Christian Retailing

Suppliers see 'great response' to ICRS specials Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Wednesday, 02 September 2009 10:14 AM America/New_York

CBA's promotional campaign with exhibitors 'a great example' of 'working together for mutual success'


Although attendance was down significantly for CBA's 60th summer convention, Christian publishers, gift vendors and distributors reported "great response" to promotions and specials during the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS).

Offering retailers a total savings of $11,000 on their normal business, 79 companies presented show specials through CBA's "Real Help for Your Business" campaign—which was also the theme of the event in Denver in July.

"Participating exhibitors that offered strong specials for the retailers saw great success with the program," said CBA President and CEO Bill Anderson. "Feedback we've received to date has indicated that retailers not originally planning to buy were persuaded by show—only specials to make purchases and that the campaign helped increase awareness of opportunities not available at any other time."

Kregel Publications, which also celebrated its 60th anniversary at the show, had a drawing for free product for a year for qualifying orders at ICRS. The Shrine of Christ's Passion in St. John, Ind., won the prize—which featured up to 60 books and had a $900 retail value.

David-HillDave Hill, Kregel's director of sales and marketing, said the promotion helped boost traffic.

"We had a significant increase in the number of orders taken at ICRS over recent previous years," he said.

DaySpring Director of Communications Brenda Turner said the gift company had "some type of promotion each day"during the show, including Mary Manz Simon signing DayBrighteners calendars and planners and twice-daily drawings for big baskets of Really Woolly baby gifts.

"We offered a 5% first-day discount coupon," she said. "We feel that ad coupon helped make our first day so successful. … We think the ("Real Help for Your Business") partnership helped us. DaySpring had an excellent show, and we look forward to future CBA partnerships."

At New Leaf Publishing Group, the company offered more than 50% discount, free freight and 60-day billing. "We felt the attendance at the show was down, but we still had a great response to our product line as well as our specials," National Sales Manager Don Enz said. "We will continue ... to offer free freight for the year to help increase (retailers') profitability."

Meanwhile, Barbour Publishing offered a "Sales Rescue Package" for retailers at the show. Designed to help stores generate sales, the risk-free program featured a special introductory offer to Barbour's new DayMaker Gift Book Program, which included 180-day billing, 29 new gift items and 50% discount as well as free freight, returns and corrugate display.

"This was definitely the most exciting promotion that we offered at ICRS, but it also continues to be after the show," said Bill Westfall, vice president of sales at Barbour. "We did sell 60 packages at ICRS, and the response from customers has been extremely positive."

Prior to the convention, Barbour sold 375 packages and the company had sold more than 200 packages since, including 60 at ICRS, Westfall added.

At New Day Christian Distributors, the company offered specials on its new gift lines, including VeggieTales Jibbitz and Crocs shoes, as well as Allegro children's products. "It was a very successful show for New Day introducing these new lines, and our most successful show in several years," said Vice President of Sales Ed Leonard. Anderson said the "Real Help" campaign was successful on two fronts.

"Not only did this campaign help retailers save more money by attending the show than they can otherwise, it also was a great example of the strength in numbers that our industry can enjoy when we work together for mutual success," he said. "CBA looks forward to building upon this campaign and offering even more programs and benefits to help both suppliers and retailers increase the value they'll experience by attending the show next year in St. Louis."