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How do retailers adapt their purchasing planning?


Delivery delays, trade show cancellations, collections postponements, the question of purchasing planning is at the heart of the upheavals caused by the crisis. Added to this is the digital transformation – that of fashion week but also showrooms and salons – to which fashion professionals are still trying to acclimatize. To deal with this rapidly changing landscape, concept store and e-tailer buyers are taking different approaches, some with more confidence than others. To get an idea of ​​the situation, FashionUnited contacted five retailers. Their responses offer a heterogeneous panorama of current needs and adaptations.

Overview of post-covid impacts on purchasing schedules:

  • Purchases that stretch over time,
  • Deposit with fewer items,
  • AW20 themes are sometimes carried over to SS21,
  • The agility of brands specializing in eco-responsible brands,
  • Importance of pre-collections.

Zeineb Chaouch, co-founder and creative direction at Le DiX

DiX is a young Parisian concept store, inaugurated in January 2020 in the 8th arrondissement. It offers young brands and pieces created in collaboration with artists. Since May 2020, the site also has an online store.

Could you explain your normal purchase schedule and how it has been adapted to the impact of Covid-19?

Zeineb Chaouch: Our purchasing calendars are quite specific: for big brands like For Love & Lemons or Sister Jane, we place seasonal orders for deliveries in very limited quantities but at high frequencies (every month).

Other established brands such as House of Sunny and By Malina follow the usual calendar with two collections per year (fall / winter and spring / summer).

However, many of our brands are part of an environmentally friendly supply chain and are therefore less common. Many of these brands make less than one collection per year.

Although supporting this type of supply chain is a drawback these days because it does not correspond to “fast-fashion” – which is still part of consumer demand – it is an advantage in the post- Covid, because it doesn’t disrupt our calendar.

When will DiX buy for the SS21 season?

We remain in constant communication with all our partner brands and we support each other in these times of crisis. Therefore, we will place orders when our partner brands are ready to take them.

We have very little visibility at the moment, mainly because a large part of our partner brands are very young with few structures and means and are therefore the most affected by the crisis.

Will pre-collections and capsule collections always be of the same interest for Le DiX?

Due to the size of the structures with which we work, these collections are not applicable to us. However, for capsule collections, we collaborate a lot with artists to create unique pieces based on the fusion of art and upcycling. We will therefore reduce the quantities produced but will continue to support young artists.

Maud Barrionuevo, purchasing manager at 24S

24S is the Bon Marché electronic commerce platform, formerly “24 Sèvres”. Introduced by LVMH in 70 countries in 2017, it was created to participate in the growing market for luxury digital commerce. The site offers articles from more than 200 brands, the majority of which belong to the LVMH group.

What is your purchase schedule under normal circumstances and did you have to adjust it?

Maud Barrionuevo: The summer pre-collections for women belong to the vast majority of purchases and are normally made between mid-May and mid-July for delivery from November to January. Then the fashion weeks start in September with fashion shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris at the end of September.

When will 24S buy for the SS21 season?

This season is very special and we are considering several brand strategies: a smaller drop or sometimes a capsule presented later. AW20 themes are sometimes kept for SS21.

Finally, other brands only offer one drop in September. As for fashion shows, we don’t yet know what’s going to happen. The men’s calendar is tighter and the pre-collections take place in May / June, the purchases on the podium being done in July. Most brands therefore presented their collection in a single presentation, mainly digital.

Will pre-collections and capsule collections always be of the same interest for 24S?

Yes, we want to present these products in late and early 2021, as desired by 24S customers. It is therefore very important to keep them.

Post-Covid: How are retailers adjusting their purchasing planning?

L’Exception – Paris

Régis Pennel, founder of L’Exception

Located in the heart of Paris, under “La Canopée du Forum des Halles”, L’Exception is a concept store offering creative brands for men and women and also has an e-shop.

Could you explain your regular purchase schedule and how it was adapted according to Covid-19?

Régis Pennel: Normally, the schedule is very busy: we make four to five appointments per day. For this season, we will likely slow the pace as purchases will take longer.

When will L’Exception make purchases for the SS21 season?

Our SS21 purchases begin at the end of June and continue until October, with numerous meetings in July. Before, we finished men’s fashion around July 10 to 15, but now we have meetings until the end of July.

Will pre-collections and capsule collections always be of the same interest for L’Exception?

For pre-collections, yes. We have already spent a lot of time and budget on it. This is important because they are delivered very early in November / December.

Post-Covid: How are retailers adjusting their purchasing planning?

Macaplace – Nantes

Claire Rocher Caillard, co-founder of the Macaplace concept store

Macaplace is a Nantes concept store that was inaugurated in November 2019. The location is distinguished by an arrangement similar to an apartment, on the first floor of a building in the city center. The store offers high-end fashion made by international brands (such as Modetrotter and Suzie Winkle) and also has its own e-shop.

Could you explain your regular purchase schedule and then how it was adapted according to Covid-19?

Claire Rocher Caillard: We work in partnership with brands and designers who work on collections in advance, but not a year in advance. For example, this summer, we made our purchases at the end of 2019, at the beginning of 2020. Covid-19 unfortunately impacted certain designers who will no longer be able to deliver their entire collection…

When will you be shopping for the SS21 season?

Not until the end of 2020.

Will pre-collections and capsule collections always be of the same interest for Macaplace?

Pre-collections, no, but capsule collections, yes. The principle of creating exclusives in limited editions (also over time) is perfect for us and offers different things.

Tiffany Hsu, fashion purchasing manager at Mytheresa

The Mytheresa e-commerce site offers clothing, bags, shoes and accessories from more than 180 international luxury and designer brands such as Balenciaga, Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Saint Laurent. Since recently, Mytheresa has also been offering men’s fashion.

Does the way you are currently preparing for SS21 differ from your usual procedure?

Tiffany Hsu: In terms of planning, we work and plan like we did in previous seasons. Currently, we buy via digital showrooms and video call appointments if they are based in another city. We visited some local showrooms where security measures were of course applied.

Will your purchase for the next season be different in terms of schedule and budget?

No, we plan to place our orders as usual to ensure that deliveries arrive on time. We are increasing our budgets compared to last year.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.FR, translated and edited.

Photo Credit: Le DiX, L’Exception, Macaplace

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