Merchandising that makes cents

Merchandising that makes cents

Merchandising is not as easy as it looks, but using the right metrics can lead to sound decisions.
merchandising

When beachgoers and coastal residents walk into a specialty store near the ocean, they tend to notice the things that give a store its character — unusual items, a funky store name and a trendy color scheme. But being successful takes more than creativity. It takes something the right-brained individuals who own these stores often dread: science and data.

Owning and operating a boutique or gift shop in a beach town is not as easy as it looks. There are ebbs and flows in business, and it takes skill to understand what to buy, how much to keep in stock, how to set pricing and when to put items on sale.

Retail consultant Margo Kopman says many of her clients get into retail without fully realizing how much it entails.

“Typically the No. 1 mistake that retailers make is they don’t realize there is a science behind it,” she said. “And what happens is that they are not measuring the successes in their business and they aren’t measuring their failures.”

The former owner of a boutique in St. Louis, Kopman remembers the days when clothes were flying off the racks at her store and yet she still wasn’t making a profit. She didn’t know it then, but she needed an “open-to-buy,” which is basically a plan that establishes a budget and determines how much inventory to bring in and when. Once she figured that out, she says, her store turned around practically overnight.

“What I realized is, ‘If you aren’t measuring it, you can’t improve it,’” Kopman said.

She took what she learned, sold her store and moved to Los Angeles, where she started a boutique consulting firm called The Project Retail. She now helps shops in coastal areas get their inventory acts together so they can be profitable.

Kopman shared advice on how to manage merchandise in a Q&A with Seaside Retailer Editor-in-Chief Kristin Ely.

Q. What is the first step stores should take to manage inventory better?

The No. 1 thing I always coach my clients to do, whether we start from day one or they’ve been open for a while, is to get a point of sale (POS) system that tracks inventory properly, one that is an inventory management system and that also has the ability to track customer information.

This allows us to extract the data and really understand what is selling through the fastest and what potentially could be a markdown coming up if we’ve had it for a while.

Q. What is the key to keeping inventory at manageable levels year-round?

It is all about the balance of the inventory. If you get it in too late, you miss opportunity for the season. If you get it in too early, then your store becomes stale.

It is important to understand seasonal peaks and valleys. buy inventory at the front of the season and then cash out of it by the end of the season.

In Florida, for example, the busy season is over by April 31. That doesn’t mean that people aren’t shopping, but your inventory levels need to be as low as they possibly can be at that time, and then built back up for the actual season when the snowbirds arrive in October or November. You can steadily get in new merchandise every month, but much less than you would when you are in season.

Q. When should items be marked down?

It’s important to turn merchandise fast, even if you have to turn it at a markdown. I always say merchandise left over after the season is over is like a rotting dollar bill.

A lot of retailers get scared and don’t want to mark an item down because they think they will be able to sell it. “I’m going to be able to” is not a strategy. The strategy is, “OK, I need cash out of it. I paid for it 90 days ago. Let’s get as much as I can today as opposed to six months from now.”

Gift stores are a little different. That merchandise isn’t really seasonal unless it is holiday merchandise. But with that comes an issue of freshness and turn. Even if a candle doesn’t go bad, but you’ve been sitting on it for eight months, it is a matter of return on investment. Knowing when to mark down items you won’t order again is the easy part. Knowing how much to buy and when it should come in is the more difficult decision.

Q. How do you develop a schedule for ordering merchandise?

First and foremost, understand your breakeven, and then build a merchandise plan off of that. We’d all love to do a million dollars in sales, but at the end of the day that might not be realistic.

Be as conservative as possible with the initial breakeven. The ideal thing is to have a merchandise plan that helps with the balance and flow of the inventory. If you don’t have that, then you’re just kind of winging it.

Q. What should a merchandise plan include?

It is basically a sales forecast and a markdown plan, month by month and by class: dresses, T-shirts, candles, etc. Then you have forecasted beginning of the month inventory levels. You have a stock-to-sales ratio.

