Each season I try to get out to a selection of high-street retailers and independents to see what is happening in the industry. It's always nice to see things I've seen at trade-shows earlier in the year on the shop floors.
I've written about this before and why this is important for your business and you can read the post here.
This is good to get inspiration for what others are doing, what themes retailers are giving lots of space to and will help you gain ideas for how to pitch your products next year. Below is a little round-up of my most recent visits.
It's been a hot topic for most of the year and it's great to see that some stores and card publishers are now stocking some of their cards without the unnecessary plastic bags. Several card publishers use a little sticker tap to keep their envelope with their card. Expect this trend to continue and hopefully, all cards will soon be plastics free, recyclable in your home recycling and made out of recycled paper/card.
A lot of indie card publishers already offer their cards "naked" either by request or by default. I believe that by next Christmas many more card publishers will prefer to supply their cards "naked".
Gifts for your pets
Over 80% buy of dog owners buy their pet a Christmas gift so it's not surprising that department stores and gift shops are including gifts for your four-legged best friend in their Christmas displays.
Beauty products, astrology, tarot, journaling and uplifting quotes continue to be popular and this is a great category as after Christmas this can go into a "New Year, New You" range rather than all going into sale if retailers wish to. I expect this to continue to be popular for the coming year.
Drinking and Alcohol themed gifts
This is a popular category every Christmas and this year is no exception. Cocktail and barware, alcoholic sweets and chocolates, bottle openers and hipflasks are all widely available. This year it also includes non-alcoholic options such as Seedlip.
Gifts for men
This is always a popular category and often include male grooming products, drink themed gifts, novelty products, travel, socks, books and gadgets are all popular inclusions. If you're talking to a retailer it is always worth finding out what they are looking for or each of their themes or to show that you have really thought about where something could fit in.
What trends and themes have you noticed in your recent store visits? Do you take not when you're walking around the shops? Take pictures and file them and look back through them next time you're pitching to a retailer or plan your stand layout at a tradeshow.
Unsure of what to look for or how to pitch your products to retailers. Get in touch and maybe we can work together on your wholesale strategy. You can contact me by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or find out how you can work with me here.