Thursday, 1 May 2014

Last month, we had a pretty important product launch. Now, there are many points at which you can come unstuck with a launch: there are the pre-series, testers or samples to be sent out, so stores can build up excitement and perhaps a waiting list; then the stock has to be in store in plenty of time - and calculating how much to send is far from easy; and then there's all the promotional material - window schemes, sampling supports, gwps...

Here are some of the things that informed my decision on how much stock to send:

- Previous launches and how much was sold in the first months.
 When considering historic launches, I though about whether they were singular or if we were launching several skus in one go, what price point the products came in at and how that might have affected sales, what size the products were, what category they fell in (body, fragrance, home fragrance, gift sets...), what their functional, olfactive, aesthetic etc. characteristics were...

- Feedback from the stores, the sales team, the press, etc.
 There's always enthusiam around a launch - over time, you get a feeling for just how much of this will translate into sales.

- The demands of window scheme and merchandising. For this, I looked at photos of windows from last year and estimated how many testers / actual product would be required.

In the end, I pulled figures for what each store had sold of earlier, similar launches. I then tweaked this to take into account their targets, how this particular launch differed from earlier ones, general feeling around the product and visual merchandising requirements...

I think that's a comprehensive list of what influenced my decisions.
 And the launch has gone well so far, so our preparation must have been comprehensive enough. Yay!

I realised last week that I've never posted any merchandise for men. As merchandising is at least 50/50 men to women, that seems a bit remiss. So I'll start making up for it straight away.

1978 501s Levi's Vintage Clothing £180, Patterned Cardigan Raf Simons £560, Weather Report Teatowels and Plate Marimekko £29.50 and £32, Cirro Mug and Tumbler LSA £36 and £45 for 4, Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado Kiehls £33, Clean & Shave Neville £22, Nourishing Moisturiser Perricone MD £62

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