by Gary Drinkwater
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As an independent menswear merchant struggling like most to survive the pandemic-related business slowdown of the past nine months, I was delighted to receive an interesting partnership proposal from one of our key brands: Universal Works, a top UK vendor with whom we’ve had an outstanding relationship. In addition to being wholesalers, they also have their own stores in the UK, now closed due to COVID-19 and unlikely to reopen for the holiday. Fortunately, they’ve built a strong online business with targeted marketing on various social media platforms.

So recently, this vendor came to me with a very generous offer: a “free” platform for ads that they will create and manage on our Drinkwater’s Facebook page, targeted to our Drinkwater’s customers. All we need to do is give them access to our page so they can work their magic from across the pond.

I assume many of us remember the term ‘advertising dollars,’ an incentive that vendors used to bestow upon retailers based on a percentage of seasonal invoices. I cannot remember how long ago this was even a discussion. So how wonderful that at least a few creative manufacturers are starting to think about working together for the survival of both the retailer and the brand!

Now, this is what I call a partnership: if we go down, they follow suit. (No pun intended…)