Yesterday marked the second in our series of ‘Should I…’ events, after the success of ‘Should I Franchise’, next up, The Women’s Organisation were helping the ladies of Merseyside to decide whether or not they should wholesale or not.
We were joined by a great group of women who came down to 54St James Street, as well as two special guests, the experts in retail, who were to lead the session. The Women’s Organisation welcomed Matt Bell, who was one of the brains behind Liverpool One, and who went on to open REX: The ConceptStore that until last week was housed in the basement of Rapid and showcased over 80 local businesses.
As well as Matt, the Women’s Organisation welcomed Vicky Carden, the Retail Business Queen (also known as RBQ Consultancy), who has over 20 years of experience as a Buyer in high and low-end retail stores, as well as becoming the Head of Buying for Liverpool Football Club.
The event got off to a great start with a full room full of women who were making and selling, with some even bringing in their wares to show others. As Matt and Vicky spoke and the women asked those burning questions, here’s a few of the top tips and quotes that we got from the event. Maybe they can help those who couldn’t make it event on those tricky details and intricacies surrounding retail, buyers and wholesaling…
On the importance of Social Media…
When Matt was running REX he told us; ‘I could draw a graph and it would show you the correlation between how many tweets people did, and how much they sold. It’s that simple.’
On the relationships between suppliers and retailers…
Matt - ‘You have to have respect between the retailer and the supplier. The retailer does a lot for a supplier; they sort marketing, staffing, events, shop environment. One can’t exist without the other.’
On Shop Windows…
Matt – ‘Visual Merchandising is a lost art. Window dressing should be a lot more exciting! Look out for what you notice, and recreate that.’
Vicky – ‘Start off with a punchy and different email, and always follow up!’
Vicky – ‘Keep a look out for Open Buy Days, where the buyers will see anyone who comes in, even if you have to sit in the waiting room for 8 hours!
Vicky – ‘Don’t take it too personally if they don’t like or want your product, but always ask for feedback and persevere.’
The event was a real success, and the women that attended were able to ask Vicky and Matt all the questions they wanted the answers too. To be able to interact with retailers and buyers face to face, and demystify them was a great opportunity.
The women who attended told us…
‘I enjoyed the session; it was helpful to have the guest speakers coming from different backgrounds to show a different perspective.’
‘Fantastic! Thrilled I saw it on Facebook and attended. I hope to spend more time at these events.’
‘Great event, very informative, the retail fog is lifting!’
We at The Women’s Organisation would like to say a BIG thank you to Matt and Vicky for coming down to 54 St James Street and making the event so useful and informative for the women who came along!
Remember to keep your eyes peeled for future events in this ‘Should I’ series on Facebook, Twitter and Eventbrite!