The specialist paper retailer Wagenseil was founded by Fritz Wagenseil back in 1920. Alfred Wagenseil took over the company from his father in 1957, expanding not only the shop but the wholesale business, too. Since 1991, Irene Wagenseil, the founder’s granddaughter, has been running the specialist shop, the third generation to do so. Since she grew up in the business, she has always been familiar with the products and some of the regular customers have known her since she was a child. Thanks to many years of experience and well-trained staff, Papier Wagenseil offers expertise and a comprehensive range of products.
Insights-X: Papier Wagenseil is a leading specialist shop in the office and stationery sector in your region. What makes your shop special and what sets you apart from the competition?
Irene Wagenseil: Our customers appreciate our personal advice and individual customer service. Besides that, there‘s scarcely anything that we don‘t have in our warehouse, because we have a very broad and deep assortment of goods in stock. And if we don‘t have something in stock, then we order what our customers want.
You host various events in the shop. What kind of workshops do you offer your customers?
I. W.: Once a year, we organise a school bag party, where a variety of brands and models can be tried out and tested. We offer workshops on various topics: acrylic painting, gift wrapping and ribbon tying or making things with Fimo modelling clay. What is really popular at the moment are the hand lettering and brush lettering workshops.
What kind of impact do the events have on your business?
I. W.: In the workshops, participants get inspired, learn new techniques and experience what you can actually do with certain products. That's why we enjoy good customer sales right after our workshops. When the participants try out at home what they’ve learnt, they find they often need additional things. Then they come back to our shop to buy certain pens or other materials. Vouchers for taking part in workshops were also a popular gift at Christmas time.
What would you recommend to other retailers who want to offer retail promotions at the point of sale? Do you have a tip for specialist retailers?
I. W.: I think it‘s important to have your finger on the pulse and to showcase trends in workshops. We like to get inspiration for this at trade fairs like Insights-X. Besides this, you should just try something new every now and then. In my experience, the first workshop on a topic might not be booked out. But if the workshop was good, then word gets around and demand for the second or third one is much higher. It's also vital that the workshop leader can explain the technique well and that he or she can inspire and excite the participants. In our hand lettering and brush lettering workshops, for example, we work together with a young artist who has lettering in her blood.
Many thanks for this interview, Ms Wagenseil.