(Note: This story appears in the February 2022 issue of SE Magazine)

Nalpac EDU provides more accessible training materials that take into consideration the evolving needs of retailers, including a brand new blog featured on STOREROTICA.com.

It’s been a busy time for Nalpac, between navigating the needs of its retail customers amid a pandemic, recently celebrating its 50th year in business and rolling out a new website (new.nalpac.com) that is set to launch fully by mid-year.

The award-winning distributor has hit 2022 running by kicking off its educational resource center Nalpac EDU, which combines original content created in partnership with Nalpac’s manufacturers with tools for retailers to grow store sales. The freshly minted Nalpac site features a modern interface, comprehensive product data, advanced search functionality, and simplified ordering.

The company also plans to expand its sales team and offer specialized services, including in-store merchandising, e-commerce and shipping solutions.

“We couldn’t be prouder of the passion and innovation demonstrated by the Nalpac team throughout,” says Phoebe Grott, Director of Marketing & Strategic Partnership for Nalpac.

Looking ahead to this year, Nalpac has the advantage of a “bird’s eye view of product trends,” says Grott. “The last year, we saw the rise of TikTok trending products that had us all racing to bring in items that were suddenly hot. This is great for our industry because the channel engages new customers. Nalpac is excited to continue to support our manufacturer partners in introducing new collections that showcase materials, technology, and design innovations.”

Nalpac EDU for you
Aside from its several recent milestones and accomplishments, Nalpac is at the forefront of educational support for the industry with its newest resource for retailers: Nalpac EDU.

“Nalpac EDU was born from the requests for more accessible training materials that take into consideration the evolving needs of retailers,” says Grott. “The educational platforms for our industry that require an employee to take a series of courses and tests to be ‘certified’ have been a popular resource but can fall short of the present-day realities of high staff turnover and availability of open-source materials online.

“In crafting Nalpac EDU,” continues Grott, “we turned to our retailers to find inspiration and direction for the topics. Product information and resources on how to train team members to connect a customer with the best product selection ranked highest. Our newest video series, ‘What Brought You in Today,’ takes real questions sourced from the sales floor and pairs together retail-based sex educators and leading manufacturers to train on customer selling.”

In addition to this series, Nalpac EDU will also host videos showcasing new releases and interviews with leading industry experts on specialty topics that will be available through Nalpac channels, as well as a new blog featured on STOREROTICA.com.

“Working with STOREROTICA to launch Nalpac’s blog has been part of a larger conversation on our industry’s need for educational resources,” says Grott. “We wanted to ensure the resources were accessible and reflective of the collaborative nature of our industry community. Since the blog launched this year, it is still collecting views, but the feedback has been incredibly positive so far, and we are even getting suggestions for new topics to cover.”

The fountain of knowledge doesn’t stop flowing there.

Nalpac is also moving forward with its semimonthly webinars that are free to attend and are hosted by manufacturer sales representatives who present new releases in addition to selling tips.

“The webinars became increasingly popular during the pandemic and have remained so since they are convenient and allow attendees to ask all their questions and provide feedback directly with the manufacturer,” says Grott.

Nalpac webinars are available for replay on nalpac.com, YouTube, or through the Crowdcast platform. The distributor also offers quarterly catalogs and weekly email blasts to keep its customers abreast of new product releases and promotional offers. Nalpac’s marketing services include turnkey resources for retailers’ potential needs when it comes to graphics, merchandising support, and website solutions.

“We have made a considerable investment in technology which allows us to better anticipate the demands of our customers and the supply chain. We invested heavily in inventory and warehouse optimization to circumvent product availability and shipping timeline obstacles. We also invested in workplace safety measures and staffing, such as implementing a new employee appreciation programs.” — Phoebe Grott

Righting the ship
As a distributor, Nalpac consistently receives feedback from stores that appreciate the practicality of having a one-stop shop for their needs, be it ordering products or answering questions. Retailers have also expressed gratitude for easier ordering and reduced shipping times.

Speaking of shipping times, it seems no industry has been immune to the pandemic-related supply chain issues plaguing … well, everyone. But, Nalpac is doing its best to proactively cope.

“We have made a considerable investment in technology which allows us to better anticipate the demands of our customers and the supply chain,” says Grott. “We invested heavily in inventory and warehouse optimization to circumvent product availability and shipping timeline obstacles. Nalpac worked closely with suppliers and customers to ensure we continue to provide ample stock in a wide selection of high-demand products. We also invested in workplace safety measures and staffing, such as implementing a new employee appreciation program, investing in top-of-the-line air filtration units, and developing numerous safety protocols.”

It’s true the pandemic has ushered in new standard operating procedures. Understandably, some will stick around long after the pandemic has subsided.

“It’s commendable how well our industry has adapted to the new normal since the start of the pandemic,” says Grott. “This experience has brought us closer to our customers and suppliers. While we look forward to resuming in- person visits, which will always be vital to both our and our customer’s success, the Nalpac team has further enhanced our ability to work remotely and connect with customers through digital forms.”

Though COVID has affected virtually every aspect of our lives, it’s clear that nothing — not even a worldwide virus — can put a dent in pent-up sexual appetites. Nalpac is ready, able and eager to help store owners and buyers satisfy those appetites, thanks to the consistent innovation of the manufacturers they partner with.

“We are excited to be supporting the diversity of categories made richer by the ingenuity of the manufacturers we work with,” says Grott, who points to the overall improvement in textures and material densities and the surge of app-enabled products. “Nalpac prides itself on supporting the flow of information and products from manufacturers to stores and providing value, efficiencies, and optimization to those who work with us.”

For more information, visit new.nalpac.com.