One of the advantages of attending the DMA Council meetings ( I sit on the North CounciI) is that you get to meet and hear from really interesting speakers.I had the pleasure of hearing this interesting story from Martin Williams who runs the Creative North Conference during one of the DMA North meetings recently.
Martin happened to find himself in Las Vegas and came across NYS sunglasses. He loved them so much that when he got back to the UK he tracked down a local wholesaler, bought 7,500 of them, hired a Retail Merchandising Unit (RMU), did a little deal with Roadchef for 12 weeks south bound at Strensham Services just north of Tewkesbury on the M5.
He couldn’t believe it, for the first 3 days he had a steady stream of customers making a beeline for his space perhaps enticed by the £15 a pair 2 for £20 offer. The southbound holiday makers were looking forward to their holidays, driving into the sunshine with their holiday cash topped up. Pair of sunglasses anyone? Of course!
At the end of the third day the site manager came up to him and told him that he had some good news and some bad news.
The bad news ? He needed to move. His sunglasses operation was polluting footfall for the other retailers – seemed like code for they weren’t happy with how well he was doing at taking a proportion of the holiday makers holiday wallet.
The good news? He had 2 sites available for Martin to move into straight away. John ( the site manager in question) offered him Bridgewater services, exactly 100 miles down the road.
Or over the road, less than a mile away.
He could set up shop at either. Or neither.
Hauling 7,000 sunglasses down the M5 seemed a real issue so he plumped with going across the bridge.
Martin then spent the next 11 weeks 4 days unsuccessfully trying to shift his stock ( the majority of which to this day still sits in a lock up somewhere in Wotton-Under-Edge with the key long thrown away according to him)
People at the end of their holidays have spent their cash, the sun is behind them and they don’t really need another pair of sunglasses!
Martin now knows that if he had spent a little more time understanding the behaviour of his target audience he would have perhaps gone that extra mile ( or 99 miles in this case) in moving his stock further down the M5. The mindset of the holiday maker is that the sunglasses purchase takes place before ,en route or during the holiday, and not on the way home.
Availability or choosing the easy option is not always the basis to make good decisions. Decisions are best rooted , in my opinion anyway, on an understanding of human behaviour.
If you're interested in learning more about the DMA North then please email our Community Manager Anna Lancashire at firstname.lastname@example.org . And if you would like tickets to the Creative North Conference get in touch with them at https://creativenorthconf.com/contact