National Tree Company, a leading importer and wholesaler of artificial Christmas trees and other holiday decorations saw that 2021 was shaping up as a challenging year due to the global supply chain crisis that created product shortages of ~30% and significant price increases. The company’s owner, Stanton client Sun Capital Partners, directed CEO Chris Butler to us and after a strategy discussion, Stanton was hired as the company’s first ever PR partner to help drive an accelerated sales cycle and build the Company’s reputation as as a trusted brand for consumers, a quality partner for retailers, and a thought leader in the industry.
Stanton got out of the gate quickly with an aggressive 3-month media campaign, beginning just after Labor Day. We created a compelling pitch by pairing National Tree statistics on product volume and price hikes with the latest news on global supply chain, and survey results on consumer sentiment about holiday celebrations and buying plans. We framed the story as a “disaster waiting to happen” and delivered the message that consumers couldn’t wait for the post-Thanksgiving shopping cycle, but needed to buy NOW.
Our media focus was wide but targeted, including national and local business media as well as retail trades, general consumer & lifestyle media, and, of course, anyone writing about the supply chain. We actively monitored the media landscape to pitch new targets as stories on supply chain issues and holiday shopping went live.
Our first placement ran a week into the program, and in just three months, Stanton generated more than 30 placements that matched the client’s objectives—beating our goal by a significant margin. Media included Washington Post, Fox Business, Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, Forbes, NBC Nightly News, AdAge, Retail Dive, Modern Retail, Morning Brew, The Boston Globe, Freightwaves, and The Wall Street Journal to name a few. Broadcast stories included footage from the National Tree warehouse and other stories featured National Tree’s products. This doesn’t include the hundreds of outlets that syndicate from these major news sources.
This was all achieved without a single press release, press conference, or media advisory—just the hard work of Stanton professionals.
Chris Butler, the CEO of National Tree told Stanton: “We had never used public relations and Stanton far exceeded our expectations. Within days of starting, they had secured placements with national business and consumer media, as well as multiple broadcast and cable television appearances that established National Tree as a leading voice in the industry and helped drive sales.”
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“Chris Butler, CEO of National Tree Company, recently told Retail Dive that the decorations industry faces a “perfect storm for empty shelves” for the coming holiday season. According to Butler, his firm’s customer research finds 80 percent of surveyed consumers expect more parties and decorations this year compared to 2020. But fires and drought have wreaked havoc with the supply of natural live-tree Christmas trees, and logistic snafus are interfering with the import of artificial trees.”
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“Months and months of shipping disruptions resulting in part from pandemic-triggered overseas factory shutdowns, port congestion and shipping container and labor shortages have caused delays for products ranging from laptops to sofa sets.
Now, with the year-end festive season around the corner, suppliers of seasonal decor are also anxious about having enough products on hand to meet demand.
National Tree Company in Cranford, New Jersey, is a large wholesaler of artificial trees and other holiday decor such as ornaments, wreaths and inflatables Santas to retailers like Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT) and Amazon (AMZN).
Chris Butler, the company’s CEO, expects shoppers will be keen to indulge in decorations to celebrate, especially after another challenging year in a pandemic.
“From a macro perspective, we expect demand for our products will be up 25% over last year,” said Butler. “We expect to sell roughly 1.5 million to 2 million artificial trees this year.”
Prepare to pay up to 25% more for your artificial Christmas tree this year as sellers warn prices are reaching record highs
“Chris Butler, CEO of the artificial-tree-seller National Tree Company, told the Journal that his company is “fighting to get containers” to import its wares. The company is raising its prices by 25% to account for higher shipping costs this year, he said.
‘Order your Christmas presents now’
The artificial Christmas tree industry is just one of many sectors hamstrung by supply chain issues. A combination of several factors — including labor shortages and pandemic-related work stoppages last year — has led to scarcities in everything from common wedding registry items to golf clubs.”