All of those things, combined with the planned turn, give you the budget for the month, because every month you want to be bringing in new merchandise.

Q. How should a buyer determine what items to purchase for the store?

That is the art part. That is like asking a painter, “How did you figure out what to paint today?” You can’t teach that, but it is really critical that they pick the right mix of things.

The most important question to ask is, “How much inventory do I need to have each month to hit the sales goal, to break even and to make money?”

Once you have a POS system set up, the next step is understanding how to build the reports in your inventory management system.

The inventory management system helps determine what’s selling, what vendors are working, what styles are working and what classes are driving the business.

You can’t teach someone to be a good picker, but you can give them the tools to analyze what is working. How to translate the data into sound purchasing decisions is always the big question.

Q. How important is the mix of products offered in a store?

Depending on the type of business you are in, it is really building a class structure that works.

You can drill down the assortment based on how much you need of each class. As you are measuring it and see the actual demand, you know whether to keep running with something or pull back on it.

You want to play offense, but there are moments when you will be playing defense. Trends can change from year to year, so it is important to have a plan that is measuring the demands along the way. You can actually pick up on the trends changing before they actually turn the corner positively or negatively. 

Merchandising that makes cents

Merchandising is not as easy as it looks, but using the right metrics can lead to sound decisions.
merchandising

When beachgoers and coastal residents walk into a specialty store near the ocean, they tend to notice the things that give a store its character — unusual items, a funky store name and a trendy color scheme. But being successful takes more than creativity. It takes something the right-brained individuals who own these stores often dread: science and data.

Owning and operating a boutique or gift shop in a beach town is not as easy as it looks. There are ebbs and flows in business, and it takes skill to understand what to buy, how much to keep in stock, how to set pricing and when to put items on sale.

Retail consultant Margo Kopman says many of her clients get into retail without fully realizing how much it entails.

“Typically the No. 1 mistake that retailers make is they don’t realize there is a science behind it,” she said. “And what happens is that they are not measuring the successes in their business and they aren’t measuring their failures.”

The former owner of a boutique in St. Louis, Kopman remembers the days when clothes were flying off the racks at her store and yet she still wasn’t making a profit. She didn’t know it then, but she needed an “open-to-buy,” which is basically a plan that establishes a budget and determines how much inventory to bring in and when. Once she figured that out, she says, her store turned around practically overnight.

“What I realized is, ‘If you aren’t measuring it, you can’t improve it,’” Kopman said.

She took what she learned, sold her store and moved to Los Angeles, where she started a boutique consulting firm called The Project Retail. She now helps shops in coastal areas get their inventory acts together so they can be profitable.

Kopman shared advice on how to manage merchandise in a Q&A with Seaside Retailer Editor-in-Chief Kristin Ely.

Q. What is the first step stores should take to manage inventory better?

The No. 1 thing I always coach my clients to do, whether we start from day one or they’ve been open for a while, is to get a point of sale (POS) system that tracks inventory properly, one that is an inventory management system and that also has the ability to track customer information.

This allows us to extract the data and really understand what is selling through the fastest and what potentially could be a markdown coming up if we’ve had it for a while.

Q. What is the key to keeping inventory at manageable levels year-round?

It is all about the balance of the inventory. If you get it in too late, you miss opportunity for the season. If you get it in too early, then your store becomes stale.

It is important to understand seasonal peaks and valleys. buy inventory at the front of the season and then cash out of it by the end of the season.

In Florida, for example, the busy season is over by April 31. That doesn’t mean that people aren’t shopping, but your inventory levels need to be as low as they possibly can be at that time, and then built back up for the actual season when the snowbirds arrive in October or November. You can steadily get in new merchandise every month, but much less than you would when you are in season.

