A view of the industry through the
eyes of a chain buyer.
A Buyer's View of "Crafts"
A magazine changes, and buyers disagree.
by "Benny Da Buyer" (October, 2003)
(Note: Benny is a buyer for an industry chain and needs to
Mike asked me to comment on this whole issue about Crafts
magazine changing to a paper craft magazine and larger issues like
is the industry losing it's core.
Frankly, I don't have time for larger issues. I'm too busy. I figure
that's for the big guys like Rouleau, Rosskamm, Parker, etc. That's
why they get paid big bucks.
As for Crafts becoming Paper Crafts, I really didn't
have much reaction at all at first. Something like that is so far
removed from my day-to-day hassles, that I didn't care much one way
or another. But Mike asked, so I thought about it, and asked my
fellow buyers how they felt.
We do not all feel the same way about it.
Me, I don't like it, because I'm not in charge of buying/sales for
paper and scrapbooking. When I think about it, I guess maybe a
consumer reads the general craft magazines, and maybe she tries a
project in my area. So she goes and buys the supplies -- hopefully
from my stores. And then maybe she likes the project, wants to do
more, and buys more of my stuff.
Now, she will be less likely to be enticed into trying something in
my area, I think.
On the other hand, my colleague who's in charge of memory? She's
pleased with the change.
(Hey, I may have changed my fellow buyer from a he to a she,
just to keep us all anonymous. Our boss doesn't like us talking to
the press, so we have to stay REAL anonymous. Is our memory buyer a
he or a she? Don't ask.)
The memory buyer wants EVERYONE doing projects in her area, just
like I'd like to have everyone working away in my category. The more
choices and possibilities the consumer sees, the more likely it is
that she'll be enticed to try something.
What we both agree on: the projects in all the magazines better have
well written instructions! The last thing we need is someone trying
something and failing. Then she thinks it's her fault, that she
CAN'T do it, and never tries again.
Another thing we agree on: We don't like seeing magazine projects
calling for products we don't carry!
(Note: To read more of Benny's thoughts on the industry,
click on the titles in the right-hand column. Have any comments or
suggestions for future topics. Email them to Mike Hartnett, email@example.com,
and he'll pass them on to Benny.)