By Abigail Boatwright
Before you hit the next WESA Denver Market typically held in January of each year, plan your strategy to make the most of the resources available. Here are five tips from Western Lifestyle Retailer to help you prepare!
1. Shop judiciously. Don’t let emotions cloud your judgment. If you find a product or line you love, sit on your decision and consider selections offered from a variety of brands and vendors before you make your final purchase.
2. Develop a model stocking plan. Arrive at Market with a model stocking plan that identifies minimum quantities needed for each item, with room to buy in a way that maximizes savings with each vendor. Plan for your core products, such as basic jeans and work boots, as well as niche segments for your fringe demographics.
3. Know your customer. Shop with your ideal customer in mind. If you see something you love but think it might fall outside that customer’s tastes, make a note of it and return to it after you’ve filled your base needs. Regularly survey your customers for feedback on items they would like to see in your store.
4. Balance classic and trendy. Trendy items can bring revenue to your store, but they also come with risk. Be cautious of blowing your budget on fads. Work to have a balance between classic items and trendy pieces, and take a look at mainstream fashion for a glimpse at what’s ahead for Western items.
5. Build relationships. It takes time and practice to hone your skills as a buyer. Trust your gut and don’t second-guess yourself. But building relationships with trusted vendor representatives is invaluable. It can also be advantageous, if your budget allows, to hire a consultant to help you create a stocking plan and determine inventory levels.