by Karen Alberg Grossman

Ed Steinberg of J.S. Edwards Ltd. in Baltimore appreciates the value of collaborative in-store events, having had much success in the past working with the Italian Trade Agency.

With a strong business in Canadian brands (Jack Victor, Riviera, Robert Barakett, Dion Neckwear, Ballin, and others), Steinberg brought up the idea with Jeff Block and Nelson Suriel at Jack Victor. He then spoke to Fred Derring from DLS who put him in touch with Ryan McInturf from the Quebec Fashion Delegation who added several Quebec brands to his roster (as well as Gutenberg beer and Canadian wine for tastings, and small bottles of Canadian maple syrup to give out to customers). Canada Air donated a gift card for a drawing, which also featured a Jack Victor blazer, and slacks from Ballin and Riviera. Promotion was via email (featuring the Montreal and Canada flag logos), newspaper ads, texts, twitter and on their website; postcards were mailed to all their Jack Victor clients.

The event was last weekend and Steinberg says he was more than satisfied with the results. “It was a great celebration of Canadian fashion and lifestyle. Customers were very enthusiastic and sales exceeded our expectations. We would certainly do it again.”

The takeaway for retailers: Talk to your key brands and brainstorm innovative ways to create some excitement around exceptional product. Yes, we know that day-to-day traffic is down considerably but all the more reason to make things happen. Especially when times are tough, who can resist a party?

For more information on a collaborative Canadian event, contact Fred Derring at Fred@dlsoutfitters.com.