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***UPDATED***I want to begin buying into phased collections. How would you advise me to stagger my seasonal buying budget between the four main delivery phases?

It very much depends on your offer (price, profile, style etc) but today’s trading climate means customers are less willing to buy early into collections and more have adopted a buy-now/wear-now philosophy. Whereas two years ago most retailers would invest more in the early phases (one and two), nowadays we’re seeing a lot more savvy retailers spreading their buying risk and buying into phase two and three. Look at your pattern of sales for the latest season and analayse how your customers were spending their money. This pattern is what you need to apply to your own buying process now. We would advise you to buy into strong new colour stories early in the season to give your store a refreshed feel and give those customers who are buying early a new fashion story to tap into. We don’t think fashion (i.e. silhouette, key shapes, detail etc) is moving as fast at the moment as it did a few seasons ago so colour and fabrication are becoming even more important to ring the changes.

Sandra Halliday, WGSN Global Managing Editor, WGSN

Frances Card

It is an excellent idea to buy across the four main delivery windows offered by most suppliers and it is a great way to increase newness into your store (s) throughout the year. Seasonal budgeting varies depending on many factors including the type of business, regional seasonality and the brands stocked but  in general my top three tips would be 1) Check out your annual current turnover and your customers spending patterns to give you a guideline of opportunity windows for earlier collections 2) Talk to the brands you want to work with – they will be happy to give you a steer on their own seasonal phasing and financial targeting 3) Allow for a degree of financial flexibility  in the first year  to allow you, and your customers, to learn about this change to your business.

Frances Card MD, Frances Card Consultancy


Readers' comments (1)

  • Thierry Bayle

    I agree with Frances. Freshness sales.
    Retail success is about bringing fresh goods in the shop ( there are other things of course ). So do take advantage of the various delivery groups the brands offer you.
    "How much to buy and when to bring it in" is the expertise we bring to retailers and for you to do it, look into:
    breaking down your stock into different product types ( dress, skirts, suits, access ...) and analyse your stock by product and then by brand. You must take measurements on what has sold per month in each class and if you are able toforecast well, you will be able to answer the question of how much and when to bring the stock in.
    Buying the right amount will minimise discouts and bringing the goods at the right time will increase sales. Cash flow will be better as you will be selling closer to the season
    Note that forecasting at over 90% accuracy over the next 12 months is possible.

    Thierry Bayle
    Management One

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