Fashion retailing is a crucial segment of the business world, acting as a bridge between manufacturers and customers. It involves purchasing clothes from manufacturers and selling them to customers. This sector includes a group of companies that form part of the fashion supply chain, offering fashion goods and services to consumers. These services can range from traditional seasonal spans to fast fashion timing, and the price lines can vary from budget to designer levels.
What is Fashion Retailing?
Fashion retailing is a sector of business that serves as a bridge between manufacturers and customers. It involves the process of purchasing clothes from manufacturers and selling them to consumers. Fashion retailing is not limited to clothing but also includes accessories. It is a part of a larger group of companies that form the fashion supply chain.
These companies offer fashion goods and services through traditional seasonal spans or fast fashion timing. The range of the products provided can vary from budget-friendly items to high-end designer lines. The ultimate goal of fashion retailing, like any other retail business, is to make sales. The buying budget is often dependent on historical sales data. Throughout the season, buyers analyze the sales of each style and scrutinize the inventory to determine if a particular style, product, or vendor has yielded good returns.
How does the fashion retail industry operate?
Retailers typically make initial purchases of items wholesale three to six months before the customer can buy the clothes in-store. Some of the best examples of fashion retailers include Walmart, Metro Cash & Carry, and IKEA, which follow a wide and deep assortment strategy. Specialty stores are another type of fashion retailer, offering various products in a single vertical category, selling products of either the same brand or the same category.
What is the Fashion Merchandiser’s Role?
Fashion retailing also plays a significant role in fashion merchandising, aiming to maximize sales and profitability by inducing consumers to buy a company’s products. This involves selling the right product at the right price, time, and place to the right customers. Fashion merchandisers utilize marketers’ information about customer preferences to make decisions about stocking appropriate merchandise in adequate but not excessive quantities, offering items for sale at attractive but still profitable prices, and discounting overstocked goods.
Other Job Roles in Fashion Retailing
The fashion retail industry offers various job roles, each with unique responsibilities and requirements. Here are some key positions in this sector:
1. Fashion Retailer: This role involves displaying items, serving customers, dealing with queries or complaints, advising customers on their purchases, managing stock, helping with promotions, overseeing deliveries, and managing and motivating staff.
2. Sales Associate: Sales associates work directly with customers, providing service and advice to promote sales in the store.
3. Merchandiser: Merchandisers work closely with buyers to ensure the right amount of stock is sent to the right stores at the right time. They may also be involved in coordinating sales and promotional offers.
4. Retail Buyer: Retail buyers are responsible for selecting and purchasing the range of products sold in retail outlets.
5. Public Relations Specialist: PR specialists manage the brand’s image and relationships with the public, including consumers, investors, and media.
6. Inventory Planner: Inventory planners oversee and manage the flow of goods in a business, from purchase and delivery to final sale.
7. Account Manager: Account managers serve as the liaison between the company and its clients, ensuring high customer satisfaction and strong client relationships.
8. Stylist: Stylists advise individuals on their personal style. They could work for a retailer, helping the general public, or for celebrities, helping them look their best on and off the red carpet.
9. Fashion Designer: Fashion designers create original clothing, accessories, and footwear. They sketch designs, select fabrics and patterns, and give instructions on how to make the products they design.
10. Copywriter: Copywriters write all sorts of copy – from product descriptions and blog posts to press releases, promotional emails, and social media posts.
11. Social Media Assistant: Social media assistants identify the best platforms to reach the target audience and create content to generate a buzz around the brand.
12. Event Manager: Event managers plan and execute fashion parties and events, ensuring everybody remembers the brand’s events.
13. E-commerce Manager: Ecommerce managers manage a brand’s online sales, focusing on converting website visitors to sales. 14. Studio Manager: Studio managers oversee a fashion house’s studio, coordinating the pattern cutters, machinists, and garment technologists.
15. Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: Makeup artists and hairstylists work behind the scenes to create a look that matches the brand’s vision.
These roles offer a variety of opportunities for individuals with different skills and interests, from creative design to business management, making the fashion retail industry a dynamic and exciting field to work in.
Reasons to work in Fashion Retail
Working in fashion retailing offers a plethora of benefits and opportunities for growth. This industry is perfect for individuals who enjoy being around people, have strong interpersonal skills, and are interested in fashion. The retail sector often provides flexible hours, enabling employees to maintain a good work-life balance. Additionally, sales retail jobs can offer competitive pay and the chance to advance within the company.
One of the main attractions of a career in fashion retailing is the constant exposure to creativity. Even if one does not hold a creative role, they are still surrounded by individuals expressing themselves artistically. The fashion industry is vibrant and full of life, centred around clothing design and style.
Fashion retailing also allows individuals to develop their social skills. Interacting with colleagues, managers, and a diverse range of customers is inevitable in this field. This interaction not only fosters friendships but also enhances direct-to-customer skills.
Another advantage of working in fashion retailing is gaining first-hand experience across various functions. With the ever-evolving landscape of fashion retail, roles such as sales manager or visual merchandiser are no longer confined to a single set of responsibilities. Instead, they are expected to contribute across different areas of retail.
The Growth of Fashion Retailing
In recent years, trends in fashion retailing have evolved to meet changing consumer demands. These include making shopping in-store fun, using technology to reduce friction, and making fashion retail more sustainable. The rise of the internet has also created new challenges and opportunities for fashion retailing, such as providing customers with shopping opportunities 24 hours per day and affording access to rural customers.
Fashion retailing is a dynamic and multifaceted sector of the business world. It offers a wide range of job roles and opportunities for growth, making it an attractive field for individuals with diverse skills and interests. As the industry continues to evolve in response to changing consumer demands and technological advancements, it promises to remain a vibrant and exciting field to work in.