Burning business health
I look forward to Christmas every year.
For all the normal reasons, but also because of a massive indulgence I allow myself.
Before the children graced me with their presence (!), I could go out and buy pretty stuff, for me, for the house, and occasionally for others.
And it was in that period that I discovered Crabtree & Evelyn’s Noël range.
Which smells exactly like Christmas. It’s perfection.
Since that moment several years ago, I’ve been as loyal as possible, buying products from the range when I could, and in recent years, I’ve taken to splashing out on candles to burn throughout the entire month of December.
And this year’s been another good one for the business, so I was looking forward to my usual ‘splashing out’ celebration.
Sadly, I was disappointed.
I popped over to their website, expecting to see promotions for their Noël range on the home page.
It wasn’t there.
I did some scouting around to try and find it, and when I did, I was even more disappointed.
There were only three products available, one of which was sold out.
Sold out! A Christmas product that only gets sold at Christmas, already sold out by mid-November?! Who planned that?!
So my options were room freshener spray, or a single wick candle for £42.
That was it.
So shocked and saddened by this turn of events that I kept refreshing the page in case the products suddenly reappeared.
Now, obviously, this is a business decision from Crabtree & Evelyn.
Maybe they’ve done a deep dive into their margins and worked out that there’s not enough margin on their Noël range.
Maybe they just haven’t sold as many as they’d have liked in the last few years.
But the net result is that other retailers have now got my Christmas candle business, a business that would easily have been C&E’s.
John Lewis and M&S have particularly benefitted with their Christmas candle ranges (the John Lewis three-wick Winter Spice one seems to last forever!).
From a personal perspective, Crabtree & Evelyn have slipped down the list – from my number one Christmas retailer, they’re now only just in the top three.
Before this year, I’d never have considered them as replaceable, but that’s what happens when you can’t give your customers what they want!
Where are you in your clients’ lists’? Replaceable or the only one who will do?
I’m off to snuggle up with a good book, Comet and the lovely smelly Christmas candle!