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Preparing For Market!

September 12, 2008

I often wonder if retailers realize how much preparation goes into getting ready for market? Yesterday was a full travel day to Chicago for me, but that is not when the groundwork was set in motion. For most showrooms the planning commences right after the previous market ends. So in a week, when the 2008 September International Casual Furniture Show is a recent memory, the meetings take place to discuss the pros and cons of this market and what improvements can be made for the following year.

Just as the brand new furniture, fabrics and accessories are being reviewed and ordered for your own showrooms, manufacturers are meeting with fabric companies, in product development and planning for the next season. Developing new products, forecasting new color palettes, creating new marketing and sales tools is an ongoing process that starts immediately and continues through next year, this time and on and on again.

Today the hallways will be buzzing with people setting up showrooms, making changes from pre-market displays and placing the finishing touches on already completed vignettes. The visual merchandising, color choices and floor planning is done with one thing in mind, to capture and engage the attention and interest of customers / retailers who will be coming to the show next week to be the first to see what is new in the marketplace for 2009.

This is a collaborative effort that involves the hard work of many people within an organization. All aspects of the business are in full gear to get ready for opening day. Everyone has a hand in what you see in the showroom, from the workers on the manufacturing floor to the office staff throughout every department in the organization.
So Sunday night, when we leave the showroom before opening day, although we will all be tired from our efforts, we will have a sense of accomplishment, as well as, anticipation from the hard work that led up to that moment.

As you read this you will realize that this process is not much different than the process that you go through in planning for your new season. Choosing the furniture collections with the best fabrics and finishes that you believe will be showstoppers, which appeal to your customers is the very same challenge that manufacturers face in getting prepared for market. Hopefully, you will feel at the end of next week that all of the hard work was worthwhile and that you come away from market with excitement, energy and a newfound surge to move into this new season with hope and encouragement for a prosperous new year.

I will be writing in this journal throughout the market to keep you informed, sharing ideas and suggestions on the best way to achieve the most from your days at market.

Stay tuned and if you have any questions or comments feel free to write…Marcia Blake