IFA AND WHAT’S HOT
By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
Wow, IFA. One word can describe this event, and that word is HUGE!!!
This was our second year visiting IFA in Berlin and what a show. IFA is now the world’s leading trade fair for the home appliances industry and continues to be a trendsetting show. Overall, the total number of visitors rose to 245,000 this year and 1,645 exhibitors displayed their new products - you can read more about the show in this month’s issue.
As a media partner, we were invited to many pre-show press events with both large and small manufacturers from all over the world. Companies that are already in North America, ones that are coming and others that are thinking about making the jump overseas. We were delighted by what we found at exhibit booths as small as 5’x10’ to entire halls just for one manufacturer.
New technologies are definitely on their way and I was very excited to see these as future opportunities for Independents to have larger more specialized product offerings to present to their customers. For example, we saw new WiFi enabled devices with beautiful digital displays, redesigns from many manufacturers and collaborations between well known designers and manufacturers.
I can’t go into too much detail as some of these products were prototypes and I have been sworn to secrecy. But I can promise you that as these exciting, new products hit the market we will keep you updated. Our “What’s Hot” section is a great place to see what products we find at shows like IFA and beyond.
HOLIDAY STRESS: REMEDIES
By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
During the holidays I am usually inspired to write about the warm and fuzzy side of the season. But this year, I would like to address an issue that seems to only be getting worse, and that’s Holiday Stress. According to recent studies, 72% of people report a heightened level of stress during the holidays; especially women and lower middle income individuals.
Whether you are religious or not, during this time of year we are all inundated with messages of good cheer, gratitude, happiness and love. All words that seem on the opposite side of stress. So what gives? Well, we are also much busier with family gatherings, holiday events, traveling and shopping. Here are the top things that Consumer Reports found Americans dread about holiday shopping. I also provide some ways you can alleviate these stressors.
• 68%:Crowdsandlonglines;properlystaffyourstoresocustomersdon’thave to wait
• 37%:Gettingintodebt;offer2for1bundlepackagesandbonusgiftssothey can check more people off their list for less
• 23%: Seasonal music; mix up your playlist with music that doesn’t include Rudolph
• 15%:Having to be nice; provide stellar customer service to everyone, even Grinches
With a little awareness and planning, independents retailers across the country can help make sure more of us enjoy a warm and fuzzy holiday season this year with less stress.