GPS - Fashion Retail Buyer’s Radar

Updated: Jun 14

Wholesales lead for the fashion industry is essential to sales, and when combined with marketing, it can be very beneficial. You can think of it like dating. You have to get to know the buyer, and in doing so, require constant communication. Sharing updates from marketing efforts can show the buyer your brand's exposure in the market, which can help drive retails sales should the buyer decide to place an order with your sales or account representatives. It requires the marketing team to share updates with the buying team, which can be done with press clippings or tear sheets showing which celebrities wearing your garment. Integrating social media into this process can also prove useful with this strategy. New York Fashion designer Laquan Smith is an excellent example. The brand has press that can be sent to retail buyers to engage the buyer, meaning getting on the buyer's radar. In doing so, the brand must reach the buying team and can provide Public Relations to drive sales. Working with the Spring Summer 2016 Collection, I used this strategy to get on the radar with the buyers at Intermix, Barney's, and Intermix. According to the brand, they were not able to get on the buyer's radar with previous attempts, which quickly became a goal with an understanding that establishing a relationship with the buyer is part of the brand introduction process. Don't get me wrong getting an order is the ultimate goal, but it's like dating. You have to get to know the person before commenting on a relationship, and let's face you are getting into a committed relationship with the retail. Another example is of this is CFDA Women's Fashion Designer Ally Hilfiger, daughter of fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger. Linda Fargo, Senior Vice President, and Store Presentation Director at Bergdorf Goodman told Ally Hilfiger during a visit that they are watching her brand, which means on their radar, and they like a collection with depth and breadth. At the time, Ally's objective was to obtain one retail account, and the brand was on the right path to achieving her goal by being on the buyer's radar. Therefore, think of it like dating send love notes about your brand's progress to the buyer throughout the season, which can help develop a relationship putting you on the radar of the buyer and lead to a conversation about getting your brand in their store.