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A Year of Wholesale: Actions for Quarter Three

Therese Ørtenblad, our Wholesale contributing expert, is on hand to help you plan your third quarter, whether you’re a seasoned wholesaler or have added this to your business strategy, this article gives you the insights and actions to take, July-September.


Selling to shops in the third quarter of the year, a checklist

Summer is more or less here before we know it, children will be off school, and the peak holiday season will start. Summer is a bit odd since it’s a time when we should focus on getting ready for Autumn to ensure we have enough stock for the busiest time of the year and have all new product launches ready unless you’re super organised and have already done that. It’s also a time when we really appreciate that, as small business owners, we want to take advantage of the flexibility we have created to take time off to spend with our families and friends and have fun out in the sun.



July

Before the school holidays kick off, check in with your stockist to see if they need a top-up order. Remind them if you sell stationery or backpacks, as these might be perfect for a back-to-school display. If you plan on having a holiday, inform your stockists that you won’t be shipping any orders for that time if that’s the case and use it to get them to place any charges before you go on holiday.


Contact new leads in towns that are likely to be very busy from mid-July, it might be too late to get your products stocked there, but it could also be that they need more stock to keep up with all their summer customers.


If you’re exhibiting at any trade shows this summer or Autumn, have a read of my trade show checklist and make sure you prepare everything; if it’s your first show or you didn’t achieve the results you wanted last time and need some help, a drop-in call will help you get ready. Remember to add your stand and a link to your show profile to your email signature.



Get a free trade show check-list that will help you exhibit at your first trade show


KEY DATES (AND SOME FUN ONES TOO)

  • Graduations and School Holidays

  • Wimbledon starts

  • 4th July Independence Day (US)

  • Pride London

  • World Chocolate Day

  • Amazon Prime Day

  • World Emoji Day

  • International Friendship Day

  • Harrogate home and gifts



August

Invite all your stockists to any autumn show; if you’re not exhibiting, get in touch, show your exciting stockists any products you will be launching, and set up meetings where possible. A face-to-face meeting always gives you a better opportunity to sell and connect with your buyers.


Plan out your newsletters for wholesale for the rest of the year, it’s easy to let this slip to the back burner once September hits and it starts to get busy.


Research new shops you want to be stocked in and get in touch to introduce yourself and invite them to any autumn trade show or send them your latest catalogue. You will get a lot of out-of-offices, but it’s also a month where inboxes might be slightly less busy, so you might have a bit more chance to be seen.


KEY DATES (AND SOME FUN ONES TOO)

  • Edinburgh Fringe Festival

  • Pride Brighton

  • International Cat day

  • National Prosecco Day

  • World Photo Day

  • August Late Summer Bank Holiday

  • Shoppe Object

  • NY Now



September

September marks the start of Autumn in the retail calendar. Indie shops will be looking for their Christmas bestsellers. Many retailers take as much as 70% of their yearly turnover between now and Christmas, so this is also a significant time for you.


If you’re exhibiting at a show, make sure you collect all the buyer's details and make sure that you follow up, spend as much time as you can to make sure all your existing stockists place their Christmas orders, chase any leads you’ve been in touch with throughout the year and make new introductions.


This is it; September is when you can start to see what sort of Christmas you will have. If you’re trading with larger retailers, they might have already placed their orders, and you will have shipped them or be working hard to get them ready to ship. However, if the retailers have had a strong summer, they might have had a bit extra budget released, so it’s still worth contacting both small and large leads.

Make sure you highlight any autumnal, Halloween or Christmas products.


KEY DATES (AND SOME FUN ONES TOO)

  • Autumn Fair

  • Maison de Object

  • Top Drawer

  • Rugby World Cup starts

  • Autumn begins


Plan Q3

The third quarter is a genuine mixed bag; make sure you set yourself up for success. Get all your ducks in a row to avoid overwhelm this Christmas. We often go into September with the best intentions of being as organised and ready as possible, but nothing can quite prepare us for the madness of Christmas. Remember that the shorter the lead times you can offer, the more orders you can ship if the demand is there.


Wholesale in quarter 3: tasks

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