Pamela Shiffer is owner of premium womenswear boutique Pamela Shiffer, based in Primrose Hill, north London.
While most people hate this time of year, complaining it’s too cold, too dark and too depressing, I must admit that I love it. It might have something to do with clearing out the leftovers from the previous season - I get such a buzz when we sell the last of our ranges - and welcoming in the new deliveries, new colours and fresh merchandise that myself, my staff and not least my customers become excited about.
However, it’s very easy to get swept along with the excitement of shows, enthusiastic sales agents, countless showroom appointments and the odd glass of bubbly. We must not forget that the buying process requires focus, instinct, imagination and telepathic skills that make Mystic Meg look old school.
I look forward to having time to catch up with colleagues from various showrooms - some of whom I’ve known for many years - and discuss how business has been, what’s new, what’s old and what’s next. However, my main focus and something I have to employ within my buying strategy is to do things differently next time.
I believe you have no choice but to keep things fresh if you want to keep your business relevant in today’s market. As social media continues to rule, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest attracting new customers with their individual tastes, interests and personal choices, business has never been so competitive. In fact it’s almost a full-time job keeping these pages updated, along with our transactional website, which we launched last year.
No one can deny that in the last few years bricks-and-mortar independent fashion retailing and retail in general has been tough for most. Only the tough and flexible retailers have survived, making us sharper, more focused and fitter going forward.
So what’s next, you might say. For me, it’s more of the same focused approach, but I have a spring in my step moving into 2015 and I’m excited to discover and unearth some hidden gems this buying season.