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What percentage of your budget do you keep for in-season orders?

Industry insiders share their thoughts.

Jo Davies

We still buy predominantly on forward-order budgets, but now keep back 30% of our total to pick up on in-season product hitsfrom brands such as J Brand and By Malene Birger, as well as new brands if we spot something we love. There aren’tmany short-order brands available for premium contemporary retailers, which is a shame because we would definitely look at them.

Rowan Hines

For many years, about 90% of budget across our brands was forward order with a little bit held back for in-season repeats. Over the past few years we’ve shifted towards 60% forward order, and then 40% spent with a number of short-order brands like The Cuckoo’s Nest and Native Youth. Our customers are fashion-savvy and switched on to trends, so we need brands that can turn around looks in a matter of weeks. With brands like these we source the best when it comes to trends, and it keeps us independent.

Anne Wright

The brands we look to buy have a forward-order structure in place - less than 1% of our budget is kept back for in-season orders. Occasionally, we will source a range that is available for short order and suitable for our store, such as American Vintage.

Pippa Sandison

We hold more than 20% of our budget for in-season spend, allowing us to be agile in taking on new brands as we see them, but also to keep stocked up on our bestsellers such as H by Hudson shoes, which we buy in season. We don’t tend to buy any clothing brands in season as most of our brand mix is still forward order.

Style Council

Readers' comments (2)

  • Thierry BAYLE

    When sharing with clients how to optimise sales and reduce discounts, it is about bringing fresh goods throughout the season - this is what an open to buy plan will allow confirm to the buyers.

    By the way, the Open to Buy plan is possibly the best kept secret that larger retailers do not want to share with independent retailers yet it is 100% applicable to indies - and cost effective of course.

    Even if you buy forward order, you need to make sure you bring the goods throughout the 6 months and not just jan to march and from july to sept!!
    If you doubt it, ask me to share the open to buy plan and ss how it affects when you follow or not the plan.

    The danger of buying 100% forward order is that you have no flexibility to react to changing trends, changing weather or a changing economy.

    So yes if you are looking to grow your business, buy closer to the season and get fresh goods coming regularly in the business.

    Thierry Bayle
    @retailfashion

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  • Thierry BAYLE

    I forgot to add that when you bring fresh goods every month, every buyer is telling me that it is like Christmas both for the customer and staff.
    And you know what would be the consequences on sales when you have excited and motivated staff as well as customers who come in store and ask: "what's new".

    Happy Retailing.

    Thierry Bayle

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