We did $17,000 in plush sales for the three months to September 30, 2013, up 57% on the same period in 2012. We will easily pass $80,000 in sales this year, delivering more than $50,000 in gross profit.
The growth is a direct result of an ever changing mix of product, our commitment to known brands and excellent shop-floor engagement.
We have created this success for ourselves, growing revenue for the newsagency from a category the channel has been engaged with for years but one which we have neglected. From a small inventory investment and energetic shop-floor management we have made plush a destination product for us.
I mention this in the context of the promotion Hubbed by the ANF and the questions and comments I have published here. For the same amount of money Hubbed wants newsagents to commit to its new agency offering a newsagent can get into Plush and chase a far bigger reward.
It is analysis in to categories like plush the ANF should research consider as part of due diligence when recommending business development strategy to newsagents. Embraced nationally, plush could be more valuable in terms of new traffic, revenue and return on investment to the channel than Hubbed. There are enough newsagents embracing it to be able to harvest good data, current data.
Whereas Hubbed requires a technology platform, marketing to drive traffic, focus on a single supplier and does not fit with products we currently sell, a product category like plush requires no technology, can be sourced from many suppliers, offers the opportunity for local customisation and fits with existing products: cards and gifts.
In pointing these things out I am not seeking to be critical of Hubbed. rather, I am drawing attention to broader consideration newsagents and their representative bodies could take into account when considering any new traffic generator. Before you make any business commitment you should take your time and undertake thorough research.
In my newsagency, plush is proving to be a game changer. Our success with plush is encouraging us in other areas. The pay-off is considerably more than our plush sales.