After completing a major expansion of $ 1.5 billion in May Javits Center In Manhattan First face-to-face sample Since interrupting such an event during a pandemic lockdown last year. From August 8th to 11th, wholesalers gathered in the city for the NY NOW show for professional buyers and retailers.
The show featured hundreds of consumer product categories, divided into 10 sections. Accessories; Craftsman resources; Baby + Kids; Gifts + Stationery; Handmade designer maker. Handmade global design. Home design + tabletop; luxury lifestyle and wellness.
Judging from the feedback provided by vendors at the trade fair, it is clear that the ongoing COVID crisis has affected virtually every business in some way (both positive and negative). The stories of some companies on the trade fair floor are as follows:
Mary Althoff, Founder / Owner Mielco Fine European LinenHas been exhibiting at NY NOW for over 20 years and noted that the number of vendors has dropped significantly from the year before the previous pandemic. This year, the exhibition was limited to one section of Javits. She recalls the early days of the industry, where there was a five-year waiting list and the entire complex was full of exhibitors.
“The pandemic has closed many companies, both wholesale and retail, so the remaining people are in a position to survive the storm and do business,” Altov said. “The buyer came to buy instead of kicking the tire.” Nevertheless, she predicts that there will be more fallout before it’s over. While the cost of international shipping from Asia has more than doubled, the business has declined significantly as specialty stores have been closed for at least a couple of months.
Owner of Jaime Windau I love baby, Most stores have reopened, but said they are affected by many factors, including supply chain issues and limited tourism.
Due to the pandemic, Windau’s wholesale business was suspended from March to May 2020, but it remained firm when the store was reopened.By focusing on them retail For more consumers shopping online on their website and at home, it was a win. The children’s clothing brand, which specializes in gender-neutral design, first exhibited at NY NOW in 2018 and is back this year to reconnect with its current wholesale customers and meet new customers.
“It’s our favorite show and it’s like having a presence there. Most of the buyers and brands we’ve been involved with are excited to see the live product in person and come back. “It was,” said Windau. “Some buyers commented that the show was small and some of the brands they wanted to meet weren’t attending. We reminded buyers that we’re still in a pandemic. … Some brands are international and affected by travel concerns, some have supply chain issues that ruin their business. The list continues. “
Chemotherapy beanieManufacturing headcovers for people being treated for cancer with chemotherapy has managed to operate during the pandemic, despite a significant drop in wholesale trade due to traffic outages at hospital gift shops. I did. To counter wholesale losses, the company closed the gap by strengthening online retail sales, joining additional e-commerce sites and increasing advertising spend.
As 2021 approached, ChemoBeanies co-founder / president Angelle Albright sought a direct trade fair, especially to reconnect with wholesale customers and reach out to new customers. “Even in a pandemic, we couldn’t stop our customers from receiving treatment. Our freeze operation was never an option. We need to be available regardless, so find our customers online and We’ve found the best way to meet our customers wherever they are, “says Albright.
Some companies have experienced intrinsic sales growth in response to a pandemic. Just My Type Letter Press The wholesale service resumed in early 2021 and the reaction was encouraging. The stationery industry was generally a good year as people were mailing more cards.
“People I talked to in the stationery industry were very surprised at how well last year’s situation worked. Buyers, whether wholesale or retail consumers of stores, became cautious. I feel like I am, “said Lin M. Jones, the owner of the company. Nevertheless, she states: Delta variant The case of COVID-19 revealed that the pandemic was not over yet. “
Heads Up Design Company, which operates as a custom candle maker 54 CelsiusAlso, sales have increased dramatically over the past year, said founder and managing director Daniel Koval. With office closures and the elimination of competing services and fashion industries for disposable income, spending on home decor and accessories has increased significantly. Global logistics issues, on the other hand, are hampering growth due to the lack of access to products and raw materials.
This is the second time 54 Celsius has exhibited at NY NOW.
The retailers who went to the show came to buy and did a great show. The aisles were quiet, but the booth was almost non-stop with customers … Last year was also very good in my part of the industry. People have cash to spend, and homes have taken on a whole new importance as businesses rethink their “places” of work, “Koval said. “Home accessory sales and candle sales continue to exceed our expectations. I have hired two new customer service team members since the pandemic began, but now I’m adding more. Considering. As many stores go online and vaccination rates increase, some are finding that consumers are excited to go out and shop at local stores. “
One macroeconomic development that helps boost the outlook for 54Celsius is a solution to the global shipping container shortage. The company ships candles in refrigerated containers from Europe and Asia to the United States and from the United States to Europe. Shortages mean that supply is very difficult these days, resulting in lost sales and angry and frustrated customers.
“Obtaining a container triples or quadruples the cost. One of the container routes, which was $ 6,000 last year, is now $ 26,000. The system is broken,” Koval said. “If the container shortage has a silver lining, it has strengthened our commitment to manufacturing locally. Last year, we moved production of many lines to the United States, but in each market we sell. We will continue these efforts. We will reduce carbon dioxide emissions, increase our work here, and strengthen our client service. “
“I think wholesale and retail are certainly in recovery mode, but the scale is sliding because the crisis is having different impacts on all businesses. Those who want to survive, I’m working hard, saying, “It will happen.” Retailers and wholesalers are equally skeptical until the veil is lifted by the reopened door. Overall investment is declining and I don’t think you can buy with greater confidence until you know where things are going. It’s a difficult place, but from what we’ve experienced, buyers plan carefully. we. “
For example, Dr. Joshua Gordon’s New York-based beauty and personal care company no, Thanks to quarantine and masks, the demand for lip products has decreased. Correspondingly, Gordon expanded to include moisturizers and bath bombs. His team believes the recovery is slow and depends on the product category and subcategory.
“Just as lipstick sales declined during the pandemic and moisturizers and disinfectants increased, resumption, return to work, etc., in that certain categories are superior to others. That means there’s another change in which products are gaining momentum. We’re doing even better than before the pandemic, “Gordon said.
so Fortune & FrameSince March 2020, business has grown by more than 300%.
“The retail industry is resilient,” said Principal Kieran Powell. “Most of it is because it’s constantly evolving. Consumers want the discovery and social elements of going to stores. As a result, stores are enhancing their games and many digital first brands We have successfully opened new physical stores and are creating a more competitive wholesale industry. Brands need to create better products to compete, showrooms and trade fairs are the best brands for retailers We need to provide the best way to serve our customers. “
However, there are still too many unknown and unpredictable factors to reliably predict retail recovery.
Strong evidence of such uncertainty surfaced just days before the NYNOW show began. The producer of the 2021 New York International Auto Show, which was scheduled to be held in Javits at the end of this month on August 4, cancel.. Reason: “… increased incidence of COVID-19 delta mutations and increased measures recently announced by state and local authorities to stop the spread,” the organizer’s statement said.
Edited by Matthew B. Hall and Brian Wilkes
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