Oh the conundrums...


Mark Baker

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It was my birthday this week so I took a day off to spend it with friends. I must admit to not liking birthdays, I find them an unnecessary expense for people and why do I need to be reminded of how old I am? OK, it is lovely spending time with family and friends, but should one need an excuse of a birthday to do that? I feel the same way about Christmas. Bah humbug!

Anyway, I had a lovely day with no fuss, stress or hassle.

There has been a sudden spurt in the number of people entering the International Woodcarver of the Year Competition . Maybe the looming deadline of the 3rd September is spurring people to finish off their carvings and get them entered. If you want to find out more about this competition go to the website

As we approach the Autumn months we will traditionally see a batch of manufacturer catalogues released listing all their new products. I get to visit and see many manufacturers during the year and am in contact with many more talking about product, innovations and so on. It is after all part and parcel of my job and we get to see and try out a lot of products. I also get to see a good amount of stockists and retailers too. I think it is fair to say that the economic climate is biting us all in one way or another and I know many of you are taking longer to make decisions on what to buy and whether one really needs it now. Likewise manufacturers consider more carefully what to develop and when to launch it, and the retailers are always walking that tightrope of what to stock, in what quantity whilst trying to make sure that everything is done to the best of their ability to service their customer base. Meanwhile we the end user are ever more demanding of what we want, when we want it and in truth don’t really want to pay much for it either. Oh the conundrum of the supply, stocking and purchasing chain. Many things are changing and not all of them bad, but I think we are experiencing a time of rapid change due to many interrelated factors, but it is also very interesting. As I say, time will tell what happens.

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