Collaborative approach key to apparel sourcing strategy


London: The key to successful sourcing for any company is in knowing its organisation and brand, and satisfying the needs of each of key stakeholders, according to a new market research report from just-style.

The report, entitled ‘Practical Brand Sourcing Strategy’, explains that each stakeholder of a brand has its own agenda and priorities and exerts varying levels of influence on sourcing decisions depending on the culture of the parent company.

Although companies vary in the ways in which they distribute responsibility among their managers, the two groups of decision makers that will most impact the success of a brand’s sourcing strategy are the creatives and the merchants.

The former comprises design, product development, technical design and raw material, and accessory development. They are responsible for the “why” and the “what” of the product: the concept, the design, the colour story, the components and the fit.

Merchants go by different names in different organisations. They can be merchandisers, buyers, or sales personnel. In smaller companies they are often the principal and CEO. The merchants establish the “how much” and the “when” – how much is purchased and when it is delivered. They set the selling prices, wholesale or retail depending on the organisation and are responsible for achieving the targeted level of profitability.

Apparel industry consultant and author of the report, Margie Bross, explains: “Sourcing is a complex process. Each individual task is relatively simple to perform, but the challenge is to get all the interlocking parts to work together, collaboratively and holistically. Know your organisation, know your brand and the rest will fall into place.”

The report will be available on just-style in mid-October. However, people who take out an annual subscription to just-style before 30 September, at a 35% discount on standard pricing, will receive a free copy of the full report well in advance of its publication. Don’t miss out on this offer, sign up to just-style today.


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