A Guide To Post-COVID Purchase Planning
29 June 2020
Author: Jasmine Waters
The question we must now be asking ourselves on a more-than-daily basis is “how on earth can we navigate this forever changing landscape?” We don’t need to look at the news to know exactly what changes are happening within our creative industries, with many of us wanting to keep calm and carry on as much as possible. With that comes a question of actually having tangible answers, something all of us are still searching for as the months go by. What could our responses be to future purchase planning and how well can be accommodate current needs and adaptations?
What have buying schedules been like previously?
Many brands may have pre-existing ‘particular’ schedules, such as seasonal orders in limited quantities but high frequencies. If you have an eco-friendly purchasing schedule, it may now be at an advantage in the post-COVID era, falling outside of the traditional “fast-fashion” calendar. As small businesses, it has never been more important to support each other and maintain clear lines of communication with those we work with – those younger with fewer structures are the most likely to be at survival risk. Alongside this, there is also the question of whether the fashion industry will maintain its seasoned status, with designers perhaps no longer being able to deliver an entire collection, or agents and showrooms receiving fewer calendar appointments than usual.
How can this be adapted?
According to interviews conducted by Fashion United, some independent brands have proceeded to make adjustment which may sit completely different against those that others may be making. A few spoke of the traditional, tried-and-tested route of capsule collections, keeping the ability to support younger artists while also decreasing on product quantity. Some AW20 themes are being kept for SS21 or are offering a single drop around September time, before presenting and preserving products again at the beginning of 2021. For showrooms and concept stores, some pre-collections are still planning to go ahead for release in early November but finding a balance to slow down the pace. Buying for seasons – if they still exist – is being pushed back to at least the end of 2020, with some opting for limited edition products as oppose to capsule collections. It’s not surprise that many are seriously considering, or even making the switch to, a digital approach. Virtual showrooms and video call appointments are taking precedent, and perhaps because of this, increasing budgets when it comes to delivery.
In short, when it comes to planning for small business purchasing, there’s no one-size-fits-all blueprint, much like everything else we’re collectively experiencing in lockdown life. Knowing your strategy inside out and making sure that whatever path you pick, you’re planning early, could make the difference between keeping your head, brand and consumers above the post-COVID waters.
Image source: https://www.pexels.com/@cottonbro