Tom Gockelen-Kozlowski reports on how summer opportunities could help conjure extra sales
Do you believe in magic? If you’re cynical, let me see if I can change your mind. First, take a standard-sized depot, say 100,000sq ft, and cram it down to 40% of that space. Next, take the lovely big car park most depots have and shrink it to the point where customers don’t have many spaces available and use that space for your suppliers’ delivery lorries. Now put all that into the middle of a major world city with busy traffic liable to cause delays.
It sounds like a recipe for disaster but sprinkle a little wholesaler magic dust over it and you will be looking forward to weekly sales of £1m per week this summer, just like Batleys Bellevue in Edinburgh.
Okay, so these extraordinary numbers might have less to do with sorcery and more to do with the arrival of the Edinburgh festival in the city every August – and a lot of hard work from the depot team. However, it does go to show the miraculous effect a big summer event can have on a depot’s performance.
Luckily for those of you not reading this from a depot in the centre of Scotland’s capital, the arrival of summer brings with it events and celebrations in every part of the UK. In almost every case, these events require attendees to stock up, whether it’s for a picnic, some nice cold beers or a visit to a restaurant or café.
If you’ve yet to grasp the scale of this opportunity, your customers will have.
Upton-upon-Severn retailer Kate Clark, an award-winning businesswoman with an infectious love of retail, takes her van out to nearby campsites every summer when live music brings thousands of revellers to the area.
And while this might be exceptional, think of how many of your customers will sponsor local kids’ football tournaments, fun runs and village fetes. Support them well and you’ll find yourself far more than a supplier of products to their businesses – you’ll be working with them on precisely the kind of activity that makes independent cafés, shops and
pubs so special.
So, local summer events provide fantastic opportunities for wholesalers – but the value of summer to your depot can be even more profound. By this autumn, Usain Bolt will have attempted to repeat his triple Olympic Gold medal haul in Rio; Adele will have taken to the stage at Glastonbury in front of a TV audience of millions and [SPOILER ALERT] the England football team will no doubt have played just well enough in a couple of friendlies to get everyone excited before embarrassingly crashing out in the Euro’s group stages.
These moments of national togetherness create wonderful memories, a real sense of community and – let’s not forget – a huge market for much of the goods wholesaler’s stock. The question is, are you ready to take advantage?