I love this time of year. The Sale is coming to an end and new season deliveries are coming in thick and fast.
It is a great feeling when you hear a squeal of delight from the team as they pull out a fabulous new dress. What a relief it is when you still love the product that you bought six months ago.
It is also time to start looking ahead and begin analysing sell-through and planning budgets. The past six months’ figures in my store have been intriguing.
In March I expanded the store with a footwear lounge and we have had a fantastic response from customers.
The idea came from the success that we had experienced with accessories add-ons. We found that if we were doing our jobs properly as ‘style consultants’, then we could easily add a pair of shoes, necklace and bag to a sale. As a consequence, sales of accessories have risen to 20% of our total turnover, with a sell-through of 90%.
Denim sales have risen and the short-order collections are also going strong. I leave about a third of my budget for in-season, but maybe I will have to do even more short order. It would be good if suppliers could start to work with us more. Strict minimum orders are a nonsense – surely we should be able to place an order that we feel comfortable with. Then, if it is a great collection we will be hounding them for repeats.
Thankfully, most of The Dressing Room’s suppliers are thoroughly charming and helpful, and will even swap product in-season if a certain style is not working, which ultimately ensures a higher budget for that brand for the following season.
Deryane Tadd is the owner of womenswear indie The Dressing Room in St Albans, Hertfordshire