Q. When should items be marked down?

It’s important to turn merchandise fast, even if you have to turn it at a markdown. I always say merchandise left over after the season is over is like a rotting dollar bill.

A lot of retailers get scared and don’t want to mark an item down because they think they will be able to sell it. “I’m going to be able to” is not a strategy. The strategy is, “OK, I need cash out of it. I paid for it 90 days ago. Let’s get as much as I can today as opposed to six months from now.”

Gift stores are a little different. That merchandise isn’t really seasonal unless it is holiday merchandise. But with that comes an issue of freshness and turn. Even if a candle doesn’t go bad, but you’ve been sitting on it for eight months, it is a matter of return on investment. Knowing when to mark down items you won’t order again is the easy part. Knowing how much to buy and when it should come in is the more difficult decision.

Q. How do you develop a schedule for ordering merchandise?

First and foremost, understand your breakeven, and then build a merchandise plan off of that. We’d all love to do a million dollars in sales, but at the end of the day that might not be realistic.

Be as conservative as possible with the initial breakeven. The ideal thing is to have a merchandise plan that helps with the balance and flow of the inventory. If you don’t have that, then you’re just kind of winging it.

Q. What should a merchandise plan include?

It is basically a sales forecast and a markdown plan, month by month and by class: dresses, T-shirts, candles, etc. Then you have forecasted beginning of the month inventory levels. You have a stock-to-sales ratio.

All of those things, combined with the planned turn, give you the budget for the month, because every month you want to be bringing in new merchandise.

Q. How should a buyer determine what items to purchase for the store?

That is the art part. That is like asking a painter, “How did you figure out what to paint today?” You can’t teach that, but it is really critical that they pick the right mix of things.

The most important question to ask is, “How much inventory do I need to have each month to hit the sales goal, to break even and to make money?”

Once you have a POS system set up, the next step is understanding how to build the reports in your inventory management system.

The inventory management system helps determine what’s selling, what vendors are working, what styles are working and what classes are driving the business.

You can’t teach someone to be a good picker, but you can give them the tools to analyze what is working. How to translate the data into sound purchasing decisions is always the big question.

Q. How important is the mix of products offered in a store?

Depending on the type of business you are in, it is really building a class structure that works.

You can drill down the assortment based on how much you need of each class. As you are measuring it and see the actual demand, you know whether to keep running with something or pull back on it.

You want to play offense, but there are moments when you will be playing defense. Trends can change from year to year, so it is important to have a plan that is measuring the demands along the way. You can actually pick up on the trends changing before they actually turn the corner positively or negatively. 

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Industry responding to Surf Expo cancellation

INDUSTRY RESPONDING TO SURF EXPO CANCELLATION

​Buyers and exhibitors adapt their business strategies to find new opportunities.

The tickets were booked, the booths were paid for and the freight had arrived, but unfortunately for exhibitors and attendees of the September 2019 edition Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida, the show never opened. Mother Nature it seemed had different plans. 

Hurricane Dorian’s path and strength were tracked by meteorologists since it was first spotted in late August in the central Atlantic Ocean, and organizers of the largest watersports, beach and resort lifestyle show in the industry, were watching too. 

Roy Turner, senior vice president of Emerald Exhibitions, Surf Expo’s owner is no stranger to weather creating potential problems for conferences, but as a category five storm, Dorian was in a league of its own. 

“That is a completely other ballgame, so you have to be realistic,” said Turner. “You have to look at the direction from the government in the state, if there are evacuation notices, and you have to preplan for airline travel in and out of the area.”

As the 18 Surf Expo team members based in Atlanta were watching the storm path and trying to figure out what to do, there was one central concern. 

“Our main goal when we are looking at these things is always safety,” said Turner. 

While Dorian was not the major threat to Florida that meteorologists were predicting that weekend, the decision had to be made well in advance of the exhibitor move-in. 

