How should retailers go about introducing emerging designers into their mix?

by Steve Pruitt

Q: I’m looking to attract business with a younger clientele, but feel hesitant about bringing in untested vendors. Should I take a shot on young, emerging designers, and is there any way to test them first?

Steve Pruitt: This is an important question, and if you haven’t started to reach out to younger clients already you need to start this process now. I suggest you start by visiting other stores to understand how they have blended in their younger vendors.

Next, talk to a lot of vendors. Find out from how their accounts integrated the newer designers. Then it’s time to look at your sales staff. Do you have enough younger people on staff to connect with your target clients?

Lastly, you have to buy enough merchandise to be meaningful, but don’t expect to knock it out of the park on the first season. Expect some trial and error, but know that it will be worth it in the end.

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