Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

IFF urges retailers to forward buy currency

The chairman of the International Fashion Federation (IFF), Glynn Alwyn-Jones, has urged independent retailers to forward buy currency to ease the pressure of the strong euro ahead of the next buying season.
Alwyn-Jones said that because most brands insist on payment in euros, independents had been hit hard by currency fluctuations between order date and invoice date this season. This has also unexpectedly pushed up sterling retail prices in the UK.

Alwyn-Jones said independents must cover the risks and offset their costs by going to banks and accountants early to seek advice on forward buying currency so they can keep a tight grip on costs and margins.

He said: “Retailers will know the total purchase of their autumn stock in euros. At the time of order, they need to forward buy currency so they can lock in costs, so they know what their margins are.”
He added: “It is a commercial risk, but retailers’ banks or accountants should be advising them on how to minimise this. Retailers are in retailing, not the foreign exchange market.”

Rebecca Furbank, co-owner of Anne Furbank in Buckden in Cambridgeshire, said it was essential for independents to monitor exchange rates. “We keep a close eye on the market because exchange rates can have a massive impact on the end retail price. It’s definitely worth forward buying currency. I wouldn’t say to anyone ‘this is the way to do it’, but it can make a significant difference.”

Sarah Murray, who runs Jane Davidson in Edinburgh, said she was considering forward buying currency to minimise the impact of the exchange rate.

“I now buy a lot in euros, and if I’d had more knowledge about forward buying currency I would have done it this season. Retail prices are in pounds, but suppliers are selling in euros, so we are losing a lot on exchange rates.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.