer of gourmet dog treats. Several of my customers, retail stores, were hanging on by a thread last month, but orders have started to reverse this month (August).” Ronnie Fliss, www.fatmurrays.com
“I began receiving Christmas shipments of ornaments, Christmas dishes, etc., and intended to check them in, mark them, and store them until at least October. When my customers saw me, they asked if I could just go ahead and put them out, explaining that because the economy is bad, they want to begin shopping earlier, picking up a few things each payday instead of waiting until November or December. I am now unpacking and displaying my Christmas inventory as it arrives.” Dorris Brown, This ‘n That Gift Shop, Vicksburg, Mississippi
Be prepared; order early…
Attendance at summer trade shows was down because people were not traveling as expected. Everyone was backing up, and even though products could be ordered, people were waiting for a break. But it doesn’t take much to spur retail sales from hesitant buyers. August sales have been way up and we have high expectations for the 4th quarter. However, retailers should not wait until the last minute to buy supplies as most vendors have lean inventories. Nashville Wraps of course has record high inventories because we think they will be needed! Count on us for your Holiday needs and count on the economy to continue to turn around. Christmas Packaging Collections.
With Consumer confidence up 10% in August as compared to July. The retail customer is, after all, the most important part of our business equation, so this is an indicator of good things to come. It is also an indication that Christmas could come hard and fast this year as it has in many past years when we have had a weak economy. Even if consumers are ordering early, that is just another reason why you should do the same.
Be leary of Imports this year.
Businesses are counting on deliveries from China, but many Asian factories are overwhelmed with production orders and are dealing with a different set of circumstances in the culture and economic climate in China. There is a labor shortage due to the cheap labor market demanding better wages and a (so called) paper shortage. Several of our import products that were supposed to already be here are late, and some are not coming at all. We recommend that you hedge your bets with products made in the USA, Canada or Mexico. Certainly USA delivery and quality are usually better and we think that you get what you pay for; but with the global increases and equalization in raw materials, domestic products have become very competitive with the imports. A perfect example of this is Retail Plastic Bags. Nashville Wraps is strong in domestic suppliers and always has been.
The Election: What if?
It is too early to tell what election politics will do for business. However, if the McCain-Palin platform continues to gain momentum we think that small business will benefit. That will increase confidence to invest in inventories, ideas and promotions and will generally help revenues as a result. Our management believes that one of the reasons America has lost jobs overseas is the lack of real teeth in financial incentives on the tax and depreciation side to encourage investment into the US infrastructure of companies small and large. Regardless of Republican, Democrat or Independent, it can’t be business as usual for the US domestic economy. We do not have a magic crystal ball and our opinion is as good as anyone’s. But we do have a “been there, done that” experience set since Nashville Wraps has been in business beginning in 1976 and during all that time we have gained a wealth of experience in marketing and in the habits and trends which make up the retail world.
Robby Meadows, Director of Marketing