Therese Ørtenblad, our Wholesale contributing expert, is on hand to help you plan your second 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, April – June.
Spring is in the air, which hopefully means that shops that have had a slow start to the year start to get a bit busier.
Remember, you’re not contacting retail buyers to be a nuisance, and that’s not how they see you. If you’ve done your research and know your products could sell in their shops, you’re helping them discover your brand by reaching out and doing them a service.
The retail buying calendar is a little bit different to that of the consumer. Therefore I’ve set out some key dates and what planning and actions I would suggest you consider for this quarter below. If you missed the post in the first quarter, you can find it here.
After Mother’s Day, independent retailers will start to think of and prepare for Father’s Day. Really big retailers will be buying for Father’s Day already in January/February. The Spring Bank Holiday kick start the BBQ and DIY season and retailers might try to put a lot of similar products into their Father’s Day collections so they can have a longer sell period.
A great way to show your stockist how your products can fit into several different collections/themes is by including lifestyle pictures in your newsletter. Put together suggested ranges for Dad, the BBQ master and the DIY’er or break it up into several newsletters if you prefer.
During school holidays it’s always more difficult to get through to the right buyers. A lot take time off or work from home, complete as much outreach and follow up as you can before the holiday starts.
If you’re working over the Easter break, use this time to research retailers to contact and make introductions to and to plan out your newsletters for the next quarter.
Early May Bank Holiday kick-start the wedding season so if you make any wedding related products, get in touch with your stockists before the Easter break.
Garden centres will start getting a lot busier again around Easter after a quieter start to the year so if you stock them or would like to, make sure that you get in touch sooner rather than later.
Key dates for April - look up the exact dates for this year
1st April Fool’s day World Health day Good Friday Easter Sunday National Stationery week Georges day London Marathon
Wedding season come into full force and the Spring Bank Holiday at the end of the month kick starts the BBQ and Gardening season. Think outside the box and put together collections of your products that could be ranged with various outdoor, spring and summer themes. Help your buyers’ visualise how your products are relevant to what they are planning for their store displays.
Indies that has not bought for Father’s Day yet will be doing so now so you might want a send a newsletter with a ‘Don’t forget Dad’ theme to get some extra orders in.
Some of the bigger retailers will start to look for September/October stock already in May/June and this will continue throughout the summer. If you’re targeting larger retailers make sure you have your new product samples ready for this or have mock-ups that you can show them. Highlight any “Back to school” and “Halloween” products if’s suitable for the retailer or department.
Tour de Yorkshire Star Wars day 5th Cinco de Mayo Early May Bank Holiday
National Children’s day FA Cup Final Chelsea Flower Show Spring Bank Holiday National BBQ week start Amnesty day Stationery Show London
June will be the last month you will find it “easy” to get through to smaller independent retailers for a while. I find that during the summer school holiday it’s very hit and miss if you can get through to anyone, make sure your existing stockists are fully stocked up for the summer season.
Focus on targeting towns that will be busy over the school holiday along the coast and other more touristy areas. Don’t forget theme and adventure parks and camping sites with retail outlets. They will all be very busy and if you haven’t targeted them yet make a last-minute push to see if they might have some gaps. The larger ones would most likely be all set but quite a few smaller ones might not be quite as prepared.
International Children’s day
World Environment Day
The Queen’s Birthday
Summer Solstice (Longest day and the start of summer) Bring your dog to work day
Armed Forces Day
Plan the second quarter
This quarter is important as you have a few key themes that most retailers do repeat every year that you can sell for and it often gets very quiet in July/August even-though you will be busy setting up for the madness of Q4 so give it all you’ve got. The work you put in this quarter is important for your cash flow for the summer and for investing in stock for Christmas.
Having that cash flow for Christmas will help you keep your lead-times to a minimum and hopefully allow you to not run out of stock too quickly and therefore have your best year to date.