Diary of an agent from: The UK part 3
10 August 2020
Another couple of weeks on the road and after a slow start I have noticed my appointment diary is now starting to fill up which is a positive sign!
I have not actively chased too many accounts yet, knowing that most are doubtless struggling with high levels of existing stock to clear, however over the last few days I have noticed customers starting to contact me to arrange appointments.
I think the realisation that there are not going to be any trade shows this season and the feeling that they need something new to freshen up their rails is making them decide that they need to start doing some 'tentative' buying?
Having made several store visits and phone calls the feedback is still mixed with 'good days' and 'bad days' for most retailers.
One customer told me that she was getting quite a few visits from customers who hadn't necessarily wanted to buy anything , but were glad of an excuse to escape from their husbands for a few hours to have a browse and a natter!!
While discussing trade with another independant in the South of England her manager told the owner and myself that she thought they had had a 'good day' the previous day. 'Indeed it was a good day', the owner added, 'however that is only a good day by the 'post lockdown' daily figures'. If we look at the figures we used to take before the virus hit and the lockdown was implemented, then the figures are very much below average for the time of year!
It would seem that retailers are realising they need to draw a line in the sand and begin again 'post- lockdown'. Comparing figures with last year makes for uncomfortable reading for many and I think many are writing off SS20 just trying to get through the AW season and see what 2021 will bring!
Forward orders for my classic ladies collections are, understandably, down compared to SS20. Many retailers who have received 'high summer' deliveries post-lockdown, are putting them away until next season rather than simply put them straight into the sale.
As a result the spend on SS21 is being reduced with many customers saying they are having to be cautious and will buy more 'in season' when business improves.
Orders for short order brands and accessories are more buoyant and I think this will be a pattern that continues as retailers try to react more quickly 'in season' and avoid committing too much budget to forward orders.
Photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/@pixabay