Well we are having an amazing time right now. MP’s expenses are giving local newspaper an indication that if they work harder on interesting local events they can start to increase readership, which will naturally pull back some advertising. Heavy discounts have questions being asked if consumers will ever pay full price and certainly whenever I do a pricing lecture I spend a lot of time on the many things you can get for nothing – not just browsers and other Internet things. M&S are going to sell 250,000 items for a penny. And one little niche of the world is growing like crazy with Twitter and I have just this week had the amazing experience of being “retweeted” a few times. We may think that this is only for nerds but you’ll find companies like Zappos there and Natuzzi and a watch over the word “leather” is good training for anyone involved in promoting leather. It is a mad and compulsive medium, certainly, and will have to evolve, but that does not make it irrelevant for understanding the consumers who buy our leathers.
Right now applications are coming in for the centenary weekend in July and it looks like dinner on the 18th July will be a big event with indications that we quite a few overseas people will be turning up as well as some old names from the BSLT. At the moment we are getting excited by the establishment of the www.northamptonshireleather.com website which “promotes Northamptonshire’s World Class Leather Industry”. It is a huge site and well worth going through in detail but what really surprised was the number of companies involved in leather in the Northampton area today. One tends to think only of the BSLT, SATRA and BLC but if you thinks a little more broadly about the raw to retail side of leather and all your friends and contacts in the area you quickly run up to over 100 businesses of all sorts. So a look through the directory is one great way to catch up on who is doing what.
The site navigation is a bit geeky but if you are patient and go back if you get lost you will find it OK. I can’t complain as my website is probably worse in that regard. You will find a section on the centenary and the Saturday 18th entry is as follows:
Saturday 18 July 2009 Park Campus University of Northampton
Centenary celebration and awards evening
Daytime excursions to heritage sites in Northamptonshire during the day, including Althorpe House, the ancestral family home of the late Princess Diana, The Shoe Museum and the Leather Conservation Centre. For those who studied at the University, visiting the BSLT, meeting staff and other alumni will bring back happy memories.
Awards Evening; at the University, Park Campus. The evening will open with a drinks reception, followed by a sumptuous banquet and fashion show featuring leather fashion, accessories and designs created by students within the Fashion Division at the University. The evening will culminate with the Awards Ceremony, honouring those who have made a significant contribution to leather education and have influenced the leather industry.
There are other details on the conference on the Friday and a visit to London Leathersellers haunts on the Sunday but more of those later.
14th May 2009