Tuesday, 13 August 2013
I just returned from Toronto for the CJG buying show, and am repacking for the Edmonton show. The definite highlight in Toronto was seeing Wayne, Joanne and Elyse Austen. Hearing them share about the heart-breaking damage from flooding was equally haunting as it was heartwarming to hear the staggering amount of money that members had thrown into the hat for them. As CJG President Wayne Fisher announced, “if that doesn’t bless your blesser, then you’re blesser must be broken!”
Looking forward to Edmonton, and more confident buying. It’s been a few years since the 2008 economic meltdown in the US, and lesser degrees of slowing in parts of Canada. Since that time the tone of buyers has been anywhere from fearful to cautious to slightly optimistic. This year in Toronto I perceived a confidence that retailers are at a place where business is more predictible, and they’re choosing new product strategically. The days of, “maybe this is the year that things will break loose,” or “hopefully we don’t have another crash,” or “we’re still overstocked from those boom years” seem to have faded into the past.
When you look back on the ups and downs of the past 20 or 30 years, you recognize that highs and lows both come and go. If you want to go for the gusto, you might over-extend your inventory during high-times. If you want to protect yourself, you’ll pull-in your horns during every negative blip in the market. If you think 20 or 30 years forward, your course will be dictated by the business you want to develop, rather than the numbers that rose or fell last year. Buying is a tough job, but that’s where the shows give you a huge advantage. You can see full selections of the latest product and compare in a timely manor to make the best possible buying decisions.
If you’re still unsure about coming in for the Edmonton show, I encourage you to go for it. You just might discover new designs, or new lines that will revolutionize your future. You could also win a brand new Lexus, and that wouldn’t suck either! See you there.