Craft Focus - Page number 78 - October/November 2021 (Issue 87)

78 Groves no plastic packaging passed on to the consumer. The end goal is to remove all waste plastic packaging, however as we move forward with this project, we’re learning that some items will still need, for now at least, to keep some plastic protective outer packaging to ensure our products arrive in perfect condition. You can follow our progress by simply checking out the new speedometer on the home page of our website. Do your products suit all levels of crafters? Absolutely, we believe crafting is for everyone! We want to make it easy for consumers to try a new craft. Our New Product Development team have developed some great kits for beginners, containing all components that you need to get started. As a crafter gains in experience and confidence, we have an ever-expanding selection of specialised tools for a range of crafts to carry the crafter through their journey. Craft has boomed over the last year! Have you noticed any new trends? A trend we’ve noticed, is that there’s a new generation of crafters out there breathing fresh life into crafts that have previously been perceived as something for ladies of a ‘certain age’ to do but are now in the forefront of the media (thanks Olympic gold medallist and knitter, Tom Daley!), or strutting its way down the catwalk in the form of a granny square, and even giving the macramé craze from the ’70s a new lease of life. This is very exciting for us, fresh eyes mean fresh ideas, and we love seeing what these younger crafters are coming up with as our eyes are glued to ubiquitous social media coverage. How often do you launch new ranges? We don’t really have a set time for launching new ranges. We don’t want to just add to a range because one is due. When it comes to adding a selection of new products, we want to make sure they are 100 per cent right. Hemline Gold for example, was in development for over 18 months and in our opinion the results are worth it. How would you advise a retailer who is interested in stocking your products? Cash flow is an important element to running a successful retail business, we have no minimum order or delivery charge for credit account customers. Treat the Groves warehouse as your own stock room. We have a wonderful team in our sales office and an experienced nationwide sales team that can provide individual advice in terms of products and tailor-made display fixtures allowing you to stock exactly what you need. Our e-commerce website www.grovesltd. has a plethora of information available, stock availability, if a product is recycled, if it’s plastic free, you can even see if there’s a project available for that product. In addition, on the site we have the resources section where customers can find brand specific information, how to use our images and much, much more. We have the tools and the knowledge – it’s all there for our customers to use and benefit from. What sets you apart from your competitors? We’re very passionate about what we do. We believe in consistently excellent customer service. What really sets us apart from the competition is our huge stock holding and massive investment in warehousing and IT. Re-investment of profits over the years, has enabled us to build a very strong company that is capable of weathering major economic disruption – be that Covid, Brexit or the current severe global container shipping/ logistics crisis. Groves is here to provide as much as a buffer as we can to shield our customers from these big, disruptive forces. We aim to continue to supply product quickly and efficiently when the retailers need it. We’re currently carrying much higher levels of stock than usual, enabling us to continue delivering in spite of hugely disrupted supply lines which sometimes result in lead times of up to five or six months. Do you visit any trade shows? Do you plan to visit any soon? We’re tentatively making our plans ready for H&H Cologne March 2022 and hope that it’ll go ahead. It would be fantastic to see some of our lovely customers and suppliers of course. We’re also hoping to welcome our customers back to our head office for a second Groves ‘Big Event’. Our first, back in February 2019, was such a success, despite the stormy weather and rising Covid-19 cases. It needs to feel right and, most importantly, safe. For now, watch this space! What new products can we expect from you in the future? We will continue to grow our collection of craft kits, such as punch needle, latch hook and cross stitch as well as some exciting new products and designs from our suppliers.