The Canadian Gift Association has launched a new campaign to help promote the local retail industry which like others has been hit hard over the past few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The campaign slogan is ‘Buy the Way, Keep it Local’ and the association says it is more important than ever for consumers to spend their money in their own communities for the independent retail industry to survive in Canada.
“Retailers are the crux of our industry right now,” said Nicole Hilton, Chief Marketing Officer at the Canadian Gift Association. “We know we need to take action to show consumers across the country some amazing home décor and gift businesses that do great business with our association.
“We’re hoping the whole country will get behind this movement. Canadians love to support local shops and there is no time like the present for consumers to step it up and invest in their local economies.”
Buy the Way, Keep it Local
CanGift is the voice of Canada’s giftware industry, connecting wholesale companies to retail store buyers at the Toronto and Alberta Gift + Home Markets. These b2b events — two a year in Toronto and two a year in Edmonton — are typically attended by 10,000+ retail buyers looking to place orders, source the latest trends and learn from industry experts. CanGift aims to keep the connection strong despite the cancellation of their in-person markets this August due to COVID-19.
“They’re all suppliers that basically take orders from retailers across the country to fill their stores with products and merchandise and that sort of thing. So we have a membership base that is comprised of companies in all the gift categories. We have home decor. We have general gift giftware. Toys. Or children’s items. We have some gourmet food members. Some that are involved in maybe floral, outdoor items, or small furniture items or fashion, jewelry and accessories. Or kitchenware,” said Hilton.
“Membership basically gives you the opportunity to join the association and partake in the initiatives we do at the association, member benefits which include some breaks on shipping and freight and various things like that. But also the main thing is exhibiting in our business to business trade shows.
“Obviously right now the trade show industry is at a halt, needless to say.”
To help in these trying times, CanGift has launched its new campaign which is shining a light on the extensive database of retailers from across Canada, who could benefit from additional promotion and assistance during this time with the goal of featuring one retailer a day for 365 days on the Instagram account @keepitlocalcanada.
The Buy the Way, Keep it Local grassroots campaign includes:
A commitment to featuring as many retailers as possible on the Instagram account for the next year;
Digital logo provided to retailers so they can join the movement by featuring it on their social media accounts and websites;
Meaningful partnerships that encourage consumers to shop in their own communities – CanGift is searching for opportunities to work with Business Improvement Associations and other initiatives taking place coast-to-coast;
Incentives from CanGift members that assist retailers in their ‘return to normal’ sales plans;
Contests with prizes from CanGift members awarded to retailers to help advance their businesses; and
Retailer Roundtable webinar series highlighting insightful discussions with Canadian retailers.
“It’s been hard. I think our industry has been hit in two ways. The real happening part of our business are these trade shows that we do. The b2b trade shows and that’s where retailers really get to come and see products. There’s a lot of value in being able to touch them, see them, check out the quality of products . . . hear from industry experts in our seminars and educational programming and make that face to face business relationship,” said Hilton.
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Hey Canadians – it’s more important than ever to join the movement and shop in local communities! We’ll be featuring independent retailers from coast-to-coast for an entire year with lots of surprises to assist our retail store owners. The 𝐁𝐔𝐘 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝗪𝐀𝐘, 𝐊𝐄𝐄𝐏 𝐈𝐓 𝐋𝐎𝐂𝐀𝐋 campaign by @cangift is launching in 3, 2… #keepitlocalcanada #shopsmall #buylocal #local #cangift #canada #retail #canadaday #canadaday2020
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We know Canadian retailers could use a boost right now. That’s why we’re committing to featuring as many independent retailers as we can from our master list of gift and home shops from across our amazing country. 🇨🇦 What do you think our goal should be? 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐎𝐍𝐄 𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐫 𝐚 𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝟑𝟔𝟓 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬?! Comment below ⬇️ #keepitlocalcanada #cangift #canada #retail #shopsmall #buylocal #local
“At our Toronto show, it’s the bigger of the two markets, and we draw from coast to coast with retail shop owners coming to place their orders and do their buying for their stores at that show.”
At the most recent show in January, more than 11,000 buyers came through the door with more than 650 exhibitors.
“The second way this industry has been hit is we’re working directly with retail and retail has been forced to close. At the beginning of the pandemic, we started to hold a lot of complimentary webinars for our audiences – retailers and wholesalers and some of the topics were basically how do you get your business online at that time and we were hearing from so many retailers thanking us for offering them the information,” said Hilton.
“Canadians really invest in buying local. This is a trend they’re already doing. So we should try to emphasize it more during this time to get more money into these local communities to help these retailers survive what’s going on,” added Hilton about the Buy the Way, Keep it Local campaign.
“We really want to try and highlight local business.”