I am really glad to be back from my Asia trip – 26 days in total! Truth be told, I combined a family vacation with two weeks of work. I knew it was time to come home when I completely used up my large tube of toothpaste. 🙂
Our year is off to a really strong start. Atlanta, Dallas, and our own Olathe Open House have all been terrific markets. As of this point, I do not have the final results from Las Vegas, but we are seeing really nice increases each day.
The most eye-opening piece of data thus far is that of all the orders we have received to date, customers who ordered last year have ordered an average of 35% more this year. That’s a really big number!
We are quickly approaching the February 9th Gerson International™ order cut-off date for our seasonal program. With only this week remaining, the deadline is coming up fast. A number of our customers wonder why we ask for orders this far in advance of the season, and the one and only reason we have this deadline is because we want to be able to deliver product to our customers in a timely manner.
Believe it or not, our factories are already booking up their capacity for the 3rd and 4th quarters. We source our amazing product from over 300 factories, and after we receive our customers’ GIL orders, we split up every order to separate the items by factory. We will then total the pieces and “cube out” the items so they will fit into 40-foot containers to be shipped to our Olathe, Kansas distribution center. We will receive about 8,000 orders in this program, so it takes us about a week to process our customers’ orders to place with our factories.
I am not trying to lull you to sleep with all of this information, but I want all our customers to understand that if we do not submit orders to our suppliers in this time frame, we will not be a priority to our factories and thus our orders may not be shipped on time. When our orders do not ship on time, we cannot ship our customers on time. This is why we have our cut-off date for orders from our seasonal GIL product lines.
After we place orders with our factories, we spend the next 90 – 120 days cajoling, begging, demanding, and encouraging our factory partners to produce and ship on time. We visit our suppliers numerous times at the start and during production, and we inspect all the product once an order is complete. We do not allow factories to ship any of our orders until we sign off on the quality of the product.
Probably the most frequent request from our customers is that we ship our seasonal program as early as possible, and I promise that we are trying! We have some very exciting news to share this season about something we have never done with our GIL program. Last week, we placed orders with our suppliers based on our fact-based estimates of what we will be receiving by the February 9th cut-off date. Although this is not for all of the sku’s we have in our program, the advanced orders we have placed with our suppliers represents over half of the items in our catalogs.
I do believe there are many advantages for our customers to place orders now. In addition to taking advantage of our great prices, our customers benefit in placing Fall/Halloween and Christmas orders while the product is fresh in our minds from the previous season.
Don’t forget we have many great Gerson Everyday brands which you can order and reorder long after our GIL cut-off date. Our Gerson Everyday product lines include: Handcrafted sculptures from the new and exciting Flint Hills Studio™, fashionable and trend-right products of Lone Elm Studios®, innovative and quality LED products from Everlasting Glow®, and our exclusively designed goods for the home from the GG Collection®.
Please let me know your thoughts.