The Retail Aspiration

If you haven't had a chance yet, go and check out a video that Goulet Pens released last week which featured an interview between Brian Goulet and the co-founders of Nock Co, Brad Dowdy and Jeff Bruckwicki. It's an interesting look inside a growing business and, as the video was recorded a few months before it was released, viewers end up with some context around comments which were (intentionally) vague in the video. There's plenty of insights for the curious, but the one which struck me was that both the Nock guys seemed keen on transitioning to retail. For today's post, we'll have a look at the economics behind such a transition and why it's not more common. 

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Transaction costs

We’ve had a lot of economics lately and I had hoped to do a history post for today, but that one hasn’t panned out (yet). Instead, today I thought we could talk about transaction costs: the barriers in the market that get in the way of trade. I think these are a powerful force in our marketplace: the key driver of the revival in FPs, the reason we have an online community, and even the success of Goulet Pens. It is a topic that is well worth exploring.

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Blog Monetisation

One of the most common questions I receive is bloggers asking about how they can make some money out of their blog. It’s a question that every FP reviewer has probably considered at some time or other, whether they have thought about getting some product samples to review or a full-on sponsorship. So today, I thought we could explore blog monetisation. 

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The Australian Retail Market

Every now and then, I receive an email from an Australian reader asking for advice about which foreign retailers I’d recommend, or why the local retailers are so poor. It’s not something that I often write about, as I don’t believe many retailers offer good value and it makes sense for buyers to look offshore. This has led me to wonder whether the local market was heading towards collapse. But lately, I’ve started to see some green shoots that make me hopeful for the future, and so today, I’d like to discuss the two sides of the Australian market.

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Retailer Analysis: Wonder Pens

This week, I thought it would be interesting to have a look at a relatively new FP retailer, Wonder Pens in Toronto. They came onto my radar around 6-12 months ago and I’ve been following their blog with interest ever since. If you haven’t read any of their posts, I’d encourage you to have a look; it’s not the usual list of product and store announcements that you get from most other retailers but an insightful and very human look at the business and their travails. Wonder Pens is one of the most interesting small retailers in the market, not just because of the blog but because of their unique approach to the business. 

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