A Day At Market!
A day at market usually starts around 8 am with breakfast. Keep in mind breakfast will be a working meal. We discuss our purchases from the previous day and where our budget is standing. We review where we need to purchase more products, what that product needs to be and what amount of said product we need. Our budget is split between our departments and that budget amount is based on the previous year’s sales. That is just breakfast!
We usually arrive at market no later than 9:30 am and hit the floor running. We work our way through each floor that is stocked with products we need. To give you a better understanding each floor is made up of multiple vendors, each vendor has their own permanent showroom or temporary booth. It feels like a large mall with all the different stores, but the stores are different vendors. Thus begins the hunt for new and special products. All the while as you are shopping you need to make sure your blend of products will all work together and compliment each other, This is very important when you are buying apparel; you have to purchase the right balance of tops, pants, dresses, skirts, and etc. Some days we don’t even stop for lunch because there is so much to do! We make sure to have snacks with us, so we do not have to slow down. We move from vendor to vendor examining their offerings and putting together items that will work in synchrony. When we attend a market we are usually buying for a few months at a time. So you must make sure the blend of products is right and that there is an appropriate amount of product coming in each month to produce the sales you need. Besides all of these aforementioned details you must make sure you are aware of current and future trends. Easy peasy, right? My head hurts just writing this! Once we finish at the actual market, we grab dinner and that meal is a working meal as well. We check our totals for accuracy and then create retail values for each item purchased.
Once we arrive back at our hotel we open our computers and start plugging in totals into our OTB (open to buy) to insure we have not under or over purchased. If we find ourselves under purchased, we have to buy more. It’s always fun to spend more money. If we are over purchased we have to start adjusting and cutting items to get our dollars back into budget. The mantra is budget, budget, budget! It’s all about budget and balance. The days average about 10 hours! By the time we get home, we are both mentally and physically tired.