An exciting part of any retail business is the sourcing and buying of products which will then be stocked in stores. There’s a certain satisfaction in selecting pieces half way around the world and then seeing them on the shelves back home. Well, this October the Country Baskets sourcing team flew to Hong Kong in search of the newest and most exciting products on the market for the upcoming year, including the Christmas range for 2018.
Read about their fabulous time in the Far East and what they got up to on this sourcing trip below!
Starting in Hong Kong, the team visited a number of showrooms where the trend research came to fruition. Pantone chips of up and coming trend colours were used to create ranges that Country Baskets customers will love, working closely with the factories allows the team to get a better idea of what is possible as well as how to develop even more fabulous products. Therefore, creating products that are innovative and relevant to the brand and customers.
Something simply fascinating about Hong Kong is how different it feels compared to the streets of England, the varying culture and environment is something that can be taken in consideration when developing product ranges. This could be seen when the team visited the beautiful Victoria Peak where each of them were inspired by the vivid colours that could be seen across the skyline. Not to mention the bustling market places that were also visited by the team, here inspiration was taken for the types of products that should be searched for. All in all, creating a cultural element that was used to source and develop product, which will be brought to the UK over next year.
After exploring the wonders of Hong Kong, the team travelled to mainland China and to an array of tradeshows. Discovering a variety of ranges and collections which will be introduced to the Country Baskets stores in 2018. From Glassware and Pottery to Artificial Flowers and Greenery, all of the key departments that Country Baskets offer were considered and searched for. Including next year’s Christmas department which is over a year away, but still needs to be sourced with enough time for factories to ship and deliver to stores.
Another exciting insight into the workings of the Far East came when the team visited and chatted with a florist inside a busy Chinese shopping mall. Here, the team researched trends and ranges that would suit the florists of the UK, colours and textures as well as species of flower were discussed to get an idea of what would be successful with Country Baskets customers. The trends research done previously was used here as well to create collections that are current and relevant to the demand of UK florists and their customers.
With trips twice a year to explore the wonders of Hong Kong and China, the sourcing team will be back during the summer of next year to discover more unique and exciting products to bring back to the UK. But until then, the influx of brand new products is enough to keep everyone here at Country Baskets on the edge of our seats!