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“Rapport and relationships shouldn’t falter because there’s a pandemic”

Smiffys’ Elliott Peckett talks Halloween, retailers remaining positive and cementing relationships.

As we move into Q4 and planning continues apace for 2021, catches up with a selection of licensees across categories to ask them about the biggest challenges facing their business as we head towards the year-end, but also the biggest positive they are taking from 2020.

Today: Elliott Peckett, director, Smiffys.

“The biggest challenge for our business and the wider industry has undoubtedly been the lack of celebrations and events that are able to take place which normally create the demand for our products: festivals, hen and stags, fancy dress parties, sporting events, etc.

The entire industry is desperate for a bumper Halloween to maximise the opportunity of it falling on a weekend for the first time in a while. Despite the recent ‘rule of 6’, retailers are remaining positive as there is enormous pent up demand to celebrate Halloween at home. Our retailers have pre-ordered almost the same value of forward order as they did this time last year, so they are still gearing up to maximise a weekend Halloween sales opportunity.

In terms of the biggest positives to take from the year, we made a conscious decision early on in lockdown to say that all the sales team and senior management needed to ring customers and ask “how are you?”. It wasn’t about asking for orders or for bills to be paid, it was just to be there for them and say “we’re all in this together”.

We were the first company to have reps visit stores when lockdown ended and stores re-opened; the goodwill and gratitude we have had back from this has been phenomenal.

We’re in our 126th year and you don’t get there by merely being transactional. It’s about the rapport and relationships that we have managed to build up over the years and that shouldn’t falter because there’s a pandemic. In fact, it has cemented those relationships – we’re a family business and that extends to our customers, as well as our staff.”

This feature originally appeared in the autumn 2020 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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