Ling Design’s recent launch of its new planning service comes with tasty incentives for retailers signing up – the promise of a Fortnum & Mason hamper.
While GBCC (Ling’s sister company) has offered a planning service for years, and brokerage has been an ongoing option through Waterwells, it was only post lockdown that the decision was taken to extend the service to Ling customers.
“It is all about creating simplicity for retailers as well as making sure they are in stock of best sellers and the most current titles. For instance, with planned display we can increase the amount of ‘thinking of you’ cards remotely without a salesperson needing to visit,” assured David Byk, ceo of Swan Mill Group (which owns Ling, GBCC, Penny Kennedy and Waterwells) about the new service from Ling. “Since re-opening since lockdown, retailers are adjusting to the new ways of working. The majority now find themselves time short, are having to accommodate social distancing requirements in store and many are working with a reduced staff. While some do still want to see reps and agents, others are keen to maximise their time and the space instore serving their customers, which is why a planned display is more attractive option to them now that perhaps previously,” he added.
The addition of Bianca Mastrodomenico joining the group last November to head up the Waterwells brokerage, using her planning experience from her time at National Trust and WHSmith, has paved the way to expand its planning services to independents and multiples.
“We have 12,000 skus between Ling, GBCC and Penny Kennedy alone,” quantifies David. “And with the 25 other publishers we work with through Waterwells, choice for retailers is not an issue!” he reinforced.
As an extra incentive for retailers committing to a plan for Ling, GBCC or Waterwells brokerage by the end of the year, the group will return the favour in the form of a Fortnum & Mason hamper, with different hampers being offered dependent on the size of the planned display. Plans can range from 3m/10’ up to 20m/60’ and can be a mixture of GBCC and Ling designs if required.
James Gunn, national sales manager of Ling Design is delighted by the uptake so far. “We only started offering the planning service to Ling customers a few weeks ago and already five have signed up. While we will take care of the cards, we look forward to Fortnum & Mason delivering the lovely hampers to them!”