Over the past two years Canadian apparel sales have remained fairly flat. However, Canadians now have more choices than ever before when they’re shopping, as an influx of new retailers have opened or plan to open locations in Canada. As the competition for limited retail space and dollars heats up, how can you ensure you are part of key retailers’ assortment plans?
Ensure you are part of key retailers’ assortment plans as the competition for limited retail space and dollars heats up.
As the retail environment changes, you may need to work with new retailers to ensure you are part of their assortment. Or you may need to defend your products as retailers reevaluate their assortment in light of competitive threats. How can you gain new distribution or defend your position with your current partners? You must establish a point of difference from your competitors by understanding the challenges or opportunities retailers are facing and showing them how your product will address their needs. Use a fact- based argument that shows growth potential in dollars or traffic backed up by consumer demand and preference for your product or brand over others. The NPD Group can help you:
Best practices suggest the first step in developing a sales story is to understand the size of your target category and whether it is growing or declining. For example, a children’s clothing manufacturer wants to increase the number of SKUs with key retailers. Of all children’s clothing, boys’ clothing is outperforming the market with 7 per cent growth. This is the first selling point — offer a wider array of boys’ clothing to meet consumer demand.
We then notice that when we look across channels, specialty stores and department stores are outpacing other channels in children’s clothes sales growth. We’d recommend you focus your efforts on boys’ clothes to department stores, which is a good fit for your brand.
The next step is to identify which department stores you should target. All of them? One leading retailer dominates children’s sales. You could try to convince the leading retailer that your products could drive more sales than the incumbent’s. Or you could reach out to the retailer’s competitors and tell them how your product may be able to steal some of that share.
Validate Demand and Retailer Fit
To make your argument even stronger, we can use custom research to quantify consumer demand. We can ask consumers if they would purchase your boys’ clothing line, what they like or dislike about the products (color, price, brand, etc.), how unique they consider your clothes versus other brands available, and how they perceive the quality of the brand. Plus, since you know the retailers you are targeting, we ask consumers if the product is a good fit for specific retailers.
We can also ask questions to gauge whether your product will help retailers boost traffic with the key demographics they are hoping to reach. For example, if a department store is hoping to win the business of mothers with household incomes of $100,000 or more, you can demonstrate how that demographic has an interest in your clothes.
Your Sales Story
Now that we can show demand and illustrate how new items will help the retailer meet its goals, we can piece it all together to demonstrate a strong case for your product. You’ll be armed to show the retailer your story:
- There was over $2 billion in children’s clothing sales last year. Boys’ clothes grew 7 per cent, while girls’ and infants’/toddlers’ clothing sales declined.
- A gain of 2 per cent share in the Canadian kids’ market would equal $48 million. A retailer could increase share and make millions by expanding its boys’ clothing assortment.
- A custom study revealed moms feel there are not enough clothes options for boys.
- The highest demand is among moms with incomes over $75,000.
- if they offered this line of boys’ clothing. That could result in incremental sales in other departments, as well.
Conclusion: Expanding the boys’ clothing selection with your brand of clothing will help the retailer increase sales and share. It will also help it capture a coveted demographic.
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Silvia Xoyon at 647.723.7765 or email email@example.com.