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Although the growth and development potential in this industry is still very large. As the revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2029) of 8.94%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$1,183.00bn by 2029 (as shown in the chart below). However, that also comes with many challenges that need to be carefully addressed.

How to avoid the clothing business becoming a gamble?

Opening a clothing store, as well as other items, is like a gamble. Whether you make a profit or a loss depends on how you operate that store. And one of the biggest factors impacting your revenue and profitability is the wholesale price and the retail price of the products. And the following article will share with you strategies to buy and sell wholesale fashion while minimizing risk as much as possible.

The Problem with Fashion Trends Nowadays

While sustainable fashion is highly valued and needs to be strongly developed, the trend is shifting powerfully towards fast fashion.

Fashion retailers quickly create styles that directly imitate the latest fashion weeks within a few weeks or even days, and designers are now under pressure to create additional seasons like “pre-spring” or diverse collections just to meet the relentless demand. And these trends are often constantly created or discarded by influencers on TikTok and Instagram, and recently by Threads – a rapidly emerging app in some countries. And when that happens, retailers have to face a continuous struggle to keep up.

Customer priorities are constantly changing and it is increasingly difficult to predict trends more than a month in advance, let alone an entire season. Struggling stores are already having a hard time coping with the current context, with high living costs and consumers cutting spending. Smaller independent retailers, especially those with traditional brick-and-mortar stores, are struggling to figure out how they will survive.

How to avoid the clothing business becoming a gamble?

So what are strategies for brick-and-mortar store owners?

Researching the Wholesale Fashion Market

Of course, when you are about to undertake anything, you need to do your research first, don’t you? For the fashion industry, you will need to research the suppliers, the wholesale prices, as well as the fashion trends.

Identifying reliable wholesale suppliers

When sourcing wholesale fashion suppliers, it is crucial to research and find trustworthy and reputable partners. Look for suppliers with a proven track record of delivering high-quality products on time and offering competitive pricing.

Key questions to answer in this section:

  • Does the supplier consistently provide quality products and timely delivery? What do their existing customers say about them?
  • Does the supplier have a clear and transparent order fulfillment and customer service process?
  • What are the supplier’s policies regarding minimum order quantities, returns, and warranties?

Evaluating product quality and pricing

This may take some time, but compile a list of potential wholesale suppliers and assess their product samples. Compare pricing across multiple suppliers to ensure you are getting the best value for your money.

Questions to address:

  • How does the quality of the supplier’s products compare to the competition in terms of materials, construction, and design?
  • Are the prices offered by the supplier competitive and in line with the market rates for similar products?
  • What are the supplier’s policies regarding shipping costs, bulk pricing, and any applicable discounts?

Catch up with fashion trends and customer preferences

Sustainable fashion business is not about sticking to the same old styles and waiting for luck. Retail store owners must constantly stay updated on the latest fashion trends and evolving customer preferences in their target market.

Monitor industry publications, attend trade shows, and observe what is selling well at both online and local retail stores. This will help you make informed decisions about the products you should sell and the pricing strategies to implement.

May so you like: Wholesale smocked children’s clothing

Effective Inventory Management

Effective inventory management is crucial for any business, especially in the fashion industry where trends can change rapidly.

Forecasting demand and avoiding overstocking

It is important to try to forecast demand and avoid overstocking. This means analyzing past sales data, market trends, and customer behavior to make educated guesses about how much of each product you will need in the future.

There are 6 demand forecasting types that you can choose from to predict trends. The more forecasting methods you combine, the more accurate the trend predictions will be.

The goal is to have the right amount of inventory on hand to meet customer demand without ending up with excess inventory that may become obsolete.

Techniques for managing inventory levels

In terms of techniques for managing inventory levels, this involves closely tracking how much of each item you currently have on hand. You will need to develop or purchase a POS system to decide when to reorder certain products, how much to order, and how to time those orders to maintain the optimal inventory levels.

You may get it wrong initially, but that’s okay – you’ll get it right eventually. This trial and error process can make a big difference in avoiding both shortages and excessive inventory.

Strategies for minimizing obsolete or unsold inventory

You may sometimes be able to sell all the orders you have placed, but that doesn’t always happen. There will be cases where you have overdue inventory or unsold products.

For the products that are still sellable, you should discount them. Selling at cost is better than not selling at all. However, for the products that you believe can no longer be sold, you can group them together and donate them, which will help build your brand image while also clearing out your inventory. You may take a small loss, but it will also give you more experience in purchasing and handling unsold inventory.

Negotiating Favorable Wholesale Deals

Now the main part, finding high-quality and affordable supply sources is very difficult, and even more so for those new to this market. However, every difficulty has a solution, let’s head to some of our tips below.

Tips for negotiating wholesale prices and terms

Clothing store owners need to research the current market prices of the products you want to buy wholesale in order to understand fair value. And only when you know the market price can you negotiate.

After finding a reliable enough supplier, then negotiate to get the lowest possible wholesale prices, but be willing to compromise to secure a reliable supply. Request extended payment terms or net 30/60 arrangements to improve your cash flow.

Tips: You can request exclusivity or minimum order quantities to get better per-unit pricing.

Leveraging volume discounts and other incentives

Experienced business owners already know this: Buy in larger quantities to qualify for volume discounts from suppliers. Seek out early-bird discounts, loyalty programs, or other incentives for consistent, high-volume orders.

If you are confident about product quality and fashion trends, propose purchasing bundled products or entire product lines to maximize your leverage.

Maintain strong relationships with suppliers

Build trust and credibility with key suppliers over time through reliable ordering and prompt payment. Developing strong relationships can give you advantages like prioritized orders or special pricing if you commit to long-term business with factories or suppliers.

Openly discuss your business needs and demand forecasts to help suppliers plan production.

In fact, manufacturers may sometimes have better insights into fashion trends since they receive orders from many different sources. For example, the children’s clothing manufacturer K-Embroidery has many retailers come to us for advice on current children’s clothing trends. If you are a new supplier unsure about the latest children’s fashion trends, feel free to contact us on WhatsApp at +84 85 555 5961.

Mitigating Financial Risks

As a business owner, it’s important to take steps to mitigate financial risks

Diversify your supplier base

First advice: Don’t be overly dependent on a single supplier.

If you rely too heavily on one source for your inventory, you could be vulnerable if that supplier experiences issues or raises their prices. Instead, try to diversify your supplier base. This will give you more flexibility and protection if one of your suppliers runs into problems.

Managing cash flow and inventory financing

Carefully forecasting your sales, expenses, and cash needs can help you avoid potential shortfalls. Explore financing options like lines of credit, purchase order financing, or inventory loans to ensure you have the necessary funds on hand. Additionally, time your inventory purchases and production to match your expected customer demand.

Implementing insurance and legal safeguards

The legal issues are a huge headache, I know, but this is what you have to do. Obtain appropriate business insurance coverage, such as liability, property, and worker’s compensation policies. It’s also a good idea to work with a lawyer to ensure your business is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.

By proactively addressing these financial risk factors, you can better protect your business and improve its long-term viability

Conclusion

As a retailer, focus on all the factors that impact cash flow, especially the inflows and outflows, which are about wholesale purchasing and selling to consumers. And those factors include fashion trends, finding suppliers, inventory management, and mitigating risks. 

All of this requires you to be flexible and adaptable to trends, but you don’t have to chase fast fashion. Just pursue sustainable fashion and make yourself stand out by one way or another.