NEW YORK CITY WAS THE SITE of the recent Accessorie Circuit and AccessoriestheShow expositions where most vendors reported better than expected sales and interest. Retailers had special demands, however, not the least of which were quick deliveries and good pricing. Design played an important role in the buying equation as well, and retailers said they were looking for items that were well designed, with quality vision and unique styling.
There was a certain degree of caution on the part of buyers, however. Many were looking for a fast turnaround on their purchases, and admitted they were buying much closer to the season than ever before. The general idea was to choose items they could get into their stores in about six weeks. That meant rush demands on many vendors, who said they were working on streamlining production in order to meet delivery updates. Vendors who came prepared for this pressure had a definite edge.
Many retailers also said they were buying across a larger range of items in order to test the waters…to see what worked for them.
As we reported here a couple of weeks ago, there is also much less emphasis on apparel and more on accessories as retailers across the country restructure their buying priorities.
As one retailer from California put it, “We are ordering less, but more often.” The interesting thing here is that the New York fairs are designed for fall and winter merchandise, but many retailers came to buy things for spring and summer.
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- Semi precious stone bracelet in rainbow of color! Beautiful candy jade beading is just perfect for summer!
- Bright multi-colored bead bracelet: Vivid, bold, hot seasonal item!
Price a Major Factor
PERHAPS THE MOST often repeated phrase from attendees was: “We are looking for well priced merchandise.” And that, generally, meant accessories. Most were looking for accessories with something special or different about them to spark up their present warm-weather merchandise. While some were willing to pay for better merchandise, most were looking for pieces that were priced in the medium price range.
—“They aren’t looking for really cheap stuff,” one vendor said, “but they are going easy on higher priced pieces, as well.”
Some of the big moving items included big bib necklaces, chokers, and bracelets. Totes led the way in the handbag arena, with many of them expressing a lighthearted attitude, with phrases such as, “My other bag is a Louis Vuitton.” That one, in particular, ran about $18 wholesale.
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- Jet black beading drops from filigree pendant in this necklace set. Fabulous vintage style jewelry!
- Just right for summer: large sea life charms and bright colored beads dangle from silver plated chain to fill in neckline beautifully.
ONE RETAILER FROM NEW JERSEY said she felt that it was important in this present economy to update a wardrobe with trend pieces like scarves and belts. She said she wanted things that were modern and she also wanted vendors to give her “a reason to buy.” In most instances, innovative design was the reason that won out.
A retailer from the Midwest expressed it succinctly when she said she was interested in buying things that were “fun, fashionable, and fabulous.” In just one category – belts, for example – that meant items of different widths, with something special or “magical” about them, like interesting hardware, perhaps, or well done leather working around the belt, or jewelry enhancements on the belt, such as crystals and colorful stones.
A global perspective also came through strongly at the shows, as Asian designs soared and South American influences gave a fresh perspective to accessory design. The growing importance of hair accessories at the fairs also reflected the bigger, more highly stylized hair fashions breaking on the fashion scene.
Ready to Buy
IN PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND and Orlando, Florida, the International Fashion Jewelry and Accessory Show was also in high gear.. This is a two-location exposition that features mass jewelry lines for wholesalers and private label vendors.
An optimistic atmosphere surrounded the show this year, as orders exceeded expectations. “We are doing better this year than last,” declared Michael Gale, Show director. “We attract a good group of buyers who are ready to buy.”
–And that’s good news if ever there was any!