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‘Buyers have had to adapt their spend to remain agile’

The face of one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of fashion retail is undergoing a shift.

The face of one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of fashion retail is undergoing a shift. As a buyer and indie owner, I’ve seen buying move from suppliers who command minimums for twice-yearly collections towards brands that offer multiple collections available across the buying calendar.

Shipments from designers delivering earlier in the season, the introduction of pre-collections and mid-season and express drops all introduce challenges to those responsible for getting product in the right place at the right time.

While more frequent collections have proved successful in weathering the downturn because they enable a buyer to be more responsive, it relies on a good relationship between supplier and store. The move is seen by some as a tactic to sell more product, putting more pressure on budgets. Buyers have had to adapt by spreading their spend and increasing in-season spend to remain agile.

The move has led to more frequent buying appointments and a non-stop procession of phone calls for showroom appointments.

A good buyer requires time for a collection to sell. An indie’s skill for anticipating trends, analytical skills and business acumen is key to the success of a retailer in this constantly changing economic climate.

  • Pippa Sandison, Owner of contemporary womenswear indie Boudoir Femme in Cambridge

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