Just when we sigh with relief that winter is over, if you own a clothing store or a boutique, it is now time to buy wholesale winter accessories for the next season. Making a buying decision now, when last year’s trends are still fresh before your eyes (and some of them still lingering on your store’s shelves), may seem like it is a challenging and intimidating task.
So how do you choose what to buy for your store now, so many months before the season begins? How do you make a fashion forward, but well balanced decision that will translate into solid sales? We have been buying accessories in bulk for over a decade and have developed our own approach. Here are our buying tips, and we hope they make this experience easier for you!
Never stop watching trends. Fashion never stops. It is always in motion: adding, editing, favouring new colours and patterns, and even recycling old trends. To keep up, never stop looking for signs of the hottest trends and don’t forget to make note of them. This way you will have your shopping list ready when it comes time to buy hats, gloves, scarves and other winter accessories.
These days, luckily we’re not restricted to reports from international fashion shows like we were in the past. Now we can spot the early signs of future trends on social media and blogs, and on the streets of fashion forward cities, like New York.
Don’t forget the classics! While trying to catch up with the trends, we are often tempted with fresh new looks. Don’t forget that your clients also need a choice of safe, classic options: black leather or fabric gloves; grey winter hats with pompoms that work with just about anything; berets that happen to be hot just about any winter; and of course cozy toques! Who can survive a winter in Canada without these pieces? Yes, don’t forget to stock up on classics as they’ll be flying off your shelves just as much as the new trendy pieces.
Go for a variety of shapes. Each season, there is always a hot colour or pattern, so don’t forget to offer it in a variety of pieces. If orange winter hats are in, offer them as toques, berets, pompom hats, headbands and wool fedoras. The truth is, different shapes work for different figures and complexions, so make sure to offer your clients the full range!
Order coordinating pieces. Although people love talking about mixing and matching, often they end up just matching! Offer a selection of coordinating pieces that your clients will find easily in your store. Although they might try to match the accessories they are buying to something they already have in their closet, seeing pieces together as a complete outfit helps them visualize the finished look while helping you sell more pieces. It’s a win-win!
Adapt the hot trends to your clientele. Only a few of us wake up each morning to walk the runway in 6 inch heels with a flowing scarf artfully arranged by the invisible hands of an expert stylist! Most of us drop off our kids at school, commute to work and run errands. The truth is that while we all love a touch of fashion trends, they have to be adapted to real life: be machine washable, ready to hide in our purse, and never needing to be ironed!
You also by now know, like no one else, the tastes of your clientele. There is a good chance that camouflage print will not work for seasoned 50+ fashionistas! This is a big advantage of owning a brick and mortar retail store. You personally know your clients and what they love!
We admit that you will never completely take the mystery out of wholesale accessories purchasing. However if you develop a trusted system and have reliable go-to places with a full selection of what you are looking for, such as Simi Accessories, you will certainly do well.