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

In-season buying is a route to success

James Leslie

The buying appointments for spring 11 are coming thick and fast, and I’m sure I’m not alone as I sit here this week planning and budgeting for next year.

The buying appointments for spring 11 are coming thick and fast, and I’m sure I’m not alone as I sit here this week planning and budgeting for next year.

The forecasts of doom and gloom, double-dip recessions and falling house prices make it easy to get distracted from what is really important - the task of finding great product that is new and will excite our customers.

But while we are busy trying to get early autumn 10 sales readings of new brands and reviewing sales and sell-throughs of last spring’s offer, it often strikes me that brands and sales agencies don’t always put the same emphasis on the net margins that their stockists achieve at retail. Nor do they have sufficiently flexible terms.

Our best-performing brands are the ones where we have set aside budget for in-season ordering and where we maximise the sales in season through a reorder programme with the brands.

Fortunately, as a denim specialist, this level of in-season reorder programmes for denim brands is becoming the norm. By the end of September we may have ordered as little as 30% of the denim we intend to buy for the whole season. However, many of our womenswear brands have yet to offer this level of flexibility.

With so much conflicting economic data and analysis this season - more than ever before - the brands that can offer this type of flexible approach will succeed with us at the expense of others.

There is always a fine line between buying with depth and confidence and responding in season to the winners - but this is a line that we intend to keep on treading.

James Leslie is co-owner of denim independent Trilogy, which has three stores in London

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.