With interest building for the Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo this summer, the sporting flavour this year will be high with athletes from all over the globe honing their skills to compete across the 33 different sports.
PG Buzz ‘tracked’ down some of the industry’s own team of ‘medal winners’, aka independent sales agents whose respective and multifarious talents see them overcoming hurdles and delivering glory for both the companies they represent and their retail customers.
Corinne Forbes, agent for Scotland (who covers the country with her team of three sub-agents) takes up the baton and gives a ‘run down’ of life in her fast track!
What’s in your ‘kitbag’ of companies you represent?
“We represent Belly Button, Five Dollar Shake, Janie Wilson, Paper Salad, Molly Mae, Stop the Clock, Think Of Me and Hearts Designs.”
What Olympic event is most akin to you as an agent?
“I think the 4 x 400m relay best represents us. We start the year with new products and card ranges then start selling Christmas 2020, more new product mid year then Spring Seasons in the last quarter. Running all the time, but always planning ahead for the next season!”
What are the ‘high jumps’ of being an agent?
“Fantastic new product always ‘being served’ by publishers, and amazing customer loyalty.”
What were the hurdles of 2019?
“Long standing customers choosing to ‘give up the game’ as the bricks and mortar retail environment continues to be squeezed by online shopping.”
What is your 2020 training plan?
“I always have a positive outlook and am blessed to represent such amazing publishers. Without a doubt what comes over so clearly from customers is that cards are the bread and butter of their businesses. Very few members of the public will order, for example, a sympathy card online – they go to a bricks and mortar shop and choose their cards. On quiet days customers always tell me that at the end of the day they are so surprised by how much of their takings are made up by card sales. Cards are what get their customers through the door. Long may this continue!”
Top: Corinne Forbes on the Five Dollar Shake stand at the recent Spring Fair.