Independant Clothing Retailer
Hi, I am looking into setting up a independent clothing retailer.. i have seen some premises basically the concept of my shop will be: To sell male & female branded clothes quite high end.. IE. Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Versace, Juicy, etc.. will include accessories and possibly suits.. as there is nothing like this locally. Just wondering how would i go about getting hold of these companies? do i contact them direct or would i have to go through a wholesaler/distributor? Also will include an online shop.. hopefully can make a nice living..?
I can help with the online shop set up to discuss further mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I am a small online services business so could help set up for minimal costs.
Thanks look forward to hearing from you Jon
Hi and well done on coming up with a business idea. I have a couple of questions and indeed concerns about it though. First of all is the shop, where are you thinking of setting up, high street, out of town, retail unit etc?
The reason I ask is I am wondering on the type of customers you will get. In the current economic climate, high end clothing is not a big seller outside the likes of Oxford street etc. combine that with the high rents in central places, wages, tax, NI, utilities etc you could be on a fast track to going bankrupt, I’m quite sure you are not daft though and will suss out the market as you do any proposals or business plans…. just a concern that’s all.
As for where to get your stock from, most companies use specific selling avenues or dealers, high end companies only tend to get rid of old stock via wholesalers or get rid of seconds etc. One of the reasons these companies can charge so much is because a line will not have tens of thousands of them like Primark for example, made cheaply and in mass quantities and you may also find there will be limitations on what you can sell as certain stores will have an agreement with the manufacturer asking for exclusivity for a certain square mileage (usually city based) so Ralph Lauren may not allow you to sell because they are selling to someone in the next street and in some ways I kind of agree with this.
I do see you having problems which are as follows:
Obtaining enough stock on a regular basis
Obtaining a reseller or partner who will sell to you full stop, due to your limited size and market share in the high street (Very very small fish)
Being listed as ‘Boutique’ rather than a serious contender.
Struggling with turnover and customer numbers especially during the set phase and while customers know you exist.
Struggling with the high price of rents, utilities, wages linked to turnover above.
Customers appetite for high end clothes when there has been a steep increase in cheaper lines such as George, Primark etc due to the current economic climate.
May it be worth thinking about selling high end seconds? which might give you an edge, you wil lbe able to buy the stock cheaper and everyone loves a bargain, when you are established perhaps then start bringing in A1 stock and seeing how you get on with that, I understand what you are trying to do I just have a feeling the window for this has passed with people spending so much less, especially as VAT has just gone up along with the overall price of living.
Seriously, I do not want to put you off in fact in principle it’s actually a good idea, with the right research, focused mind and a lot (and I mean allot) of wheeler dealing with partners and resellers you might eventually make a decent business, don’t forget all the high street chains started small and if you could get into selling top end clothes in the high street where their is a serious absence you could be on to a winner.
Let us know how you get on, but I do wish you well.