Are you doing all you can to source new products? Vicky Nuttall, Director of GIMA
new year always welcomes the opportunity to look back over the successes and trials that shaped the previous 12 months. With 2022 stretching ahead of us, many retailers will already be thinking to source new supply partners and exciting product innovations to ensure that their retail offering is rich with everything their customers are demanding. However, with multichannel promotion more prevalent than ever, it’s vital that retailers are investigating all those resources. I write this straight off the back of attending Spring Fair and The Garden Press Event and it’s safe to say that the value of exhibitions remains as high as ever. Glee 2021’s edition proved this point and Spring Fair has carried on the theme. Exhibitions will perhaps always be the first port for tackling comms with new and existing suppliers, whilst also gathering inspiration for everything from merchandising displays and new product categories. Exhibitions, though an action-packed few days onsite, are just one way of sourcing new suppliers. The never sleeping world of social media is one area where we are hearing of new relationships being forged like never before. Unlike exhibitions that require a significant spend to have a presence, social media is free and constant. No other resource is as vast or as fast moving, nor does any other channel have the ability to increase the power of trends so quickly. Houseplants are a classic example of this, with the Instagram generation helping to during 2020 and 29.04% increase houseplant sales by over 50% 5 in 22021 (GCA report 2022). SSocial media is also one area that tha retailers and suppliers had to rely on during the pandemic and an its proliferation is a key driver for increasing instore dr demand. Any business that d optimises social media by o taking the time to build a ta presence, and by recognising p the t value of collaborations will w see their offering bloom. The Garden Press Event is one place where influencers as well as the traditional media, were out in force,
all actively seeking garden brands to work with in 2022 and beyond. Such an opportunity is rare, so we highly recommend suppliers consider adding the Press Event to their marketing mix in future years if influencers are an area of interest. Like social media, print and online media also saw their value increase during the pandemic, as they offer a vital means to communicate with core audiences from a distance. Keeping a close eye on both the trade publications and core consumer titles will no doubt deliver some insight into the latest trends and emerging brands, helping retailers to stay ahead of the curve. Keeping an active ‘keyword’ search or time spent on tools such as Google Trends will also pay dividends. GIMA itself represents some significant opportunities for retailers and suppliers to come together. Our New Product Digest – now biannually – is a great round-up of all the latest innovations, range updates and improved customer support tools from GIMA’s extensive membership base. Our Buyer Connect events have become renowned for bringing retailers and suppliers together, and we already have several such events in the pipeline for 2022. With controlled, timed appointments, these speed networking events are a quick and targeted way of meeting engaged and passionate product suppliers. Of course, accessing GIMA’s membership base doesn’t have to be reliant on event attendance only. All our members are listed online at gima.org.uk, and retailers are welcome to search by name or product category, in doing so potentially coming upon a brand they may not have seen previously. The GIMA team and I are also open to facilitating conversations, so if you are looking for a new contact we welcome the opportunity help you find your perfect match. Whatever your means of finding new partners, we hope 2022 will be fruitful.
it’s safe to say that the value of exhibitions remains as high as ever…
46 March/April 2022
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To ﬁnd out more about GIMA’s oﬀering and member base please contact the GIMA team on (01959) 564947 or info@ gima.org.uk