• VINSIGHTS

    4 Reasons to Consider Wholesale

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    January 2018

    Sadly many candidates fail to consider fully the benefits of a stint or a career in wholesale. I started my career working for a wholesaler and if I weren’t running my own fashion retail recruitment consultancy I would head back into the supply chain like a shot.

    Wholesale has two shortcomings relative to a career in retail. It lacks the perceived glamour of retail and it doesn’t offer the wider benefits package or bonus that are common in retail.

    However, there are numerous reasons why a couple of years experience or a career in wholesale is something you should consider. Here are my top four:

    1. From concept to the high street – working for a wholesaler means you get to be a part of the whole product lifecycle from conception through production and seeing it onto the high street. Being involved in a product at every step of the way is one of the most satisfying experiences I have ever discovered.

    2. Exposure to multiple customers – working for a wholesaler you get exposure to multiple retailers giving you a good overview of the very different cultures and benefits of different companies as well as a black book of contacts that can make you the envy of the industry. Many candidates develop a much clearer idea of who they do and don’t want to work for after a stint in the supply chain – and often it is not who they originally thought.

    3. Exposure within the business – wholesale roles tend not to be siloed and companies generally aren’t hierarchical giving you both exposure to the whole of the business and the ability to shape and really make an impact on the company.

    4. Opportunity and variety – because everyone works so closely together as part of a team within wholesale you are able to see what people do on a daily basis in a wide variety of roles. This could open your eyes to different roles that you may not have known about before. Working so closely with the factories can be an important for your career. Having a good understanding of what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ and gaining off-shore experience is invaluable while getting the opportunity to visit the factories makes your CV even more attractive!

    Wholesale is fast paced. Companies tend to be smaller and successful ones grow rapidly providing fantastic opportunities for those who want to seize them. But, for me, the thing that makes wholesale so rewarding is the ability to make fashion happen. I love the journey from creating concepts, to turning them into samples, then securing orders, before putting them into production and ultimately seeing them fly off the shelves. In the unlikely event I ever stop enjoying recruiting for supply chain roles then my final task will be to place myself at an up and coming wholesaler.

    Depending on your aspirations, some stages of your career may be better than others to work in the supply chain.

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    June 2019

    The Art of Retail Merchandising

    Right product, right place, right time – that’s what we know makes a retail business tick! And it’s the merchandising department that is pivotal to this formula with its remit on optimising the sales for any retail business – so often the function is over shadowed as a profession by its more glamorous sister position - the Buyer, that can take more of the glory of a successful retail business. However it’s the Merchandiser that should equally command this acknowledgement by successfully buying the product at the best margin and keeping the Buyer ‘in check’ and adopting the role of 25% Buyer to their 75% Merchandiser, questioning the amount of buy, options/SKU’s, price, weighing up the sale through rate against a mark down to sale scenario. A simple diagram illustrates this relationship between the functions below:-                        75%         25%         75% We are finding in today’s environment the Merchandiser has to be more commercial, understanding the financial implications of the buy on the cash flow and how important it is to trade and optimise the margin to ensure the best return on the buy, the discerning Merchandiser will question the buy. The questions that a retailer should be raising include:- Would you rather sell out of stock and hit full price meeting your margin? What are the implications of not buying enough stock and having a great sale through rate – is it a loss of sale scenario or can flipping the coin mean an overbuy with excess stock for a sale item? Zara maintain the first option, the lack of stock sometimes creates that ‘impulse buy’ - ‘when its gone its gone’ leaving the customer knowing that that the buy could be completely missed, the effect this has is actually two fold, firstly creating a good sale through and secondly returning interest from the customer who will be compelled to buy for FOMO (fear of missing out) reasons. The merchandiser should be the architect of the buy particularly for ‘bricks & mortar’ stores ensuring there are enough of the right options to optimise the allocated space  - continuously with new buy options  - working closely with Buying and of course allocating. Merchandisers should question the business on buying scenarios such as:- What would be the implications of reducing size ratios and obtaining a better cost price? Would it be better holding griege for RTD garments and being more flexible to market need? The business of merchandising is trading and the more the merchandiser is commercially aware with sound knowledge of the market, their competitors and their customers, this will put them in a winning business position. After all Retail is Detail! If you are looking for new opportunities within Merchandising - get in touch with the team!

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    April 2019

    V&C Sustainability Event!

    EVENT NEWSLETTER V&C were delighted to partner with Sartex and Jeanologia for our latest Sustainability Event at the Century Club, Soho on 17th April. Following the huge success of our previous ‘Textile Sustainability Event’ in 2018, V&C have taken it one step further and brought brands and retailers (from the likes of Stella McCartney, Pentland Brands, Whistles and River Island to ASOS, Thought, M&S and many more) together with two organisations re-shaping the fashion industry – creating a more ethical, sustainable and eco-efficient approach to the way we manufacture garments. This event focused on the production of Denim Garments, while also discussing ways in which this approach could be applied to other products. Firstly, we heard from Carmen Silla from Jeanologia. Jeanologia are leading the transformation of the textile industry with their disruptive technologies (laser and eco systems) that enhance productivity, reduce water and energy consumption and eliminate damaging emissions and waste, guaranteeing ZERO contamination. Through their multiple technologies – whether that be the Laser finishing machines, g2 technology or Environmental Impact Measuring software – the impact these are having are huge! Through Jeanologia technology, they are saving 10 million cubic metres of water each year and eliminating the use of harmful substances and dangerous practices. The Environmental Impact measuring software they have developed is an essential tool in monitoring the impact production is having on the environment, as with no measurements there are no improvements. The EIM software classifies into four categories – making the path to increased sustainability convenient to track. Following on from this, we heard from Mounir Zarrad from Sartex. Sartex produce 4M+ denim garments for UK, European and US markets. Vertically integrated, they offer sourcing, design, sewing, washing, dyeing and treatments. By having the full manufacturing and finishing process in-house, they not only facilitate from design to end product but also speed up the time to market and set new standards when it comes to sustainable production. Mounir explained how Sartex are driving the production of denim garments to become more sustainable. Through the use of Jeanologia technologies, Sartex have reduced the average consumption of water in garment wash and dye from 80 litres per garment to just 10-15 litres – with contaminated water being treated and 70% being re-used in Sartex processes and 30% being recycled back into the community as drinking water! Not only is there increasing awareness of the importance of sustainable garment manufacturing, but also mounting pressure from retailers/brands and consumers alike to be more socially responsible. Sartex have implemented a paper-less production line, on-site doctors/nurses and opened a training academy with a capacity of 200 trainees per year – making employment accessible for all. V&C are looking forward to hosting our next event in collaboration with Google, talking around ‘How brands can drive sales direct to consumer without relying on third party websites.

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