The January Gift Trade Shows are history. Here’s our update on the shows and what it may mean for the rest of the year.
Even with the hassle of extra airline security, trade shows ended with more attendance and a better mood of buyers and exhibitors alike. Vendors are investing in new products and buyers as well as consumers are responding. This will provide positive effects for several months as new goods get back into the system.
Buyers came to the show to “buy”. Most people were low on inventory at the end of last year and that contributed to higher order averages. But orders for new goods were up, in part because Nashville Wraps has 7 new design groups for 2010 and they look great. So you get back what you invest in. In fact, for most shows we saw a 10-15% increase in the number of orders and the number of catalogs distributed.
Retail Sales Update:
December and January retail purchases have generally been better than anticipated from a wide gamut of retail sectors. In the past 60 days Nashville Wraps has seen increases of +15% overall with some product categories up over 50%. This puts strains on everyone’s inventory but it is a very welcomed change. While we do not think 15% will hold for the year it does look to be better than the original 5% we initially thought.
We also think the mood of retailers and consumers will continue to be positive for 2010. The time to hunker down is over, but with a word of caution… Retail is not likely going to return to pre-recession levels any time soon. Much of this is due to our “New Normal”, which, in short, means we are now used to living with less. Additionally, our economy is still way off and jobs are still being lost in large numbers.
While we go to the shows as exhibitors, we also go as observers. Here are some of the observations we made regarding designs, colors and trends for 2010. Let us know what you saw!
Green is very prevalent; as our observer put it “Green is EVERYWHERE – mostly ranging from Light Pistachio, to Bright Lime, and a lot of mid shades like our Oasis Green tissue. Not so much dark “Christmasy” greens (see the section “A word on green” in our What to expect in 2010 post).
Other color combinations observed were Black/White, Scarlet/White, Green/Pink/White and Lime/Orange/Turquoise/Pink (many different combinations of these 4 were spotted).
Other parings and design elements happening for 2010 are Animal prints, Brocades, bright neon colors paired with chocolate brown instead of black, and more Glitz, Glitter & Embellishments. These came in the form of stitching, embroidery, buckles, buttons, jewels, etc. There was not much “Plain Jane” around; everything had a touch of glam.
On the wall in front of my desk are two handwritten notes. I put them there to remind me what is important in marketing.
“Find out what customers need and deliver it to them.”
This is why we launched 7 new design groups in a year that is supposed to still be an economic mess. Our customers needed new and fresh packaging ideas in order to continue differentiating themselves to the end consumer. No doubt the major stores are freshening their look, and if Nashville Wraps doesn’t do it, who will?