Is the brick and mortar retail model dead? A vehement NO! was the consensus of three separate round table discussions held in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 16-18, 2017. Sales representatives, retail store owners and manufacturer members of ASTRA met in their respective groups to discuss how online sales have affected brick and mortar retail and what the future holds.
Overall, the conclusions from all three discussions were the same:
- Online is here to stay –with positive as well as detrimental effects. Look for the positives!
- Brick and mortar retail stores are essential to manufacturers, sales reps, consumers and online businesses.
- How consumers shop and what they spend their money on is rapidly changing. There are ways for everyone to benefit from this if we re-create how we market to our customers.
- We’re all in this together and communication is the key to everyone’s success.
ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy, the annual trade show and conference for the specialty toy industry, is fast approaching. As part of the Academy education, a panel of speakers will provide a follow-up to the round-table discussions and present the positive effects of online retail that increase business for all in the toy industry. In challenging times it’s more important than ever to spend time and resources on your business. Meeting with your colleagues to share ideas, learn new tactics and reinforce the positive actions that you are already taking to grow your business is essential to your business growth and your own personal well-being.
There’s still time to register and take advantage of the opportunities for product sourcing, networking and educational sessions with your toy industry colleagues at ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy. Register at astramarketplace.org.
Sue Warfield is the Director of Member Relations at ASTRA. With more than 30 years of experience in the retail and toy business, Sue offers insight into industry trends and tips and works to connect the retailers, sales representatives, manufacturers and affiliates in the specialty toy retailing arena. Contact Sue at email@example.com.