“Our idea was to make sure we could make the announcement before people got on the plane,” said Turner. “The last thing you want is to delay any of those announcements and have people sitting in Orlando with no way home. We gave everybody a heads up, we communicated through every channel we had the opportunity to communicate through.” 

The Surf Expo website was updated shortly after 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 2, with an email notification going out to exhibitors and attendees that the show was cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian and encouraging people to donate to the relief effort. 

As we know, Dorian ended up wrecking havoc on the Bahamas, becoming the worst storm to ever strike there. 

Even though Florida, was spared, Turner said, “At the end of the day, I think we made the right call and didn’t put anybody in harm’s way.”

After the safety concerns were addressed by cancelling the show, the next goal for Surf Expo became taking care of customers. This included “making it as easy as possible for people to get refunded and reimbursed but also work out the logistics of 200,000 square feet of freight going back to manufacturers,” said Turner.

In the show’s 43-year history, Surf Expo has only been affected by hurricanes twice, according to Turner. It just so happens that both cancellations were within two years of each other. In 2017, Hurricane Irma forced show organizers to close down a day early. 

Artie Shaw, owner of jewelry company, Snazzy & Co., Deerfield Beach, Fla., was an exhibitor that year and remembers it well. “We did go, we did set up and they actually did cancel the rest of the show. Toward the end of that first day we had an amazing day because the few buyers that were there were wanting to buy stuff and a lot of vendors didn’t show up at all.”

He said the company probably did better than if it had been a regular show. But he remembers waiting for answers after the show was cut short as to whether there was going to be any refund and finally, he was reimbursed. 

This time around, show management was well-prepared. 

Shaw was also planning on exhibiting this year, and when the show was cancelled he got answers right away. 

“They are being very quick about it and very fair about it this year,” he said. 

“We understand the impact of weather, and we had preplanned ways to take care of our exhibitor base should there be a storm,” said Turner. “We do have insurance in place that covers refunds on physical booth space, but we also have a secondary policy that helps cover any additional expenses that manufacturers may have incurred.”

The downside of the cancellation is of course the lost business, which is difficult to quantify. Shaw says Surf Expo is Snazzy’s best show in the second half of the year. 

“For us it’s a big chunk of lost income. No matter what anyone tells you, when you lose the usual income you’ll make at a show, it is very hard to get it back,” he said.

That’s because trade shows bring new business to vendors. Some 900 companies were expected to showcase products at the September show. Turner considers Surf Expo the main player in the beachware space in particular.

That’s what Ashley Louda had set her sights on. She recently opened a Gypsea Soul in Bradenton, Florida, and was planning on attending Surf Expo to find fashion items for the coastal-themed combination boutique and art studio.

Unlike other buying shows where she said she had to go through several floors of merchandise “just to find a handful of coastal items, Surf Expo is really a great resource for coastal items because it is specific and I can do it in one day.”

She’d perused the exhibits at other shows for resortware to capitalize on the winter tourism in her area and was disappointed that all she could find were sweaters. 

“I had planned to go to surf and pick up sundresses and other items, and they shut it down,” she said. 

A buying event in Miami helped a little, but was she was planning to connect with California vendors at Surf Expo. She’s now considering attending some other beach and coastal shows that weren’t initially on her radar such as the Ocean City Resort Gift Expo (Nov. 17-19 in Ocean City, Maryland) or Grand Strand Gift and Resort Merchandise Show (Dec. 8-11 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina).

Linda Guillot, a buyer for Thomas Lee Group was also planning on finding swimware and coverups for a resort she buys for in Turks and Caicos at the September show. 

“It is kind of a bummer for me because I was hoping to see a lot more vendors that I had not had a chance to make contact with,” she said. 

The situation is forcing Guillot to do more research to find individuals she can meet at other shows. 

That face-to-face is important to her because she said, “I really like to touch and feel and know what I am getting, I don’t just want to go buy something that was online. Since this was specific to resort and beach, I was really looking forward to going to that one,” she said.

