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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2009-10
AWI has been working with many of its retail partners to help educate their sales staff about the natural properties and benefits of wool, so they can advise the consumer more appropriately. Having retail staff who are informed about the properties of a product can often be the clincher that secures a purchase. The retailer training takes place at two broad levels. First, there is training of shop floor staff. This focuses on the staff who actually talk to, interact with and sell products to customers. Retail store managers can also be trained, who in turn train their own staff. Second, there are the retail decision makers such as the company's buyers, merchandisers, designers and technologists. This training is focused on providing them with a toolkit' that both stimulates interest and builds their confidence to invest in wool product lines. This year, AWI offices around the globe have been providing information and education to retail partners so that they can take full advantage of wool's technical and aesthetic properties. For example, in October 2009, AWI staff in the US trained 60 sales staff and managers of the giant outdoor retailer The North Face in the top three key markets of Chicago, Boston and New York. The Merino products sold are base layers, part of the company's Summit Series®. In Japan, we have training programs with several retail chains and department stores in Japan, such as apparel retailer Lacoste. We trained 300 of their shop managers and staff in October about the benefits of wool and the Woolmark assurance of quality. Woolmark Interiors licensees are benefiting from a vibrant Woolmark Interiors program that builds on the refreshed branding of last year. The successful product themes -- sleep', walk' and sit on wool' -- form the basis of our marketing materials and promote the versatility of the interiors offering. The natural fibre' story is a key element of the Woolmark Interiors brand message. AWI, in association with Wools of New Zealand, has produced colour trend information for our interior textile licensees with a focus on floor coverings. The colour trend service is helping licensees stay relevant and competitive in the global market. AWI continued to serve its interior textiles licensees by promoting the Woolmark brand at leading trade events such as Inter Tex in Shanghai, and Heimtextil in Frankfurt, where licensees were able to present their products to potential buyers and generate new business. AWI provided technical training services to its interior textile licensees through workshops that focus on Woolmark product specifications and raw material selection to improve product quality. AWI staff in Japan last year trained 300 staff of apparel retailer Lacoste about the benefits of wool. During 2009/10, the Woolmark Trend Service by world- renowned style and innovation agency Peclers Paris provided wool specific fashion guidance for AWI's seasonal workshops in the lead up to the autumn/winter 2011/12 yarn and fabric events. This included a concise colour and fabric sampler for a wide range of fashion styles in the menswear and womenswear markets. These valuable and generally costly forecasting services gave licensees advanced market information at no cost. AWI key account managers, trained by Peclers Paris, have conducted workshops, unveiling colour and fashion trends, and supplying yarn and fabric samples. In Australia, AWI has established relationships with an important group of emerging fashion designers, ensuring they have access to the best quality Australian Merino wool fabrics and yarns available in the market. AWI has been assisting them with fabric and yarn sourcing through local and international Woolmark licensees. This ensured their collections, which showcased at Rosemount Australian Spring Summer Fashion Week, featured Australian Merino wool. These relationships with several of the young guns of Australian fashion help foster the use of wool in the designers' collections, which in turn encourages the use of wool in wider apparel markets. REPORT OF OPERATIONS -- MARKETING & OFF-FARM R&D
AWI Annual Report 2008-09
AWI Annual Report 2010-11