So you're looking to break into wholesale, but not sure where to begin. Sound familiar?
Fret not, I've got you're back!
Let’s start with some of the fundamental logistics you’ll want to think through:
Once you have your strategy solidified, it's time to:
Prior to buying, you’ll want to have a sense of your merchandise pricing structure. Be sure to:
As you start to plan your product assortment, look to your data! If you have figures depicting sales history by season or category, item or size, start there. Analyze the numbers and lean into the trends.
If you don’t have your own historical statistics- that’s okay! Most just starting out don’t have access to that information. Instead, look to market trends. Research and shop your competition! When doing so, keep these questions in mind:
It’s important to have a vision as you’re cultivating your assortment! Look at your overall collection:
Once you have an idea of your product assortment, it's time to see how those plans fit into your budget. Put parameters in place for how much you can spend and allot accordingly for any special products or buys you may want to make.
Another key step when planning your assortment is forecasting the lifecycle of an item, or how long you intend to have the item on your sales floor. It is important to account for seasonality which will help you determine how many of each item you’ll by. What is the sell-through rate you need to achieve profitability? You want to ensure that you’re staying relevant, so how often do you want to bring in new items?
There are a plethora of programs available to you to help track and analyze sales. Those reports should include: On Hand (OH), On Order (OO), Sell Through Rate (ST%), Cost, Retail, Sales Average Unit Retail (AUR), Gross Profit Ratio (GP%), Onsite/In-store Date and Markdown Date.
Set yourself up for success in the seasons and years to come by tracking performance of your assortments.
Plan to be reactive! Are you currently selling an item with an above average sell-through rate? Monitor closely, and possibly re-order to ensure you don’t miss a sale - don’t forget to account for delivery times! You will need to leave yourself enough time to see through the item by the end of the season; you don’t want to buy back into a markdown.
Whether your business is clothing, accessories, home decor or another industry - these same principles apply!