Are virtual buying events here to stay?

by Steve Pruitt

Q: I admit that these virtual buying events are making me feel a little uncomfortable and out of my element. What’s your take on this new way of purchasing merchandise?

Steve Pruitt:  It is different and we don’t have a lot of choice. Some vendors have done a better job than others.

I was talking with a merchant this morning on this topic. One of their comments about the Joor marketplace was, “At least you can see the complete collection and not just an edited version.”

This is a benefit, giving merchants more choice. And vendors seem to have done a reasonable job sending swatches, which helps a lot in terms of being able to touch the fabric and see the true colors.

Another positive point is that reduced travel is saving merchants a lot of money, and we need every expense cut we can get right now.

As you can probably tell, I’m choosing lemonade over lemons. Pitti Uomo will supposedly be live in January, but until then let’s make the most of what we have now. The shows must go on, if only virtually.


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2 Replies to “ARE VIRTUAL BUYING EVENTS HERE TO STAY?”

  1. It really stunk, and I am now inundated with solicitations from irrelevant lines that I did not even look at. I prefer the ability to browse on the last day of the show after we meet with vendors for 3-4 days, in search of new lines or sources to fill holes in our main vendor offerings.

  2. I agree with Chip Beam – the first round of a virtual marketplace was totally unproductive. First, you have to “connect” with a brand that you’re interested in and if and when they connect with you only then can you see the brand. Probably 80% of the new brands I was interested in did not respond. I too prefer the in-person experience where you can walk the shows without being profiled.

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