Entering a new market is an ineradicably exciting thing to do and could be the making of your brand. However, it is not something to be taken lightly or to be thought of as easy. Like most worthwhile things, there are many things to take into consideration and it is worth getting it right. We’ve spoken to Stephen Laundy of Fashion Compass who has kindly offered us some of his expertise in this area.
I have compiled a list of FAQ’s below. My advice to brands before we go looking for new markets is to build a Brand Profile/ Deck that answers as many of the questions below for the first brand introduction. Never just send a website link. Agents/ distributors are constantly bombarded and asking them to navigate a new website is ineffective. Naturally you can not do one profile to answer all below, but its best to take away as much as possible to see if the distributor is serious and a good partner for you. It is also very time saving. If you are a relatively new company/ brand do not feel intimidated if for example, you are in no other markets or do no Exhibitions. Again this is where FashionCompass.co.uk preps brands accordingly.
All markets, brands, distributors are different but below is a good barometer of my many experiences.
Standard questions a Partner (Distributor/ Agent) is likely to ask when considering a new brand.
1) The year Brand Started/ Established? And how many seasons have you already Enjoyed?
2) What are your strongest markets right now?
3) Do you have a Line Sheet for your F/W and S/S Collections?
4) How many collections/ drops a year do you prepare and what is the size (number of styles) of each Collection?
5) Please advise the ordering and delivery periods for each collection?
6) Please advise the sample availability date for each collection?
7) Please advise your wholesale and retail prices for the current collection and last season?
8) What European Trade Shows you are participating at or planning to participate?
9) Please send any notable PR or Key landmarks in the brands history.
10) Please name some of your key accounts in any markets, overseas or domestic?
11) Are you already working with any distributor in other markets and what are your typical discounts and conditions?
12) Does your brand have any history/ sales in the territory under discussion.
FashionCompass.co.uk Caters for all sizes of brands or retailers for European, North America, Asia, India, Middle East, Australasia and South Africa.
We also source brands for overseas distributors of all sizes having worked for Wadhawan (retail: Ed Hardy and Adolfo Dominguez) in India, Miramar (retail: DKNY jns) in China and Dietz (wholesale agent: McQ, ATM, and designer Natori, Go-silk ). So its always worth making contact.
I have been working in international trade essentially for over 20 years. Way before the EU opened its barriers, I was selling Asian produced goods I had imported to London and had to get Quota just to sell to stores in Dublin. So I have seen the development both on and offline.
I started FashionCompass.co.uk 6 years ago, essentially to help UK and overseas brands into New Markets. FashionCompass.co,uk has assisted Luxury, Premium and High St retail from Canadian Brands into UK, UK to almost all markets and even an Australian Brand into New Zealand. For Wholesale only brands they usually need a distributor or an agent in new markets.
Retail and Wholesale brands please email your initial enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org