Customers who shop with independent retailers love to discover. When they walk through your boutique doors or navigate your online store, they are buying more than your merchandise--they are buying into your unique fashion point of view. Although studies predict consumers will spend 30% less on apparel and footwear this year, they will still purchase--just much more selectively.
Ahead of Liberty Fairs’ new initiative around taking tradeshows virtual, we asked co-owner and founder, Sharifa Murdock to share the significance of change in the men’s fashion and trade show circuit. In light of recent events and movements towards COVID-19, diversity and inclusion, we bring you an insight into how the powerhouse brand is conveying necessary change and leadership plus an introduction to the new Vice President, Edwina Kulego.
The pandemic’s ‘digital first’ imperative has forced our industry to make big changes, fast. The new applications of virtual showroom technology not only differ from the pre-COVID norm--but in many ways make business better than before.
As economies begin to open and we stop and start our way into the ‘new normal,’ the on-the-ground reality looks much more ‘new’ than a return to anything that came before. Digital first is here to stay: consumers, brands, and buyers who have experienced the convenience and cost reduction of doing business online won’t dial that back anytime soon.
Wholesale has an inventory problem. And yes we know, that’s not exactly news. Even prior to COVID-19, UBS noted inventory growth for apparel, footwear and accessories had outpaced sales growth for four quarters running -- with many companies bringing in inventory sooner than usual to get ahead of expected tariff increases. Not to mention, demand forecast in general has perplexed the industry for quite some time. Add to this the delayed deliveries and mass order cancellations of Coronavirus Spring, and a perennially smoldering issue just became a five-alarm fire.
Now is the time to take wholesale business online. Here’s your 4-point checklist for choosing the right digital platform.
As more and more in-person gatherings across the retail industry have been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19, tradeshows and events are forced to rethink the way they reach customers and provide a seamless experience for the brand's buyers in this new way of working. For many businesses, not having access to these gatherings for the opportunity to promote their brand seems like an unmanageable challenge. But the show must go on. Many shows have already turned to digital alternatives to continue wholesale business in this new landscape.
The ability to think and act fast during market appointments is crucial. JOOR allows brands to have more appointments by increasing the efficiency of each session with our easy-to-use order-taking iPad app. When we learned that brands needed a faster way to connect orders to new clients in order to follow up, we created a new tool for them to connect these orders to retailers seamlessly from their Orders List page.
With the new catalog page, you will now have the ability to easily shop across linesheets with enhanced filtering, grouping features, scrolling, and searching.
Fashion and wholesale succeed through partnerships. The industry’s highly interconnected ecosystem makes it strong, agile, and able to continuously reinvent under fire. The independent designer/department store collaboration exemplifies this dynamic: it re-energizes wholesale year-on-year, serving as a vital innovation engine and a bridge to the future. Outdated marketing and operations practices, however, have begun to hold it back. Through the ‘100 Project,’ JOOR and Not Just a Label (NJAL) are forging more open and efficient digital pathways to set up the young talent/retailer alliance for the long term win.