Fair Trade Stores Survey Results

Serrv’s Marketing team sent out a survey to more than 70 fair trade stores around the USA. We wanted to share some of the survey results with you and hope they help you understand what fair trade stores in the US like to buy and why.

The target market for fair trade stores varies but it mostly consists of women, especially middle-aged or older and college students. Their customers will be likely educated, cultured individuals whose values align with fair trade principles. It is important for their customers to buy products that are of good quality and have a great story!

Their best selling product categories (from Serrv’s product selection):

  • Scarves
  • Jewelry
  • Nativities
  • Chocolate
  • Baskets
  • Tiny notebooks
  • Paperweights
  • Coffee
  • Puzzle boxes
  • Ornaments
  • Double-carved items
  • Wind chimes
  • Recycled paper products and other items made from recycled materials
  • Wall decor
  • Trivets

Their purchasing decision influence:

Their product development ideas/suggestions:

  • Better selection of larger bags
  • New and original nativities
  • Large salad bowls safe for wet salads
  • Cork-backed placemats
  • Broader assortment of musical instruments
  • Summer hats
  • Belts
  • Umbrellas
  • Utilitarian gifts
  • Printed wall art

Their comments about product:

  • “We like natural…don’t like petroleum-based plastic goods, including fibers: nylon, polyester, acrylic, acetate, etc.”
  • “Would love to see some higher-quality artisan crafts — Can’t find enough high quality, stylish summer hats and handbags for older, professional women at reasonable prices.”
  • “Women do shop for men who like fair trade principles, and more men are seeking fair trade goods for themselves. So, for older professional men…we need nice leather belts, hats, wallets, messenger bags, tools, outdoor goods, gadgets, mugs…cool guy stuff!”
  • “Quality, Quality please. thank you”

“If a product is interesting, but also functional, customers are able to see how it fits into their lives. A great example of this is the Packing Strip bicycle basket. It’s a functional product and is visually interesting and unique – something that they can’t get from other places.”

– Sarah Wilcox, Madison Serrv Store Manager

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