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Highlights from day one of Faire Winter Market 2021

February 1, 2021 | Published by Faire

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The first day of Faire Winter Market 2021 kicked off with buzzing excitement. Thousands of independent retailers began browsing over 6,500 brand promotions and placing orders to stock their stores. Members of our community also attended informative talks, hosted via livestream, throughout the day.

Industry forecast with Dana Telsey

Dana Telsey of Telsey Advisory Group covered her retail industry predictions for 2021 and beyond. Her forecast included increased demand for discretionary spending and the rise of contactless commerce and personalization.

She spoke about how retailers can engage customers as the retail landscape changes. Dana shared best practices for gaining customer loyalty—such as remembering a customer’s interests and setting aside products they’ll love. Additionally, she advocated for ongoing communication via text or email to form closer relationships. 

“That incrementality of purchase that you can only get through a relationship with an independent boutique is more powerful today than it ever was in the past,” Dana said.

Retail finance advice with Management One

Paul Erikson of Management One hosted an educational session on retail finance fundamentals. He covered the most impactful metrics to track for your business, including how to calculate the right markup and markdown budgets to reach your business goals in 2021. He even shared these helpful formulas for retailers to reference. 

In particular, Paul focused on the difference between a good markdown and a bad markdown. A good markdown keeps inventory fresh, increases cash flow, and opens up floor space. Alternatively, a bad markdown can become a higher expense than payroll and lead to lost revenue. 

“You [need] to have freshness of inventory—it’s the voyage of discovery,” Paul said. “If you are reluctant to make a markdown because of an image concern, that is a huge mistake because the image problem that you are trying to solve is driving consumers away.”

Common challenges in retail with Boutique Hub

Sara Burks, Director of Education at Boutique Hub, led a session focused on building a thriving business and forming actionable plans to overcome common roadblocks. She discussed how to delegate, hire the right people, and narrow inventory focus in a retail business. 

Sara encouraged retailers to focus on creating a store experience of products that feel full, inviting, and transport customers to another place. Otherwise, Sara explained, retailers may risk losing customers to another store. 

“You need to understand low sales might not have anything to do with your customer base. It might be what you are serving them,” Sara said. “You cannot sell what you don’t have.”

Brand spotlights on Itzy Ritzy and Compartes Chocolate

The Itzy Ritzy team revealed new gender-neutral nursery characters as well as a brand new diaper bag and weekender bag collection for on-the-go moms. 

The brand used the livestream format to interact with first-time buyers and to build excitement for their new collection release. They also gave viewers an understanding of the product development process for this new line, including studying bag styles for all body types and designing with gender-neutrality in mind to promote parental inclusivity. 

Then, Compartes Chocolate owner Jonathan Grahm took market attendees on a tour of his Los Angeles chocolate facility. Viewers got an exclusive peek into how the brand’s chocolate bars are made. 

By sharing closeup views of his production process on camera, Jonathan demonstrated how video can serve to connect retailers with products in a virtual setting. He answered audience questions throughout the livestream, which he said was the first live video he’s ever hosted. “I’m so happy. This is the first time we’ve ever done anything like this, and we’re so happy to be here on Faire doing this.” 

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