Patrice's Pieces: Top 4 Tips for Buyers
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by Patrice Bouchard
Buying for your store can be overwhelming at times, but throughout my years of attending Las Vegas Fashion Week, I’ve picked up some tried-and-true strategies for success. Here are my top four tips to help you stay on task and easily navigate through a trade show!
- Know the Exhibitor List and research the brands. Have a plan and book appointments if possible. Prioritize appointments with vendors you have done good business with before and new vendors you want to meet. Having a schedule will help you utilize your time without having to wait to meet with someone in each booth. However, be sure to allow time for walking the show and discovering new lines, which are an essential way to keep your store looking fresh and current. Preview the August 2021 OFFPRICE Exhibitor List >> here!
- Know the Trends and know which ones are emerging in the season you are buying for. On that note, you don’t want to over saturate your inventory with trendy products, but you definitely need to assure they are represented in your store to stay current and continuously inspire your customer.
I still love a good hard copy Vogue or Marie Claire magazine for trend research, but there are some great online resources like >> BoF, which focuses on both style and business trends. Additionally, I recommend staying tuned to marketing emails from your vendors and trade shows because they often provide insight on trends for the upcoming season. You can subscribe to the OFFPRICE newsletter >> here!
- Have a Budget and stay within the budget. Know what your open-to-buy dollars are and what percent is allocated to specific categories. Do not get too emotionally attached to a product and buy too much… You would rather chase product then be stuck with aging product in your store and a busted budget. Selling is key! Spend the most on your store’s strongest selling category. A good budget is all about knowing your customer’s spending behavior.
- Look for Margin Builders based on your store’s strongest categories. Find products within those categories that present the opportunity for a healthy margin. Margin builders are key in any store they can help to drive up the sale and KPIs. More importantly, they are a great marketing tool, allowing for all sorts of promotions, giveaways, discounts etc.! The OFFPRICE Show is full of margin builders in every category. Follow me on instagram @offpriceshowpatrice and ask me about my favorites from the show!
Ultimately, it is important to keep your customer front of mind when buying for your store! Know their spending behavior, what products they prioritize, and the trends that inspire them. Then, use that information to strategically plan your buying and successfully prepare for your trip to market.
There’s plenty of time to start planning for the next OFFPRICE Show, August 7-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center! Stay tuned to our website, social, and newsletters for the latest show updates and industry insights.