I thought I you might be interested on how the most important buying trip of the year works. Christmas is a big deal for Shut the Front Door and so buying the stock that you all need to make your Christmas Gift shopping easy is no small feat. It sometimes makes me feel like I am buying Christmas presents for the whole of New Zealand!
The buying exercise is mostly done on a four day shopping trip to Melbourne which I have just returned from. Melbourne hosts 3 major trade shows at this time plus a number of smaller events where artisans and wholesalers display their wares. Just about every retailer in Australia and quite a lot from Melbourne are there all with the aim of filling there stores with stock for Christmas.
The venues range from shiny concrete exhibition centres, 150 year old exhibition buildings with the most exquisite architecture to a graffiti covered old warehouse by the train tracks.
Who would have thought that inside this pretty rough looking building was some beautiful products that will be coming our way!
In preparation for the trip I do lots of work looking at trends, brainstorming ideas and making lists of what we need. I analyse what we sold last year and how many units of everything we need. I make sure we have all the different categories covered with gifts for men, gifts for her, gifts for kids etc etc. Then I put all that in a folder and ignore it and go around buying what I love!!! Probably not so scientific but it seems to work.
The trip involves long days of walking and talking and trying to pick out the awesome nuggets that you will love from a massive amount of average products!
I do this buying alone as I have found over the 15 years I have been a buyer thats what works best as there are no distractions but it does mean you spend the days talking to yourself - Will our customers like this? Have I got everyone covered? Have I got enough? Have I got too much? What have I missed? How will we merchandise this? But in the end you have to remember that you will always make some mistakes…if you don't you haven't taken enough risks!
Here are some photos of a few of our supplier stands that I visited....
You will see everything I have bought on this trip arriving in stores throughout the next few months - hopefully you love it, I bought enough and not too much!!
Look forward to welcoming you all in store to view our amazing collection of Christmas Gifts at Shut the Front Door.