Posts Tagged ‘retail buyers’

My latest article for Nolcha.com contains advice on how emerging fashion designers can impress retailers when going to market for the first time. All info was gleaned from interviews with successful boutique owners. Insider info, just for you. Here’s a quick excerpt and a link to the full article:

As an emerging fashion label launching in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, you are undoubtedly making every possible effort to impress buyers at market and gain a competitive advantage. Chances are, you’ve made a considerable investment in all aspects of your business, from samples and production, to branding, marketing, PR, and sales efforts.

But because of the recent economic down-turn, retail buyers are scrutinizing new labels more closely, and some are favoring tried and true brands over new ones, for fear that new ones may not be as “buttoned-up” and therefore a financial risk. With tradeshow season upon us, how can you show retailers that your label is a good investment? Show them that you’re pulled together and super committed to helping them sell your line. Here’s how….

Read the full article here.


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Great news! My article went live on Nolcha.com today and was made a feature. For those of you who don’t know, Nolcha.com is a business magazine aimed at start-up fashion companies. It’s got lots of great advice and it’s free!

My article is called “Risky  Business: Why now, more than ever, you should be investing in your brand image.”

It’s about competing in this tough market and how a well thought out brand image can help you gain the confidence of retailers.


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Another reader has written in with a question, which I will reply here for everyone’s benefit:

From Shannon:

Hi Giannina,
I was wondering if you ever covered the topic of how to approach the buyer at a boutique? I have a new product (it falls under the Food & Beverage category I guess) and I am just now starting to work on getting the product into stores. I would love to know if there is a protocol on how to go about doing this – without going to a trade/gift show. Any advice? Or any suggestions of articles/blogs/posts that address this question? Thanks for your time. I love the blog and can’t wait to read more of it!!

Hi Shannon, I have covered this a little before but will address the topic again. I have a client with similar situation to yours, she could not afford trade shows or gift shows, yet by simply pounding the pavement locally, has managed to gain entry into major stores here in Seattle. It is completely acceptable to approach local boutiques directly.

However, emails didn’t seem to work, as they got lost in the shuffle, but what did work was calling and asking for the buyer and getting an appointment. Once at the appointment, being very organized and professional is helpful. Of course, it really helped my client that her brand image was in order ( I designed all of her packaging) as it really, really helped sell the product. What also helped was having some sort of professionally designed literature (which I created for her) accompanying her product that would explain it to the customer, and help the product sell. This really clinched the deal, as it made her look like she was thinking ahead about how to sell the product, which store owners love.

I hope you find this info helpful. Good luck!

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Yikes. Just the title of this article gave me chills.

Retail Darwinism” by Mary Bridges, from Condé Nast Portfolio

My quick read: It appears that most retail buyers are stocking with caution for Spring 09, but some are focusing on items that have a strong emotional pull to the customer. Designers: How can you work this?

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