A month out from the August Home & Giving Fair, retailers have been urged to plan ahead to make the most of the Melbourne-based event.
Dandelyon Gifts co-owner Greg Dodge says there are several steps retailers can take for gift fair success.
“The August Home & Giving Fair offers retailers a fantastic opportunity to source new products for the busiest period of the retail calendar, Christmas,” he says. “Yet I have met many retailers who don’t capitalise on what the fair offers.
“It is important to research new exhibitors at the fair and investigate the new products your current wholesalers will be exhibiting. It is also wise to print a floor map and highlight where your key exhibitors are so you don’t have to waste time orientating yourself, particularly as the Melbourne Home & Giving Fair takes place across multiple locations.
“As you go round the fair, keep detailed notes about exhibitors and products to refresh your memory afterwards. I would also recommend having a list of five key questions to ask each exhibitor, such as do they stock other stores in your area?
“With just five short days to meet new and existing suppliers, and select products which will be central to a business’ offering for the next sales season it is an extremely busy five days for retailers, but these steps maximise efficiency,” Dodge adds.
Having attended more than 50 gift fairs, Chris Tourgelis, owner of Sydney stores Opus and Octopus, has got his visit down to a fine art.
“I set up meetings with a dozen or so of my key suppliers prior to the fair which saves me at least a day at the fair,” he says. “By tending to these existing relationships beforehand, I can spend five solid days sourcing new products and suppliers for my stores, which is my main priority.”
To help retailers stay organised during the busy event, the Australian Gift and Homewares Association (AGHA) has some tools to help.
“The Home & Giving Fairs are one of many benefits we offer our members. In response to member feedback we now provide a notebook with a stapler and pen so retailers can keep detailed notes that can be re-visited throughout the fair and when placing further orders after the fair,” says George Lancaster, AGHA marketing and membership manager.