Retailers stock up at SUTU for Christmas

As stock shortages amount throughout the country, Stock up & Top Up (SUTU) was a great opportunity to replace stock or discover that essential item retailers have been looking for before the busy Christmas season.

Held from 7 to 8 November, retailers seemed keen to be back and the customers that came to the show were looking to buy, not just walking around having a browse, says Free Spirit Australia’s Avi Grossman.

“Buyers are 100 per cent happy to be back, really excited,” he says. As a ‘one-stop-shop’, Free Spirit had an awesome fair he adds, “customers were purchasing everything, not just one product”.

Having been in the industry for 35 years, Grossman says they have been exhibiting for a long time and he is looking forward to more trade fairs next year.

For new business Shmoist, SUTU was its first ever trade fair and founder Dionne Taylor says it was the right opportunity at the right time.

“The stars just aligned as we were given the opportunity to do this fair, we also received the next shipment of our new product just before the fair,” she explains.

“Also, we are launching two new fragrances, Byron Babe and G’Day, so the opportunity was too good to not do it, we had nothing to lose.”

Taylor says while Shmoist already has a nice established network of about 200 retailers around Australia, SUTU is the first opportunity to show them the new collections and new bottle design.

“Retailers love to know what’s new and they loved it when I said this is the new product we literally got yesterday. They need to touch it, feel it, smell it, use all their senses and trade shows are a good opportunity to do that.

“We know that if we can get people to our stand and they smell it, they convert. Around 80 per cent of people we have spoken to have converted to becoming customers. They are intrigued, they look, they see, they’re not sure and then when they smell it they’re hooked,” she enthuses.

While Taylor only had 48 hours to get organised for SUTU without having any signage on hand or knowledge of trade fairs, she is definitely not closed off to doing more shows.

“I think next time we will try to give ourselves more time to get organised. We are a brand that’s diversifying, we are growing into more product ranges beyond hand sanitiser and we are hoping the next fair we’ll be able to show off a whole new look and feel of what Shmoist is.

“Fragrance has always been at the core of what we do and we have always made fragrance the hero of our product, and that’s really what people connect with when they try the product. So if we can utilise that fragrance in various other ways on our bodies, in our home, in our everyday life then we will build out our range.”

Heidi Jungling of Tilley Soaps was pleasantly surprised by the turnout at SUTU.

“We were hoping to reconnect with existing customers, potentially meet some new customers and show that we are here to help support the retail community as best we can,” she says.

“We weren’t sure what to expect coming into the fair, but we were definitely keen to see what it was going to be like and who was coming.

“Obviously compared to other gift fairs it was very small, but still we have taken new orders and taken new customers on board. Customers were keen, ready to order and excited to be out and about, and similar to us, just wanting to see what was happening. I’m excited to see what 2022 has in store.”

Tilley Soaps showcased its 2021 Spring/Summer and Festive collections for Christmas including new Limited Edition fragrances and products.

“Our stand is usually about 12 metres long, so for this fair we’ve really condensed it. Normally we have 32 different reed diffusers on the stand, now we only had three which did particularly well.

“Maybe going forward we need to limit what we bring to a gift fair to reduce people’s selection. This is something we never thought about, it has always been bring and show everyone everything, but maybe we need to limit their options so there are easier choices to make.”