Of all the groups affected by the cancellation of Surf, manufacturers reps probably took the hardest hits to their pocketbooks, according to Turner. He talked to one California vendor who had more than 100 appointments lined up for the three days of the show. By comparison, that same rep might be able to visit about five customers per day from the road.

“There is some ground to be made up,” Turner said. As well, many of the show’s Caribbean buyers don’t get to see rep forces in their areas, “so they really count on a show like Surf Expo,” he added.

Surf Expo had to get creative to develop ways to connect buyers and sellers through online catalogues and videos in the weeks following the show’s cancellation. Emerald Exhibitions extended Surf Expo’s online marketplace well beyond the show’s scheduled end date so buyers could still view products and place orders. 

Surf Expo holds two shows per year at the Orange County Convention Center, one in January and one in September. The next show is Jan. 8-10, 2020. As for the second show of 2020, Turner says the team is looking at options such as changing the timing, including a rain delay date and considering other locations to avoid another cancellation. Turner isn’t sure changing locations, however, would solve any problems since the show’s core customers are in coastal areas that also carry the risk of hurricanes. 

“We will work with our customers and talk to them in the next several weeks to come up with the best plan of action for everybody,” he said.

INDUSTRY RESPONDING TO SURF EXPO CANCELLATION

​Buyers and exhibitors adapt their business strategies to find new opportunities.

The tickets were booked, the booths were paid for and the freight had arrived, but unfortunately for exhibitors and attendees of the September 2019 edition Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida, the show never opened. Mother Nature it seemed had different plans. 

Hurricane Dorian’s path and strength were tracked by meteorologists since it was first spotted in late August in the central Atlantic Ocean, and organizers of the largest watersports, beach and resort lifestyle show in the industry, were watching too. 

Roy Turner, senior vice president of Emerald Exhibitions, Surf Expo’s owner is no stranger to weather creating potential problems for conferences, but as a category five storm, Dorian was in a league of it’s own. 

“That is a completely other ballgame, so you have to be realistic,” said Turner. “You have to look at the direction from the government in the state, if there are evacuation notices, and you have to preplan for airline travel in and out of the area.”

As the 18 Surf Expo team members based in Atlanta were watching the storm path and trying to figure out what to do, there was one central concern. 

“Our main goal when we are looking at these things is always safety,” said Turner. 

While Dorian was not the major threat to Florida that meteorologists were predicting that weekend, the decision had to be made well in advance of the exhibitor move-in. 

“Our idea was to make sure we could make the announcement before people got on the plane,” said Turner. “The last thing you want is to delay any of those announcements and have people sitting in Orlando with no way home. We gave everybody a heads up, we communicated through every channel we had the opportunity to communicate through.” 

The Surf Expo website was updated shortly after 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 2, with an email notification going out to exhibitors and attendees that the show was cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian and encouraging people to donate to the relief effort. 

As we know, Dorian ended up wrecking havoc on the Bahamas, becoming the worst storm to ever strike there. 

Even though Florida, was spared, Turner said, “At the end of the day, I think we made the right call and didn’t put anybody in harm’s way.”

After the safety concerns were addressed by cancelling the show, the next goal for Surf Expo became taking care of customers. This included “making it as easy as possible for people to get refunded and reimbursed but also work out the logistics of 200,000 square feet of freight going back to manufacturers,” said Turner.

In the show’s 43-year history, Surf Expo has only been affected by hurricanes twice, according to Turner. It just so happens that both cancellations were within two years of each other. In 2017, Hurricane Irma forced show organizers to close down a day early. 

Artie Shaw, owner of jewelry company, Snazzy & Co., Deerfield Beach, Fla., was an exhibitor that year and remembers it well. “We did go, we did set up and they actually did cancel the rest of the show. Toward the end of that first day we had an amazing day because the few buyers that were there were wanting to buy stuff and a lot of vendors didn’t show up at all.”

