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

Squish products continue to be strong in 2022

Squish-A-Boos, Squishmallows and similar squishy huggable products are selling well early in 2022, on the back of excellent sales in 2021. These products, and other sensory products, are purchased for all ages from kids through to grandparents – because giving them is like giving a hug.

They sell equally well in-store and online. It’s online where we can tap into interesting data to understand more. For example, half of online purchases are sent to an address different to the purchaser address. That tie-in with the sending a hug thought. Also online, 75% of purchases are 3, often more, while in-store, the majority of purchases are single units.

We have had good success promoting the range on social media.

Being above 50% GP is also appealing.

Success with these squishy products comes down to a few factors: range, strategic in-store placement and understanding the shopper.

It’s not enough to have a small selection. For these squishy products, range does sell – range in terms of characters and sizes.

Strategic placement is all about ensuring that every shopper passing or entering the shop can see them.

Understanding the shopper is all about knowing that it’s not only kids who are drawn to these sensory products. We have sold many destined for parents and grandparents – because giving one of these is like giving a hug. That’s the best sales pitch.

Some people make a mistake and look at these as toys. They are not toys. Okay, to some they may be. But, most sales are not as toys. Most are for a more emotional purpose, a more endearing purpose, and this is what retailers having success most likely tap into.

While you can have terrific success with these squishy products by stocking them. Nurturing and supporting them will leverage far greater success.

This sensory opportunity first became big in 2018. It has been successful ever since. I do think Covid has played a role in supporting the longevity.

I know of a regional newsagency in Australia with a catchment area population of under 5,000 doing $15,000 a year in this space. I mention this to put a number on what success looks like. Their stock investment is under $1,000. That’s a turn in excess of 15. in terms of space and capital, it’s among the most rewarding product niche in the business.

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  1. Peter R

    21 01 2022 SMH 21 01 2022 page 4 “Vaccine uptake for kids slower than teenagers” Photo shows young girl for vaccination saying “It’s a squishmallow mouse named Misty the six year old explained. She hoped it would help her be brave” .

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