There are many reasons to visit the SHOTS Sales Week from July 16 to 19: brand-new products, special discounts and trade show offers, the Meet & Greet, and – a special highlight – the SHOTS Party. As if that weren’t enough, Oscar Heijnen even offers up another reason in our EAN interview: Visitors of the Sales Week will have the opportunity to take a tour of the company headquarters, which also includes Oscar’s own ‘messy’ office, as he puts it. That definitely sounds like a unique opportunity.
Work before pleasure: Is SHOTS wellprepared for the upcoming Sales Week in July?
Oscar Heijnen: We couldn’t be more prepared, after the huge success of last year; it seems like every year just gets better and better. Not only are we ready here in Europe, but also in the USA, as the SHOTS America Party is also ready for its second year of celebrations.
Can you give us a sneak peek ahead of your sales event?
Well, we kick off the Sales Week here in Nijmegen, Europe, from Monday July 16th throughThursday July 19th 2018. In addition to all the fantastic offers, we have a fabulous and exciting new line called Skulls & Bones, which is a sub-label of our kinky OUCH! Collection. Our Loveline series will be injected with new colours and some sexy new silicone products.
We will also be introducing a brand-new label but that will be a surprise, so I’m not going to tell you too much right now. PharmQuests will be bringing a huge line-up of new products, some of which are really ground-breaking. We will be seeing a change in the market of delay creams and spray come July, watch this space! Plus, our new PharmQuests building will be open for a tour throughout the four days of our Sales Week, which also applies to the rest of the SHOTS buildings including my own messy office!
In recent years, SHOTS has reduced the prices of many products and brands during Sales Week. This will also be the case this year, right?
Actually, our Sales Week was originally created to sell off the older stock but this year, we have around 1000 different products at cost price, as long as stocks last. And, on top of that, we are offering all our existing customers an additional 10% discount on the entire range. The only condition to qualify for this discount is that you physically come and visit us. This year, as opposed to the others, all our suppliers are participating which makes it even more interesting for our customers!
At Sales Week, SHOTS makes space for new products and brands via bargain sales on many products. Can you give us an overview of what will be presented in regard of new lines and products?
I did mention some of the new lines and products we’ll be presenting earlier, but if you want more, I’ll happily oblige. After the huge success of our Chrystalino Venetian inspired glass toys, we will be launching the second series with new models and a new colour. Also make sure to watch out for some incredible new additions to the following product lines; ElectroShock, Fist It, GC, Rich, Luna Ouch, Pumped, Plug & Play, Shots Toys, Simplicity, Sono, and Be Good Tonight. Also, did I mention we will be bringing one of the biggest new releases in the history of the company?
Will interested retailers also able to go online at www.shots.nl for special offers? And does SHOTS reward those retailers who find their way to Beneden-Leeuwen?
Yes, we have the same 1000 (approx..) sale products available online, however to qualify for the extra 10% discount, we want our existing customers to come and visit the showroom on one of the four days. The best incentive we have to offer is that if they stay until Friday, they get to participate in the biggest event of the year, the ‘World Famous SHOTS Party 2018’. It doesn’t get much better than that!!!
Will representatives from your supplying companies also be there to provide advice and assistance to your guests?
Absolutely! Most suppliers will be present at the Sales Week to explain their (latest) products to our customers and of course, they will also attend the SHOTS Party.
Now let’s talk about the pleasure aspect: the SHOTS Party, which doesn’t need much of an introduction at this point. ‘Just be there and experience it for yourself’ could be the motto for the event. Would you agree with this statement?
As they say, work hard, play hard!! Here at SHOTS, we like to keep a balance between work and play, after all we are in the pleasure business! The SHOTS Party has become one of the biggest events in Europe where customers can network while enjoying themselves. I also get to hear all the feedback from our customers on what products sell best and what our biggest successes are. This kind of networking can only help to improve the quality of the products and service we have to offer. Bringing together all these people means the SHOTS family keeps getting bigger and stronger with each passing year. This is perhaps the most important aspect and I don’t see it ending anytime soon.
The location of the party will be downtown Nijmegen, right at the finish line of the Nijmegen March. What else can you tell us? Have you already booked entertainment acts?
Well, I can’t tell you too much about that, otherwise it wouldn’t be a surprise. What we have noticed throughout the last few years is that the Meet & Greet at my home is becoming more and more of an exclusive gathering. I invite 80 VIP clients to my humble abode to meet the SHOTS team, my family, and our international guests. Last year, the highlight of the evening was an appearance of Andre Hazes Jr., which people are still talking about. It won’t be easy to top that this year, but you can bet we will do our best! The difference this year is that the Meet & Greet on Thursday evening will be a real black tie gala event. My garden will be covered and equipped with a fabulous light show; last year we had three minutes of rain and we don’t want to risk that again.
The majority of the changes will affect Thursday evening, as there is absolutely no improvement necessary for Friday’s festivities. The location couldn’t possibly be better and we change the entertainment programme and catering every year to give us an even bigger challenge. This year, I have to say I am extremely happy with the ideas the new caterer has delivered. We will also be taking our clients back to their hotel via a luxury limousine service; I might even get lucky and get to ride in one, too.
We have nine artists performing between the Meet & Greet and The SHOTS Party but of course I can’t tell you who they are. One thing is certain, though; we will be seeing the “FEEST TEAM” again, because without them, a party really isn’t a party!!
Incidentally, there are rumours that the number of those calling for Ronny Ruysdael is growing. Will you give in to their pleas?
Haha, Ronny is the most famous local party singer in Nijmegen. Ronnie’s music is frequently used at my beloved football club NEC, and you’ll definitely find him at any party worth going to. Currently he isn’t on our line-up of artists, but I tell you what!! If EAN manages to get 15 customers to email me with this request, I will personally ask Ronnie if he could do us the honour.
It should not be forgotten that the SHOTS Party also serves a good cause: supporting the SHOTS Charity Foundation. Will you collect donations for charity organisations this year?
Yes, every year during the Four Days Marches and the festivities surrounding them, we raise a lot of money for charity. This is one tradition that never changes and every year, we manage to raise the bar even higher. The party also gives us an opportunity to let everyone know what the SHOTS Foundation has done this year.
The SHOTS Party is one of the long-standing institutions of our industry. Did you expect things would turn out that way when you were at the SHOTS Party 14 years ago?
Yes, in a way I did, because even back then, there were no events like this anywhere else in the business. The Four Days Marches and the parties around the event are so unique that you won’t find anything else like them. Even the SHOTS Party Los Angeles, which takes place on the Saturday before the European Party, will never be the same as the original in Nijmegen. I have to say though, that when I hosted the first SHOTS party with just a handful of customers, I didn’t realise things would get so big!
Now even to the point that we have to refuse people entry because the permits do not allow more people in our prime location. I myself love parties, especially a party where I get to hang out with, and thank all our loyal customers, suppliers and friends for the never ending support they keep on showing us. Other businesses send a bottle of wine to say thanks, but we love to throw the biggest party of the year. So we’ll see you at the SHOTS Party on the 20th of July 2018!!