Specializing in the Canadian retail market as a manufacturing representative since 1997. Lane Sales’ refined distribution functions and professional sales support makes them a chief retail partner. After having moved from Mississauga and then again from Stratford; the Lane Sales’ team is proud to call Guelph home in their current location at 80 Southgate Drive.
I spoke with Elliot Lane, sales and marketing manager and son of owner, Brendan Lane, to grasp a greater understanding of how your favourite products get on the shelves of popular Canadian retailers.
Pierce: I understand that your mornings start relatively early at the office. How many hours sleep do you try to get before taking on the day?
Elliot: My morning starts shortly after 7:00am. I try my best to get 6-8 hours of sleep when I can. Sometimes this proves difficult when I’m on the road and entertaining clients.
Pierce: What was your favourite toy growing up as a kid?
Elliot: Mini Sticks were always a favourite but I was also a big fan of WWE wrestling figures. I have fond memories of my father [Brendan Lane] taking my siblings and me to some of the events growing up.
Pierce: What toys do you see trending this year?
Elliot: Tech toys. There has been a large focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) toys for younger children and schools, particularly targeted towards the younger female demographic. Additionally, licensed products using the Disney brand are also extremely popular.
Pierce: What are your thoughts on toys moving to a more tech base when compared to the Mini Sticks you enjoyed growing up with?
Elliot: In my opinion there is nothing better than having kids playing outdoors with their friends. However, with the explosion of internet connected devices and toys it only makes sense that the industry is moving in the direction that best suits consumer demand. Companies are constantly needing to be innovative with their products and the introduction of technology helps to stimulate sales.
Pierce: What industries do you focus on at Lane Sales?
Elliot: Our foundation was built on stationary, pet supplies and toys. We have recently acquired a new company and have set our sights on the commercial office landscape. Furnishings, like desks, chairs, and office products are where we hope to grow.
Pierce: How do you stay on top of industry trends?
Elliot: A lot of research. Many of our retail partners source their products from China, as such Lane Sales travels to trade shows there approximately three times a year: once for toys, once for pet products and once for office stationary.
Pierce: Can you tell me a little bit about your last trip?
Elliot: I recently got back from a toy show in Hong Kong and another in New York. The shows were an early preview of what will be available in the fourth quarter of 2016, essentially manufacturers are working a year in advance. At each show there are buyers and sellers networking, offering a review of their product line from 2015, what’s in the pipeline for 2016 and quoting on those new products.
Pierce: A major part of the services offered at Lane Sales is logistics, can you elaborate?
Elliot: Yes, the other side of the company is LS Logistics. We provide invoicing, forecasting and electronic data processing. This allows us to know exactly how many products are on store shelves, how many units are in our warehouse and how many need to be loaded into a truck to ensure demand is met. Our replenishment report organizes and saves time by informing Lane Sales exactly which stores need more or less of which products, relieving the burden from the shoulders of our clients.
Pierce: You were recently involved in the rebranding of Lane Sales, what’s new?
Elliot: Over the course of about a month we have refined our logo and have created a new slogan, “Thru the Lane way”, a clever play on words don’t you think! I’m looking forward to the official unveiling of our new website in the coming weeks to showcase our efforts.
Pierce: What opportunities are available for students looking to enter the industry?
Elliot: Lane Sales offers a co-op program for any student interested in becoming a manufacturing representative. There are lots of avenues that this career can lead to and as mentioned can vary anywhere from toys to office furniture and the logistics involved behind the scenes.
Colley Insurance has been servicing Lane Sales since 2007 – almost a decade! We’ve been able to keep such a longstanding relationship as we both understand the values behind running a family owned business that is dedicated to its clients’ needs. Though this business route may often be a road less traveled, “thru the lane way” Lane Sales has been able to meet and exceed its suppliers’ and retailers’ needs. Just like Elliot and the other employees at Lane Sales work hard to keep their customers happy, they can rest assured that the Colley family is doing the same to keep their operations covered.
Visit Lanes Sales at: http://www.lanesales.com/
80 Southgate Dr, Guelph, ON N1G 4P5
Phone: (519) 822-4849
Sales & Marketing Manager: email@example.com
- Pierce Colley
Registered Insurance Broker
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