• VINSIGHTS

    The Art of Retail Merchandising

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    June 2019

    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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    15/01/20

    Denim Production - YOUR Way Forward...

    Did you know… Denim laundries are one of the highest polluting facilities on the planet. 3 – 4% of a factories production is waste. UK is predicted to buy 87 million pairs of jeans this year SO… The UK Retail needs near-shore flexibility to reduce over production and respond to the market’s needs. About 70L litres of water is what it currently takes to finish one pair of jeans. This can be reduced down significantly to 5 Litres by companies like Sartex. Within 5 years jeans will be able to be created with only 100% recycled water through the Ozone or harvested rain water.   The fashion industry is unable to continue the way it is going and is desperately looking for more sustainable means to suit the needs of the consumer. Denim is one of the most contaminating industries and over 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are created by the fashion industry. Waste garments represent about 3-5% of every factory's inventory. Asia production is planned 6 months in advance and Turkey (the main close to home supplier of denim) lead times for repeats are 3-4 weeks. This gives little flexibility for companies to react to consumer trends. Subcontracting is still rife in many countries due to large demand. Visits to factories are infrequent and checks made on factories are often done by 3rd party services - Sartex are completely verticle from Inspection of Fabric, Laying, Cutting, Confection, washing and finishing all in Monastir. Retailers are under a considerable amount of pressure to meet ethical and environmental targets. £140 million of clothing goes into landfill each year – washing garments in the UK will reduce over production and waste. We are working to help sustain and introduce better alternatives to Denim production which of all the garments manufactured worldwide utilizes the most water, waste, chemicals and energy, as such we are launching the Sartex/Denim House services here in the UK - already working with UK brands Fat Face and Whistles as well as Global brands from 7 for all Mankind, Diesel, Replay to Boss amongst many others. Using organic, sustainable and recycled fabrics together with their advanced eco production. Sartex/Denim House have committed multi-million Euro investments in their incredible facilities in Monstir, Tunis. From Jeanologia and Tonello’s state of the art Ozone and Laser machineries to their Water treatment plant that recycles 70% of used water back into the factory and the balance clean enough to enter the Tunisian water system. Sartex/Denim house’s senior management team will be showcasing their new innovative developments, processes and commitment to Sustainable Denim in person on the 21st January 2020 – for more information about attending contact shelley@vandc.uk #commitedtosustainaibility

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    December 2019

    We've got the 2020 vision!

    As we wave goodbye to the last decade, we welcome 2020 of what V&C believe to be a positive and exciting start to the next decade. With Sustainability and Digital being at the core of our business focus. It is moving to reminisce on how many iconic brands have left our high street due to the retail apocalypse, those include Mothercare, Jack Wills, Karen Millen, East and Bon Marche – to name few. This creates opportunities for the new brands to step up and deliver innovation and style to the ever-changing retail landscape, most of whom are incorporating sustainability, recycled and organic fabric development into their collection, seeing the evolution of sustainable brands such as Veja, Raeburn and others. V&C continues to grow it’s event side of the business that have included content rich and exciting topics in collaboration with Google and Facebook for the digital side and launching Sartex/Denim House collaboration for the Sustainable Denim production. It is apparent, due to the successful attendance of these events, that UK brand and retailers continue to explore and grow their business through ecommerce and drive their sustainable action plan as the consumer become mindful on environmental issues – a paradox in itself. Our digital growth both in terms of recruitment and our Digital Marketing Services across PPC and Paid Social delivers excellent returns and campaigns for our retail partners. The UK seems to be ‘Online - all the time’ with the average British household now owning a staggering 7.4 internet devices. Our Digital event in November 2019 partnered with Michelle Capp (Head of UK Retail at Facebook and Instagram) where we discussed how brands can drive traffic to their websites through the power of social media, PPC and SEO. Brand awareness is key, all brands have a story to tell - it’s just how you tell it! We look forward to the start of 2020 for many reasons, in January we have our new event scheduled around Sustainability, we have new brands on board to start the digital campaigns and we have lots of fantastic new opportunities for our candidates across all retail sectors from Technical, Commercial, Buying and Merchandising.  V&C wish all our clients and candidates a very Merry Christmas a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

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