He said the company probably did better than if it had been a regular show. But he remembers waiting for answers after the show was cut short as to whether there was going to be any refund and finally, he was reimbursed. 

This time around, show management was well-prepared. 

Shaw was also planning on exhibiting this year, and when the show was cancelled he got answers right away. 

“They are being very quick about it and very fair about it this year,” he said. 

“We understand the impact of weather, and we had preplanned ways to take care of our exhibitor base should there be a storm,” said Turner. “We do have insurance in place that covers refunds on physical booth space, but we also have a secondary policy that helps cover any additional expenses that manufacturers may have incurred.”

The downside of the cancellation is of course the lost business, which is difficult to quantify. Shaw says Surf Expo is Snazzy’s best show in the second half of the year. 

“For us it’s a big chunk of lost income. No matter what anyone tells you, when you lose the usual income you’ll make at a show, it is very hard to get it back,” he said.

That’s because trade shows bring new business to vendors. Some 900 companies were expected to showcase products at the September show. Turner considers Surf Expo the main player in the beachware space in particular.

That’s what Ashley Louda had set her sights on. She recently opened a Gypsea Soul in Bradenton, Florida, and was planning on attending Surf Expo to find fashion items for the coastal-themed combination boutique and art studio.

Unlike other buying shows where she said she had to go through several floors of merchandise “just to find a handful of coastal items, Surf Expo is really a great resource for coastal items because it is specific and I can do it in one day.”

She’d perused the exhibits at other shows for resortware to capitalize on the winter tourism in her area and was disappointed that all she could find were sweaters. 

“I had planned to go to surf and pick up sundresses and other items, and they shut it down,” she said. “It’s kind of a nightmare.” 

A buying event in Miami helped a little, but she was planning to connect with California vendors at Surf Expo. She’s now considering attending some other beach and coastal shows that weren’t initially on her radar such as the Ocean City Resort Gift Expo (Nov. 17-19 in Ocean City, Maryland) or Grand Strand Gift and Resort Merchandise Show (Dec. 8-11 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina).

Linda Guillot, a buyer for Thomas Lee Group was also planning on finding swimware and coverups for a resort she buys for in Turks and Caicos at the September show. 

“It is kind of a bummer for me because I was hoping to see a lot more vendors that I had not had a chance to make contact with,” she said. 

The situation is forcing Guillot to do more research to find individuals she can meet at other shows. 

That face-to-face is important to her because she said, “I really like to touch and feel and know what I am getting, I don’t just want to go buy something that was online. Since this was specific to resort and beach, I was really looking forward to going to that one,” she said.

Of all the groups affected by the cancellation of Surf, manufacturers reps probably took the hardest hits to their pocketbooks, according to Turner. He talked to one California vendor who had more than 100 appointments lined up for the three days of the show. By comparison, that same rep might be able to visit about five customers per day from the road.

“There is some ground to be made up,” Turner said. As well, many of the show’s Caribbean buyers don’t get to see rep forces in their areas, “so they really count on a show like Surf Expo,” he added.

Surf Expo had to get creative to develop ways to connect buyers and sellers through online catalogues and videos in the weeks following the show’s cancellation. Emerald Exhibitions extended Surf Expo’s online marketplace well beyond the show’s scheduled end date so buyers could still view products and place orders. 

Surf Expo holds two shows per year at the Orange County Convention Center, one in January and one in September. The next show is Jan. 8-10, 2020. As for the second show of 2020, Turner says the team is looking at options such as changing the timing, including a rain delay date and considering other locations to avoid another cancellation. Turner isn’t sure changing locations, however, would solve any problems since the show’s core customers are in coastal areas that also carry the risk of hurricanes. 

“We will work with our customers and talk to them in the next several weeks to come up with the best plan of action for everybody,” he said.

