Knitted, crochet and fairtrade toys and ideas on how to sell them
Its not been the best start to the month
Oddbins and Allworths have both gone in to administration and stores as diverse as HMV, Mothercare and Dixons have warned that their profits will be lower than expected. Its hard to see the light in UK retail sometimes.
However amongst the gloom is the news that Laura Ashley have almost doubled their profits in the last year from £10m to £19m which got us thinking about ways it is possible to thrive in the current economic climate.
As a stuffed toy wholesaler the 2 things we are most dependent on for our sales are the quality of the knitted and crochet toys we sell and the success of our retailers - as George Osborne likes to say "we are in this together". Therefore the question as how to thrive as a retailer when things are tough is very much of interest to us which is why we are blogging about 2 different emails we received this week
Firstly we were emailed by a company called Buegle (www.buegle.com) who can set you up with a Facebook store for just £99. Given that Facebook is the most searched for term in the UK (and the world!) there is no doubt that selling through Facebook is going to increase. We reported before Xmas that Social Media was driving customers to stores and we already have customers who sell purely through Facebook. We have no idea if Buegle are any good as we are a fairtrade wholesaler not a retail expert but they may be worth a call. We looked in to Facebook stores a bit more and Payvment seem to be a company driving the Facebook store solution and their website is http://payvment.assistly.com/
The other thing which struck our interest was some news from Amazon. They are driving their Marketplace facility and have released the following figures about their customer base
Average age – 38.6
56% Male, 44% Female
59% in full time employment
Average income - £48,700
Spend 11.7 hours per week online
Marketplace already have 2 million sellers and their sales account for 30% of total unit sales
Working on the basis that if you can't beat them, join them, then the Marketplace offers you access to Amazon's 130m customers. Amazon is only pushing its Marketplace because its profitable to them so they will obviously take their pound of flesh, but on the other hand they may provide you with much needed volume. However please don't be tempted to discount our knitted and crochet toys on Amazon or we will stop supplying you! For an explanation please read this http://www.bestyears.co.uk/blog/why-you-don-t-discount-fairtrade-toys
As we always say, we are a stuffed toy wholesaler and not a retail consultancy but either of these could be a good opportunity. Maybe worth a try?
And if you want to know why we aren't doing them its because we only sell to independent retailers and not to consumers!
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