One way retailers Smiggle and Typo are driving traffic and sales success with stationery is by pitching stationery outside of the usual approach for pitching stationery. They are doing this through innovative packaging and product selection whereby everyday items look more appealing that much of what newsagents have in their everyday stationery department. They focus on stationery as a fashion more than functional purpose.
I was reminded of the opportunity of pitching stationery in a newsagency outside the stationery department when I met with some folks from 3M yesterday. Among a terrific range of products (available from GNS) that I saw was this handbag post-it note dispenser. While the majority of newsagents have post-it notes on their shelves, few have this and other fashion and fun post-it note dispensers.
Our narrow buying of stationery, buying as if we were buying for the 1980s and 1990s shopper, misses opportunities for us. Here is 3M, a relatively boring (sorry guys) consumer products firm offering more fashion oriented versions of traditional products that enable us ti pitch stationery as gifts and too few in our channel embrace the opportunity.
Let’s make stationery fun. This starts with us buying better. We can do this by talking more with suppliers and seeking out fun and fashion related stationery products – for seasons and through the year.
Stationery sales are challenged in many newsagencies and we have only ourselves to blame since we do the buying, merchandising and promotion. Let’s stop letting Smiggle, Typo and others win by buying better.