In a show of solidarity blue sky retailers teamed up with FrontLine’s Sport and Leisure and Marketing Divisions to attend the Snow and Outdoor Trade Association (SOTA) exhibition in Canberra. In the weeks leading in to SOTA, appointments were locked down with Suppliers and clear objectives set to maximise opportunities over the course of the event.  This early preparation gave solid direction to what is a busy program as the group embarked on a raft of viewings to identify and select product for both retail and promotional opportunities over the coming twelve months.  Consensus, consolidation and strategic planning afforded blue sky credibility amongst the exhibiting Suppliers and opened up the channels of negotiation for better trade terms. The BIG win-fall for this blue sky endeavour is solid margins. One notable and welcomed theme emanating from suppliers this year was their willingness to support the blue sky retailers with Visual Merchandising on a case by case basis.   This approach can only strengthen the relationship between Frontline’s Members and the Supplier and deliver a more engaging shopping experience for the customer. In summing up SOTA 2012 for the blue sky group and exhibiting Suppliers has again delivered $.

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