Fashion BuyingAdvanced Fashion Merchandising: Standard 4 Created by: Kris Caldwell Timpanogos High School
Fashion Buyers: • A fashion buyer is responsible for making sure the merchandise that consumers want is available in stores. • Buyers purchase goods from manufacturers and vendors. • They must be able to predict what consumers want six months before the goods reach the stores. • They constantly monitor items that are selling as well as the latest styles and trends.
Planning to Buy • Merchandise Planning: estimating, as correctly as possible, consumer demand and how it can best be satisfied. • Resources they can use are: • Sales Records: Tells the buyers not only the quantities of specific styles soled, but also the sizes and colors. • Vendor Information: Buyers depend on information supplied to them by vendors. • Market Week Previews: Buyers attend market weeks to preview the upcoming season’s merchandise and to buy merchandise.
Terms to know: • Design Center: A district in a city where fashion design and production firms are clustered together. • Fashion Weeks: Periods during each year when fashion designers present new designs or collections. The most important collection shows are held twice a year, featuring spring-summer and fall-winter lines.
Terms to know: • Haute couture: French term for high fashion, which is expensive, trend-setting, custom-made apparel • Couturiers: professional fashion designers involved in designing, making, and selling high fashion
Terms to know: • Buying center: a central district in a city where businesses sell products to retail buyers • Market weeks: the major times scheduled by fashion producers to show fashions to buyers • Mart: a building that houses thousands of showrooms for a specific merchandise category
Terms to know: • Merchandising cycle: a circle of ongoing planning, buying, and selling activity • Departmental buying: Activity of department store buyers who purchase merchandise for only their own departments. • Classification buying: Activity of purchasing only one category classification of merchandise, often done by chain store buyers. Also called central buying.
Terms to know: • Buying plans: A plan that describes the types and quantities of merchandise to purchase for a department or store for a specific period of time and for a set amount of money. • Assortment Plan: a buying plan that projects the variety and quantity of specific stockkeeping units to be carried by a store or department to meet customer demand.
Terms to know: • Stock-keeping unit (SKU): The smallest unit for which sales and stock records are kept. • Specification buying: When a retailer submits definite specifications to a manufacturer about the quality of materials, workmanship, style, and fit of items, rather than looking for goods already produced • Vendor-managed inventory (VMI): situation in which suppliers control stock level replenishment from retail POS data
Planning to Buy • Stock Turnover • Number of times the inventory is sold and replaced in a given period (how fast the merchandise goes in and out of the store) • Stock-to-Sales Ratio • Set figure for a specific time (ex: beginning of the month) • Stock-to-Sales= $value of stock at retail at beg of month $projected sales for the month • Open-to-Buy • Ongoing dollar amount that buyers are permitted to order
Planning to Buy • Using Internal Information: • Past Sales Records • Salespeople • Want Slips • Consumer Opinions and Behavior • Surveys, panels, customer counts
Planning to Buy • Using External Information: • Vendors • Trade Information • Comparison Shoppers • Resident Buying Offices
Market Weeks • Retailer buyers “go to market” to meet with a large number of vendors. They can compare merchandise and try to get the lowest prices. Vendors encourage buyers to make appointments to view their lines during market weeks. Producers exhibit their new lines with as much flair as possible. Fashion shows are presented during market weeks.
Advantages of Market Weeks for Buyers: • Gaining a sense of the market • Seeing entire lines of vendors’ latest merchandise • Discovering new sources of lines from previously unused manufacturers • Meeting and consulting with manufacturing-firm management • Getting special terms and purchases, including lower prices • Gaining promotion or selling help from manufacturers • Networking with other buyers • Getting ideas for merchandise displays • Attending educational seminars, meetings, and other planned events
Trade Shows • Trade shows are periodic, temporary exhibits that are scheduled throughout the year in various trading centers. They usually last 2-4 days and are typically attended by buyers from only one region of the country or that deal in one specific type of product. They might be held in hotels, civic centers, or small exhibition halls. An advantage of trade shows is that they cover areas of fashion that might otherwise be lost at major market weeks, such as tennis or golf wear, or big and tall men’s wear.
Major Market Centers • New York: Known for: • US Fashion Capitol • More merchandise selection than any other market
Major Market Centers • Los Angeles: Known for: • Has an apparel market center • Fashions are innovative and trend-setting • Casual “California-style” sportswear and swimwear • Hollywood “glitz” evening wear
Major Market Centers • Dallas: Known for: • Apparel market • Sportswear and “western wear”
Major Market Centers • Chicago: Known for: • Headquarters of Sears and Montgomery Ward • Market Center attracts buyers from midwestern states • Chicago Apparel Mart
Major Market Centers • Miami: Known for: • Reasonably priced childrenswear and “sunshine sportswear” such as cruise fashions, swimsuits, and lightweight activewear. • Link between US firms and low-wage offshore production in the Caribbean Islands and Central and South America • Miami International Merchandise Mart
Major Market Centers • Atlanta: Known for: • Atlanta Market Center-home furnishings, floor coverings, apparel, and giftwares • Includes: Atlanta Merchandise Mart, Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, and the Atlanta Apparel Mart • Variety of merchandise, especially better apparel and sportswear lines.
More terms to know: • Purchase order (PO): A written document authorizing the delivery of certain goods at specific prices and times. • Advance orders: Merchandise orders with a longer lead time before the delivery date. • Reorders: Additional orders of the same merchandise as ordered previously
More terms to know: • Back orders: Merchandise orders that have not been filled within the time specified and have note been canceled by the buyer. • Open order: An order placed with a resident buyer or vendor with no restrictions as to style, color, price, or delivery
More terms to know: • Special orders: Orders for merchandise to satisfy individual customers rather than for a regular stock • Blanket orders: Promises to buy from favored vendors over a period of time, with no detail of colors, sizes, or shipment until later. • Approval buying: An arrangement in which merchandise is shipped to a retailer’s store for inspection before the final purchase decision is made.