May 16, 2023
GHTA unveils Q1 2023 business survey results

The Gift and Home Trade Association (GHTA), a nonprofit trade association, surveyed its membership to discover more about Q1 2023 business and the state of industry.

This data was shared live with membership during a recent webinar organized by GHTA’s education committee. The webinar featured a panel of speakers, including Bridget Boccaccio, sales director of DesignWorks Collective; Trudi Bartow, sales director of Unemployed Philosophers Guild; Heidi Park, ,Pacific Northwest territory manager at Anne McGilvray & Co.; and Paula Russel, key account representative at RoadRunners LLC. Moderator was Bob Watson, senior vice president of The Link Companies.

GHTA named a number of Q1 survey takeaways:

* Looking at sales since 2019, business is a great spot, with over two-thirds of businesses surveyed showing growth.
* Business is challenging this year, especially when comparing it to 2022 orders at the end of Q1, which was inflated by several factors.
* We have enough inventory for retailers, who are ordering more normally.
* There are some constraints to navigate this year, which is making growth difficult.
* Retailers are buying for the current season, and if suppliers and reps are prepared, sales will be available in the second half of the year.

When asked how have retailers’ purchasing patterns changed, top answers were:

* Buying has normalized after the pandemic years.
* Retailers are cautious, calculating their buys, watching inventory as many have strong inventories.
* Retailers are seeking “newness” and promotions.
* Everyone is very busy and for the most productive meetings, representatives especially need to be well-prepared.
* Home has slowed while other categories such as women’s accessories and men’s personal care are increasing.

GHTA also named factors that will have the greatest effect on the industry in the coming 24 months: supply chain, sourcing stability, the economy including inflation and interest rates, sustaining prices and having product at a price point. Positives included that people are shopping for gifts both for themselves and for occasions, and election cycles for 2024 are usually good for the industry.

“We hope that insights gained from this data will prepare us to invest in the right tools needed to overcome supply chain issues, provide sales tools needed given the current climate, and help us prepare ourselves and our customers to have the best 2023 possible,” Watson said.

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