Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Fascinating Sydney Gift Fair

Mark Fletcher
September 22nd, 2016 · No Comments

The September Reed Gift Fair in Sydney was fascinating on a range of fronts.

  • A greater diversity of retailers attended. This is no longer a gift fair.
  • A greater diversity of suppliers – if you looked hard enough.
  • Plenty of newsagents were only talking about side what has been traditional for their businesses.
  • Just about every retailer was optimistic.
  • Suppliers were optimistic.
  • Suppliers happily talked to newsagents and didn’t say: I’ve got the perfect product for newsagents … when they say this the product is not usually perfect for newsagents.

It was a terrific fair, important at this time of the year for making sure you have what you need for the next few months without the craziness of the larger fairs.

The biggest takeaway was the focus on change by the retailers I spoke with. Most retailers, from various channels, were focused on change in their businesses. Newsagents are not alone with the challenges of disruption in the channel. I got a lot from listening to, for example, the challenges faced by a jeweller or the challenges faced by a specialty garden gift shop being challenged by a new mass-market retailer coming to town.

One thing I didn’t like at the gift fair is the cheap China junk some wholesalers carry. I saw some dreadful products that mimic more expensive lines, products would retail at under $10. They look cheap. They give off a message in retail I’d not want for my shop.

We in our newsagency channel often see what has been and is happening to us as unique to us when it is not. Small business retailers in many channels face similar.

The key from the gift fair is how you face into the challenges.

Getting out of your shop and looking for opportunities beyond what is usual for your business is a good start. That is where trade shows like this are important.

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Category: newsagency of the future

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