Ready. Set. Show!

The beginning of the year is an anxious time for housewares retailers and their suppliers. It’s a moment when the nervous evaluation of year-end sales tallies quickly gives way to the eager pursuit of the new year’s sales goals.

There is little time to savor success or bemoan failure. Either way, the turn of the calendar presents a fresh start, a renewal for all to aim high and to resume the hard work required to reach those goals.

Stacked Schedule

The year starts with a rush for a housewares business presented with a stacked winter trade show schedule. The show slate runs from CES in Las Vegas to the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market to the Dallas Total Home Market to the Las Vegas Market and to Ambiente in Frankfurt before culminating in Chicago at the International Home + Housewares Show to be held earlier-than-usual this year at the start of March.

What can be a daunting journey for many, especially vendors that set up shop at multiple stops along the way, also brings with it the potential of a big payoff for those on both sides of the table best prepared to get a real jump on the year’s business.

For vendors, that requires well-defined new product and marketing programs balanced by the flexibility to adapt as needed to serve varied customers.

For retailers, it means a determination not just to reconnect with existing vendors, but also to discover new resources; and a willingness to collaborate with all suppliers to shorten the gap between show previews and firm commitments.

Captive Audience

The days of big retailers writing big orders at trade shows may be long gone. But that shouldn’t diminish the legitimate value of these industry forums.

The shows still present the most efficient outlets for established and newer suppliers to discuss plans with a diverse, captive audience of current and prospective customers. Retailers, meanwhile, benefit from wide, in-person views of their supply base.

And don’t discount the insightful educational content with which operators of these trade shows have surrounded their exhibit floors. It all can contribute to a more productive shopping experience, and it can inspire vendors and retailers to deliver the same to consumers.

New Opportunities

HomeWorld Business is excited to follow housewares retailers and suppliers as they venture this winter from city to city and show to show.

Offering the most comprehensive coverage of product introductions and detailed show reports, our editors can help guide sellers and buyers to new opportunities for the new year.

Yes, it’s difficult to juggle mounting day-to-day business demands with a stacked trade show schedule to start the year.

This is an anxious time.

If the prospect, however, of attending multiple trade shows the next couple of months is daunting, consider the consequences if you don’t.

Happy New Year. Now let’s get to work.