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Selling seasonal

Retailers can up the private brand value proposition with a successful seasonal program

BY DSN STAFF

While customers often make a shopping trip to pick up their traditional standby items, today’s consumer also loves an unexpected product that is on-trend. Seasonal items can be both traditional and trendy, and they can round out a retailer’s private-brand offerings to reap rewards.

Whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall, there are several winning strategies retailers can implement to offer a seasonal program and catch the eye of their customers. Retailers looking to build a successful seasonal private-brand program can do so by following four key best practices.

Be on Trend
It’s really important to identify the trends in the market and ensure you are not too far ahead or too far behind. This goes not just for trends in products, but also for trends in such macro categories as bakeware versus serveware and adult entertaining versus children’s products. It also applies to such elements as materials (porcelain versus stoneware, cotton versus polyester, copper versus silver), colors and designs (Bohemian versus traditional, Nordic versus whimsical).

Understand Your Consumer
Loyalty programs, great customer service and unique shopper amenities are musts in this competitive retail environment, but when it comes to products, what is going to keep the consumer coming back for more? How do particular trends align with a retailer’s customer base? Are they ahead of the trend, on-trend or more comfortable with evergreen or traditional trends?

To determine the answers to these questions, retailers perform surveys within their stores. This can help retailers gain 
a better understanding of the types of items consumers prefer — and even how different designs might resonate with their shoppers.

Once they understand what their customers are looking for, retailers can develop a targeted and exclusive line of products that will keep shoppers coming back for more. Having exclusive designs and patterns sets you apart from the competition.

Create a Cohesive Program
Once retailers have the foundation in place, they can take the trends of color, design and materials and apply them to a custom design that can be replicated in every category across the store. For example, you could have a green candle in a specific shade in the lighting section, a plate with the same shade of green and a custom design in the tabletop section, and then a towel with the same design and green shade in the housewares section. That way any part of the store the customer shops, they have the same experience and interaction with the seasonal design, which helps create solutions across multiple categories.

Have the Right Sourcing Strategy
The right sourcing strategy is absolutely critical to a seasonal sales program. Retailers and/or their third-party agents should consider the following:

  • Ensure they are familiar with commodity pricing to negotiate best costs;
  • Determine product lines that can come factory direct;
  • Consolidate sourcing efforts to the fewest number of factories and ports to ensure minimum order quantities and cost of goods savings are maximized;
  • Have dedicated sourcing or quality assurance teams in Asia and Europe;
  • Ensure quality assurance practices are in-line with industry standards; and
  • Track sell-through and price correctly to minimize mark-down.

When sourced and executed properly, a seasonal private-brand program can generate both revenue and customer loyalty. When customers know they can only get these limited-time products at your store, it’s a win-win for everyone.


Maria Rodriguez is the import sales director at Daymon.

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Hallmark brings greeting cards to virtual baskets

BY DSN STAFF

Hallmark is joining forces with retailers to drive greeting card profits in the online marketplace. The Kansas City, Mo-based company said this effort is focused on delivering new and innovative solutions, especially as the grocery industry sees a spike in online sales.

“There is a tremendous opportunity for us to add to her basket while she is shopping online,” Stacey Howe, Hallmark general manager and vice president of national accounts, said. “When she is looking at cake mix or birthday candles, we can suggest she also browse a selection of birthday cards and gift wrap to complete her order.”

U.S. online grocery spending could grow from 4.3% in 2016 to 20% by the year 2025, stated a Food Marketing Institute-Nielsen report. According to Hallmark’s research, those who shop for groceries online also are more likely to purchase cards. This has prompted the company to create an e-commerce team focused solely on developing strategies, solutions and tools that will allow its retail partners to expand their greeting card aisles to the digital space.

Greeting cards are a high-margin, non-perishable and low-weight item that is able to increase total purchase value without adding any complexities, the company said. Hallmark also is seeing month-over-month growth within all its e-commerce channels.
In order to provide the best shopping experience for the consumer, the greeting card company provides online consumers with imagery designed to showcase each card’s texture, scale and dimensions. The cards also will be accompanied by detailed descriptions — including the sentiment inside — online.

Each order placed online comes packaged specially for the e-commerce space, Hallmark said.

“Our initial partnerships with retailers are already generating strong results, and we are taking key learnings from these experiences to optimize our tools and drive even better results,” Howe said. “Flexibility in our operational approach is key. We adapt to fit within a retailer’s existing capabilities and iterate alongside them as they grow.”

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Whole Fruit’s Fruit Bars, Organic Juice Tubes become Non-GMO Project Verified

BY Gisselle Gaitan

J&J Snack Foods announced that two of its products, the Whole Fruit Fruit Bars and Organic Juice Tubes, are now Non-GMO Project Verified.

“By partnering with the Non-GMO Project, we hope to strengthen our well-loved brand even further. We want our Whole Fruit consumers to feel good about and trust the treats they are feeding their family and friends — this is just one additional way to help them do so,” Alissa Davis, vice president of marketing at J&J Snack Foods, said.

The Non-GMO Project verified Whole Fruit Fruit Bars will include the strawberry, mango and black cherry flavors. The Whole Fruit Organic Juice Tubes are to feature to the apple grape, apple blueberry, apple cherry and apple strawberry varieties.

Whole Fruit Fruit Bars and Organic Juice Tubes can be found in the freezer section of local retail supermarkets, supercenters and warehouse clubs. Further information can be found on J&J Snack Foods’ website.

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