December 18, 2023

Jennifer Gowran Promotion

Seasonal feature products are a key growth area for retailers and licensors, as consumers look to celebrate events such as Christmas, Easter and even Halloween with gifting moments.

The arts & crafts sector is experiencing significant growth. As a global supplier of arts & crafts products, working with world-famous brands and licenses including Disney, Mattel and Paramount to name a few – Sambro has seen a key shift in demand for seasonal feature arts & crafts ranges.

With the festive season just around the corner, now is the perfect time for our latest Sambro Q and A blog from newly promoted Buyer Jennifer Gowran, who shares her insights into the rise of seasonal products and more…

Tell us a little bit about your role at Sambro. 

I manage the arts & crafts ranges for key licensor partners here at Sambro, where our goal is to develop unique and creative products that are representative of the brands we work with. Any items we introduce to our range align with the brand DNA of the licensor and Sambro’s key objectives. This way we can ensure that we’re offering well-thought-out and targeted products to our customers without losing sight of what we want to achieve within the arts & crafts space.

Alongside new product development, I also work with the commercial sales team to ensure our customer-specific requirements can be fulfilled, and desired shipment dates met to ensure new products hit the shelves on time – something which is important when it comes to our seasonal ranges.

Seasonal products are trending – why do you think there is so much growth in this area? 

The growth in crafting in general stemmed from lockdown as more families turned to arts & crafts activities to keep the kids (and themselves!) entertained, It then extended from there, with the idea of making an item to mark an occasion that can also be stored as a keepsake continuing to grow even after lockdown lifted, with people maintaining a desire to craft items during seasonal holidays to mark events. Alongside this, there has been a huge rise in the popularity of certain celebrations, such as Halloween, which has expedited the growth of seasonal crafting. 

What is driving consumer interest?

Consumer interest is being driven by the popularity of the holidays and social media trends. It is becoming more common for people to post videos of their Christmas decorations, Halloween pumpkins and Easter egg hunts. Elaborate designs are being created and shared, urging more people to give crafting a go themselves, so DIY crafting kits are the perfect option for them to get involved without spending large amounts of money.

And what about retailer interest – what’s driving that?

Retailer interest is being driven by consumer demand as more people are searching for the next holiday trend and having it available in their local stores makes it even more sought after. The rise in seasonal popularity can be seen all over stores, from apparel, homeware, and food, so it was inevitable that this would extend to the arts & crafts sector.

What are the key seasonal trends brands and licensors should be taking advantage of in 2024? Any new seasonal trends which are growing? 

Halloween! This holiday has been growing in popularity over the past few years, but in 2023 we saw a huge increase in the in-store presence of Halloween-themed products. Halloween has always been popular in America, but it has migrated to the UK and we’re now seeing more and more demand across all sectors for specific Halloween items across both licensed and own-brand ranges.

What is Sambro doing in the seasonal trends space? 

Sambro recognises that seasonal ranges are going to play a key part in our growth plan, so the marketing department is planning key activations, such as competitions and influencer campaigns using our seasonal products. Alongside this, the wider buying department is looking at ranges and exclusive products that our sales team can offer as promotional items during key seasons.

And more specifically in the arts & crafts space? 

Without revealing too much, seasonal developments have been a key focus for us on the arts & crafts team recently. We are targeting specific holidays to create new products in both our brand and licensed style guides. We desire to create items that can be used as sentimental keepsakes and can be enjoyed by families for years to come.

Georgia Dunn