What Drives Fashion?

AsktheExpertsQ: Hello, Mr. Pruitt, what is the primary driver of fashion demand? What should we expect to see?

A: Now that’s a wide open question. I believe there is always demand and the vendor community will always produce new, exciting merchandise. We live in a multi-billion dollar industry. Merchandise is purchased every day. Customers buy for all sorts of reasons.

Sometimes the demand is triggered by seasonal changes and many times it is centered around an occasion such as a holiday or special event. The trick for retailers is learning to trigger demand.

As retailers, we look for trends. Trends are driven when great style crosses the demand curve. I recommend that you study the trends. At Blacks, we focus on finding trending opportunities. Sometimes the trends we identify are specific to a merchant and at other times the trend can be industry-wide.

Start looking at the fashion trends in your business, and how they relate to overall industry trends. This is a good way to learn where your customer fits into the fashion cycle.

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avatar About Steve Pruitt

Steve Pruitt is founder and Senior Consultant of Blacks Retail Analysis and Blacks Consulting. With over 30 years of experience, Steve is one of the most respected merchandise analysts in the industry. His specialty is apparel merchandising and he has worked with clients in every sector of this category. Steve’s approach is highly customized; he tailors his analyses to the particular needs and market of each client. His work ties together the merchandising piece of the business with the client’s overall financial goals to increase sales and streamline operations. Steve is also a trusted general business consultant, known for his ability to help retailers plan growth and manage change.
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