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  • Writer's pictureThe Link Companies

Navigating Trends: How to Stay Relevant and Profitable

Staying ahead of trends is crucial for success. Consumer preferences, buying behaviors, and market dynamics continuously evolve, presenting challenges and opportunities for independent retailers that can make the difference between thriving and surviving. 


Before jumping into our bullet points, we’ve got valuable insight from our trend finder and SVP of Personnel Development here at The Link, Matt Pope: “My biggest advice on-trend items is twofold. #1, capitalize on your newfound hot item, by marketing it on social media and by putting a great item already in your store on the same shelf to double your sales. #2, when judging whether an item is a trend item, make certain you correctly identify whether it is the brand, the product, or the category that is the trend. It can be difficult to differentiate the three without a little research.” 


Now let’s explore more strategies retailers can employ to stay relevant and profitable amidst changing seasonal trends. 


Strategies for Staying Relevant 

  • Conduct Market Research: Stay attuned to industry reports, consumer surveys, and market trends. Aim to have an editor's eye when identifying trends; look for repetitive colors, patterns, and cuts. 

  • Stay Social: Like it or not, social media (particularly TikTok) is where most trends emerge and a free resource for you. A few that have popped up this past year, Girl Dinner and Coastal Grandma, are two themes to easily curate products in your store with.  

  • Subscribe to Industry News: Gifts and Decorative Accessories and Giftbeat are two great resources to subscribe to for keeping a thumb on what’s trending and selling in the gift industry. You may not know that Giftbeat charts are created by retailers reporting what’s selling in their stores — one good lead on a product pays for an annual subscription to their service. 

  • Embrace Seasonal Marketing Campaigns: Tailor your marketing efforts to align with seasonal themes and events. Utilize social media, email marketing, and targeted advertising to promote seasonal promotions, discounts, and special offers. 

  • Collaborate with Your Sales Rep: Forge a strong partnership with your Sales Rep to ensure timely delivery of seasonal merchandise. Always ask about what’s new, both for brands and products. They want to see you succeed too, and many have resources available for you to do just that! Need help finding your Link Rep? Start here.

  • Enhance Customer Experience: Create immersive shopping experiences that resonate with current trends or seasonal themes. Consider hosting in-store events, workshops, or themed displays to engage customers and drive foot traffic. 


Strategies for Maximizing Profitability 

  • Buy Smart: Plan your buying efforts to take advantage of current promotions. Many vendors offer monthly specials outside of Trade Show promotions! When placing your order, always ask if there’s a valid promotion. 

  • Partner with Industry Leaders: Research buying groups and communities for your store type. There is something for every type: hospital gift shops, boutiques, regional groups, etc. Atlanta Market provides a great list to get you started here. 

  • Efficient Inventory Management: This is an area where your area Sales Rep can help with tracking sales trends and monitoring stock levels. Just ask! 

  • Upselling: Bundle related items or offer incentives to increase the average order value. There is a theme for every month of the year that you can curate for your customers.  


Take what points here help you and move aside the others that don’t. Not every trend belongs in every store, stay true to your brand identity and customers with every decision, and keep selling!  

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