• Adrienne Francis

"Brick & Order"

I caught a great podcast "Brick and Order" where a candle maker was interviewed in the US. He

is a Retailer and a Wholesaler and the main question put to him was

"What's going to happen this year now traditional trade shows have been postponed or cancelled. We all know how Wholesale Trade shows have been so important for wholesalers and retailers alike to spend time & get to know each other. And the thing which makes all of us so alike to each other- having the ability to smell touch and feel the new items on display.

It's time to reconnect, get feedback and understand who you are dealing with - on both sides of the wholesaler - sometimes the maker and the retailer.

In the absence of traditional trade shows this year, the question is how can you market your product to retailers? The trade show season is time when you bring out all your new products and connect as just discussed above.

How to figure out the path forward.

Perhaps build a show room in your office? Get a video chat going with retailers. How to pull this off successfully....?

It's hard enough to work out how to display your products to show virtually - and then trying to work out the Virtual tools that are available and then how to use them.

We're all in the same boat and working through the same things. It becomes less of a strange thing to have to consider moving to virtual trade fairs and virtual shopping.

Surveying retail customers in the USA showed that virtual trade shows are on the list.

Top tips from this podcast was for retailers to stay motivated....take this time as an opportunity to grow and become inspired again. Fight through the challenges, that we are working through right now.

What does the Future of retail look like? Will the face of retail be changed forever? The next 6-12 months will continue to be challenging.

However people still want to interact with other people. They want to pick up and touch, feel and smell products before they buy them. I was just literally chatting to a customer in my Vitamin Bead retail outlet and this is exactly what she said as well- echoing what I had listened to on the podcast.

Our new way of wholesale and retail will speed up the changes that were already occurring in the market place. If you're not providing a great experience, not giving great customer service, have a great selection of products and keeping up with new ways of interacting with your customer- it's going to be harder for you to move forward.

It's essential to support small businesses and have a positive and optimistic view point. We need to understand that some people are afraid - just keep doing the best that you can do and try to learn new tricks.

The Faire team from the USA are putting tools together to connect with retailers- in the form of Live Streaming, bookings and ordering systems.

This is super timely as my 5 day #retailchallenge & #wholesalechallenge will give retailers and wholesalers alike a chance to learn the new things that they can do to reach their audiences if we can't do it in person.

Let's work together to ensure wholesale and independent retail comes back stronger than before. #shoplocal and #supprotsmallbusiness helps us to be resilient, showcase our creativity and hope as small independent businesses.

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