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Keep a close eye on your sell-throughs

The success of Oui Group’s brands has always been rooted in their consistently high retail performance.

Our team ethos is “know your outcome”. There is no luck involved, just the process of knowing our business and being close to our customers.

It is at the time of the spring/summer watershed that I ask my team to confirm the sell-through of all their accounts. This allows us to forecast the overall sell-through expectation for the season, and where necessary react proactively with other initiatives in the event of a shortfall.

Thus at the end of March and September, our minimum retail benchmark expectation is 30% sell-through to achieve a 65% to 70% end of season performance prior to Sale. I am shocked each season by the number of retailers who still do not know the performance of each of their brands, thus we visit and undertake a stock count ourselves.

Despite all this doom and gloom in the media, Oui Group is reporting across all its brands an average sell-through in excess of 30%, with some exceptional performances of 50%. There have been some clear product winners - fab prints and colour in particular.

This is a very upbeat and healthy sign in these tough times. Likewise, we have never had so many customers approach us for staff training, participation in fashion events, retail workshops and so on.

We should not forget the continued success of independent retailers is key to our business and the end consumer. Indies provide a unique and edgy buying platform for our more discerning consumers, and also challenge the whole fashion product supply chain to go that extra mile and adapt to changing times.

  • Geraldine Bennett is UK managing director of womenswear business Oui Group

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