We travel to Asia several times each year to have the opportunity to reinforce our business relationships with our vendors. These face-to-face engagements broaden our ability to collaborate and insure the best quality for our products. We are able to work with our vendors on products we have designed as well as having an opportunity to provide input on products they would like to introduce to our markets. This effort has significantly improved the quality of the products we receive because they are equipped with the right features and at the right price for the market.
In the trip I am making to China, we will be meeting with 10-12 vendors for a period of 10 days. We will be having meetings from eight in the morning to ten at night, averaging two vendor meetings a day. Our goals are to finalize the products to be released in the next few months, as well as discussing our extended product plan for 2011 and beyond.
This trip will continue to build the trust with manufacturers that we think have the capabilities to make the kind of quality products we want to sell in our market. We intend to cooperate in partnerships that are win-win-wins. A win for our vendors, a win for us, and a win for our customers. Everyone will get something they really like at a price that is a good value.
Most vendors produce products that distributors buy because they are “shelf-ready”. At Hobby Lobby, we take pride in being involved during all stages of product development and manufacturing. That way, the products we sell are hobbyist class – “play-ready”.