Another year is in the books and the start of 2016 will once again see gourmet insiders out in force at the January markets looking to refresh assortments and gain insight on the latest trends.
For GOURMET INSIDER®, the New Year is a special one as we mark our 10th year covering the independent gourmet housewares channel. During the past decade, we have met a host of small business owners from across the country that share our passion for housewares and who have allowed us inside their stores in an effort to share best practices with our readers.
While retail and publishing are very different industries, there are also many similarities. Gourmet Insider starts each year taking stock of its product selection, reviewing what works and making changes to the items in our assortment that either needs updating or a major overhaul. As with retailers, our main goal is to provide our customers with the best product possible.
During 2015, we updated our assortment with a redesigned and more interactive website, launched a daily e-newsletter, expanded our presence on social media and enhanced our focus on the many great things gourmet housewares retailers do on a daily basis. Our connections with many independent retailers on Facebook have seeded several stories and provided leads for others. In this issue, we spoke with Paul Ayo of E’s Kitchen in Louisiana for our grilling trends story after seeing a Facebook post from his store that highlighted his selection of grilling and barbecue products. As a result, Ayo offered insight into the highly competitive retail marketplace in Lafayette, LA, and the steps he takes to gain a competitive advantage.
In addition, we evolved Dish into a section that showcases more in-depth features about different aspects of the market — re-branding, vendor-owned stores, pop-up-shops and more — to spark new ideas that can evolve into opportunities. This year, Gourmet Insider has added a new feature, The Back Room, which will cover an array of subjects crucial to the behind-the-scenes business.
Each initiative was undertaken to allow us to strengthen our relationships with our readers — you, the retailer — and also allow for a further sharing of successful tips and ideas that may work for other gourmet insiders around the country.
With the new, comes improving the old. During the 2015 Gourmet Catalog Summer School event in Atlanta, a retailer told us that she enjoyed reading our retail profiles, as they often gave her new ideas for use in her store, while also providing a glimpse into what a fellow retailer is doing in their store. Making retail profiles more in-depth in print, as well as showcasing them online with more frequency, are top-of-mind for 2016.
The Gourmet Insider editorial team is always on the lookout for events, anniversaries, new store openings and extra-special store happenings. We encourage you to share your stories, which allows us to have a running dialogue with you, our readers. This also provides us with valuable insight and often leads to new stories or the development of new features, be they in print or online. Gourmet Insider does all of this for you. And as passionate as you are about bettering your business, that’s how passionate the Gourmet Insider team is about covering your business.
We look forward to continuing the conversation this year and for years to come.