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Looking back at lessons learned from a down economy

As retail starts to recover we take a look back at wisdom gained during the downturn. 

Retailers are working with wholesalers to drive traffic through better advertising. Retailers are working with wholesalers to drive traffic through better advertising.

In a recovering economy it becomes easy to say “glad that’s ending” and slip into our old habits forgetting what we learned during the downturn. However, we’ve gained some hard won wisdom over the past few years! This blog takes a look back at lessons learned so that we don’t lose them in the rush of recovery.

Retailers and wholesalers, working together
Over the past few years retailers and wholesalers have started to work in tandem with the goal increasing sales. This has led to more open, honest communication. Retailers have started to share their plans (display areas, events, sales, etc.) with wholesalers who have responded by sharing ideas for displaying and marketing their products that can fit into the retailer’s plans. Wholesalers have come to see themselves as the retailers’ ally—and that will not change as the economy grows.

Keystoning as a base, not a bible
Wholesalers and retailers have started to price merchandise competitively as a whole instead of as an individual item. Lost liter has started to replace the keystone mantra and keystone now reflects a retailers entire inventory. That means some items are actually priced lower just as some are higher. For example a retailer may price a bigger item at $40 instead of $50 (wholesale $25) and make up the difference by marking up smaller items over keystone. The same applies to wholesalers trying to create the best value for retailers.

Well-designed promotional materials
Over the past few years retailers have worked harder to attract customers including by improving the quality of their promotional materials. Where once they may have created flyers in word and printed them on a desktop printer, now we are seeing retailers using design templates and overnight postcard printing to create nicer promotional items. Melrose has been supporting retailers in their effort for higher design by sharing Ad Downloads that can be quickly and easily customized by retailers.

These are just some of the best practices we’ve seen emerge during the downturn that we expect to continue through the recovery and beyond. But we aren’t the only ones who’ve gained wisdom. We can bet that you’ve picked up your own tricks over the past few years—please share them with us, and other MELspeak readers—in the comments below.

Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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