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!
V&C’s Digital Breakfast Event!
V&C’s DIGITAL BREAKFAST EVENT! in collaboration with Google and Boden. V&C are proud to announce a unique breakfast event focusing on how brands can drive sales directly to consumers, without relying on third party websites. Google will be revealing how brands can best drive sales directly to their websites, improving margins and customer engagement. Boden will be giving an insight as to optimising content placement on your websites, to allow increased traction and sales delivery as well as discussing the power and value of capturing the behavioural patterns of your customers in order to maximise revenues. V&C has become a leading agency in assisting brands to embrace the digital revolution, and Matthew Vohs will be giving you an insight into how V&C has become the go to facilitator for the fashion and retail industry. We are delighted to already have Owners and Directors from brands including Savannah Miller, Live Unlimited, Les Girls Les Boys, Coast and Who What Wear, and many more. Not only will this event be enormously valuable to any brand considering their digital future but it will also provide superb networking opportunities. Please contact Shelley Sokel (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further details.
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.