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“DESIGNERS ARE REALLY WORKING to keep prices down and quality up,” said Ken Downing, fashion director of Neiman Marcus. “They’ve also worked hard to keep a smile on retailers’ faces.”

Apparently the technique is working!

At the 2010 Accessorie Circuit held at New York’s now trendy Westside Pier and AccessoriesTheShow at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, exhibitors kept prices down.  In addition, buyers came with budgets larger than last year, looking for quality and value.

It all clicked beautifully.

An air of optimism filled the exhibition halls, and reports of substantially increased sales – up to 60 percent and more over January of last year – gave everybody a much needed high.

A Market for Unique Pieces

“Stores reacted so quickly to last year’s fallout and ordered so sparingly that they didn’t buy enough,” claimed designer Alexis Bittar.  He contended that retailers now realize that “if it is interesting and well designed, it will sell.  There is a market for unique pieces that are priced well.”

WELL DESIGNED, INTERESTING PRODUCTS DON’T HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE.  HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF REAL VALUE ACCESSORIES:

  • Wholesale choker with Celtic cross-stitch-like pattern in silver or gold plate.

Among those hot trendy items were plenty of tribal motifs and jungle prints, a call-of-the-wild directive with multiple layers, such as many necklaces and bracelets worn together.

Neiman Marcus’s Downing called the moderate price points at the Shows “exciting.”  He also felt that we are in a moment when “women want to buy costume jewelry and pair it with their diamonds.  There’s a lot of talent in that segment here.

–Elissa Bromer, president of Rebecca Minkoff, said the Shows were going better.  “We feel the worst is over, but there is a heightened awareness to buy smart,” she said. “Great product is going to be the driver for 2010.”

New Form Buying

A retailer from New Jersey said she was at the Shows looking for accessories that were both fashionable and reasonable.  Her store’s clientele looks mainly for classic items, she said, like Echo scarves or evening bags by Grace Chuang. “I am very cautious about how I buy now,” this merchandiser said. “It is definitely different from how I used to buy.”

There’s no question but that the Shows produced considerably better sales for exhibitors as well as many new clients.  Adrienne Vittadini president Barry Kramer said he opened some 36 new accounts, attributing it to the firm’s production of quality bags “at the right price,” between $200 and $300, retail, and the ability to offer quick turnaround times.  Apparently those two factors – price and turnaround time – were of major importance to sales at the Shows.

YOU CAN ENJOY TOP SERVICE AND EXCELLENT PRICES ON A HUGE COLLECTION OF ACCESSORIES.  HERE ARE JUST A COUPLE:

Different Viewpoint

Of course, not everybody was enthusiastic about the Shows’ results.  As Kramer put it, “We believe our competitors have fallen victim to the lowest-price-wins theory.  We believe product stands for itself and we are not going to dumb it down.”  But then, the company is offering lower priced goods just like many others at the Shows.

So, what it comes down to is this:  Prices have been cut ‘way back, by just about everybody.  There is a race on to offer better turnaround times.  Service is vital.  Quality is of major importance. And…sales are responding!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, January 25th, 2010


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