Offloading excess inventory in international markets can be challenging but some fashion retailers and brands think it is worth doing
Excess stock is a perennial issue – it is all too easy to get trends wrong, overestimate demand during volatile times or be blindsided by unseasonable weather patterns. British fashion retailers and brands are exploring new ways to offload inventory – not just to recoup costs but also to maximise their returns. Increasingly, they are looking overseas to do this, judging that the benefits outweigh the risks.
“There’s a big opportunity to use international [channels] to sell excess stock,” confirms Francis McAuley, who was international director at Debenhams for more than 15 years until 2015, and is now director of consultancy business at International Retail Solutions. “A number of retailers are using it.”
There are several options for clearing excess stock overseas, from retailers’ own store networks to third-party partners, both on- and offline. However, there are some potential barriers to consider, such as high import duties in certain markets and the possible impact on your brand of selling unwanted stock overseas.