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Fresh labels are worth the gamble

Ever since Drapers featured a double-page spread pinpointing the average womenswear boutique in the UK (Drapers, August 23), I have been haunted by the statistic that the average amount of new labels that any one shop will buy in a season is just two.

I did realise that opening new accounts is tricky, but having my nose rubbed in that little fact is quite dispiriting for me as a fashion agent.
Buoyed by my selling statistics for spring 09 however, I shall not be disheartened and will continue to tirelessly trawl the shops of this land for new, interested and courageous customers who are willing to take a punt on my wares.

Obviously this is only an average number, so for all the boutiques which steadfastly remain loyal to (or as an alternative viewpoint, refuse to budge from) their existing suppliers, there will be some who regularly tweak their stock in a bid to keep their customers excited.

We have just recently come out of the catwalk season where labels are given the opportunity to show off their latest collections, giving retailers the chance to buy into fresh new looks, and enabling customers to refresh their wardrobe for the season.

It only takes one special new brand to increase your turnover in the years to come.

This translates into wholesale too; it can take three or four seasons of passing a stand before a boutique will finally commit to placing an
order, which if it sells successfully can increase business for everyone.

So keep at it retailers – it is awfully hard work but the rewards are worth all of the effort.

Clare Morgan runs the Clamor Fashion Agency in Wilmslow, Cheshire

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