The showroom is an extremely important part of the fashion industry. Not every designer has the means to purchase their own store. Displaying your products in a showroom is often a cost effective method that takes away the stress and extra work involved with renting your own property. It also gives fashion designers easy access to the market and a way to quickly get their garments out for sale. Contrary to popular belief, bricks and mortar stores are still highly relevant in today’s market; therefore careful consideration must be made when choosing a showroom.
What is the total actual cost of the showroom?
Can you actually afford the total cost of the showroom? This is by far the most important consideration. What is the total cost? How does the showroom agent expect to be paid? Will you pay them a commission on sales? Will there be a monthly fee for items like rent or is this included in the commission price? It is understandable that a showroom has to make a profit, but you, in turn, have to cover your expenses and earn a living too.
What are the payment terms?
In most cases, you should not have to pay the showroom until the garments have been shipped to the retailer. That being said, there will still be additional accounting and invoice work that is required. Ensure you are fully aware of the payments terms and methods of payment. You could ask to see a sample invoice beforehand to be clear on the format and requirements.
Does the business have a strong reputation?
Hiring a showroom from a business that has just started up or has no reputation could open a can of worms. How do you know this company is reliable and will deliver what they promise? Ensure you have thoroughly researched the showroom provider. How long have they operated as a business? Do they have any reviews you can read? Who is their existing customer base?
What services are included in the cost?
You do not want to hire a showroom that simply sells your products and does nothing else. When making a choice, enquire as to what other services are offered. Will they provide sales support? Will they provide any form of in-store customer service? Will they give you any feedback and advice on how to improve your marketing? Do they have any invoicing or accounting services? Extras like this can make your life so much easier and allow you to concentrate on your production and fashion design.
What areas will you have exclusive rights to?
Showroom agents may operate multiple stores across the country or a certain region – Ensure they give you full disclosure of the other showrooms they have. Be firm when approaching the showroom rep. Furthermore, ensure you are clear on which areas you expect to have sales right over. If you cannot get the full coverage you would like, then maybe consider hiring additional showrooms.
How will your sales be managed?
A showroom will not necessarily only display your product – They may have several different retailers all providing fashion lines in their store. How will your section be managed? Will you have a dedicated member of staff who will sell your garments? Or will there be an overall manager responsible for everything in the showroom? Who will be your point of contact for queries and updates? This level of detail is important to understand so you are aware of exactly how your sales will be dealt with.
Choosing the right showroom to sell your beloved fashion designs is an important decision. Providing you take into account all the above, check complementary articles and ensure that your products will be taken good care of and sold to their full potential, you should have no problems!