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Seaside Retailer magazine to debut during the fall show season

SEASIDE RETAILER MAGAZINE TO DEBUT DURING THE FALL SHOW SEASON

Show attendees can obtain a preview issue and a chance to subscribe.

Seaside Retailer magazine is making its debut with a preview issue during the fall show season. The new business magazine for beach, coastal and nautical retailers is launching as a quarterly publication in January 2020, but attendees of the industry’s leading shows will get a sneak peek this fall.

“After months of planning, writing, designing and promoting, we are excited to debut our preview issue,” says Karen Carr, publisher, Seaside Retailer. “And what better way to do it than in-person at industry leading events.” 

Seaside Retailer will be available at the following shows:

  • Panama City Beach Gift Show, Sept. 25-27
  • Ocean City Resort Gift Expo, Nov. 17-19
  • Grand Strand Gift & Resort Merchandise Show, Dec. 8-11
  • Surf Expo, Jan. 8-10

Attendees can stop by the Seaside Retailer booth at any of these events to pick up a copy of the preview issue and meet the staff. While there, they can sign up for a free subscription or learn about advertising opportunities.

Each issue of Seaside Retailer magazine will contain industry-focused news, feature articles, event information and products geared towards these specialty retailers. 

“This magazine is exclusively distributed to business owners and managers who sell this style of merchandise, ranging from apparel to home decor, and everything in between,” says Kristin Ely, Seaside Retailer editor-in-chief. “That means articles, news and products featured in the magazine will cover the topics and merchandise that matter most to this dynamic subset of retailers.”

In addition to a quarterly print magazine in 2020, Seaside Retailer’s portfolio of media offerings includes a dedicated website,
www.seasideretailer.com, and two newsletters, a monthly product newsletter, Seaside Spotlight and an informational newsletter, Seaside Retailer News

Produced in a partnership with Medina, Ohio-based Breakwall Publishing and San Diego-based Cypress Magazines, the publishers of Seaside Retailer have more than 60 years of combined business-to-business publishing experience. 

SEASIDE RETAILER MAGAZINE TO DEBUT DURING THE FALL SHOW SEASON

Show attendees can obtain a preview issue and a chance to subscribe.

Seaside Retailer magazine is making its debut with a preview issue during the fall show season. The new business magazine for beach, coastal and nautical retailers is launching as a quarterly publication in January 2020, but attendees of the industry’s leading shows will get a sneak peek this fall.

“After months of planning, writing, designing and promoting, we are excited to debut our preview issue,” says Karen Carr, publisher, Seaside Retailer. “And what better way to do it than in-person at industry leading events.” 

Seaside Retailer will be available at the following shows:

  • Panama City Beach Gift Show, Sept. 25-27
  • Ocean City Resort Gift Expo, Nov. 17-19
  • Grand Strand Gift & Resort Merchandise Show, Dec. 8-11
  • Surf Expo, Jan. 8-10

Attendees can stop by the Seaside Retailer booth at any of these events to pick up a copy of the preview issue and meet the staff. While there, they can sign up for a free subscription or learn about advertising opportunities.

Each issue of Seaside Retailer magazine will contain industry-focused news, feature articles, event information and products geared towards these specialty retailers. 

“This magazine is exclusively distributed to business owners and managers who sell this style of merchandise, ranging from apparel to home decor, and everything in between,” says Kristin Ely, Seaside Retailer editor-in-chief. “That means articles, news and products featured in the magazine will cover the topics and merchandise that matter most to this dynamic subset of retailers.”

In addition to a quarterly print magazine in 2020, Seaside Retailer’s portfolio of media offerings includes a dedicated website,
www.seasideretailer.com, and two newsletters, a monthly product newsletter, Seaside Spotlight and an informational newsletter, Seaside Retailer News

Produced in a partnership with Medina, Ohio-based Breakwall Publishing and San Diego-based Cypress Magazines, the publishers of Seaside Retailer have more than 60 years of combined business-to-business publishing experience. 

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