Over the past few months, Stitch Labs has hosted four meetup events for retail operations professionals. When we speak to our customers, many of whom live and breathe inventory management every day, we often come across a common theme. When we ask where they get information and advice from others in similar roles across the retail industry, we’re often met with blank stares.
For marketers, there are events seemingly every night of the week where we can gather with professionals with similar job titles to network and hone our skills. For retail operations professionals, these opportunities are few and far between.
With that information, we set out to create in-person, local events where professionals can gather and learn—and we get to learn right along with you to continuously build Stitch to be what you need it to be.
Crossing the Retail Divide
At our last event, hosted in San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Manhattan, panelists spoke about the challenges and benefits of moving a brand that’s strictly D2C into wholesale, or vice versa. We had fruitful discussion and attendees whose brands are considering expansion got to ask questions from panelists who have successfully crossed the “retail divide.”
Nicole Reed of Command C, who attended the Manhattan meetup, wrote:
“The panel noted a recent trend in which retailers are starting as wholesale companies and then transitioning to more direct to consumer selling. It used to be that you could ‘get into Bergdorf Goodman and be done,’ but that is no longer the case. In the age of omnichannel, the onus is now on brands to connect with consumers. As Mary Saunders said, ‘Retailers have to take responsibility to reach customers however they can.’
Mark May shared Bloom Baby‘s path to date. The company was founded about 10 years ago by four dads who had recently started families. For the first eight years, they were exclusively a wholesale business. From that experience, he derived his main message on wholesale: choose your partners well. Everyone around him nodded in agreement, and the group had a couple of reasons for this.
- It can take up to 90 days to get paid for a wholesale shipment. It’s a long cycle. Also, retail has nearly double the profit margin of wholesale.
- Merchants have to make sure other retailers understand their product. If they don’t, customers get poor service when they try and buy your product from anyone other than you. Unless you have strong wholesale partners.”
There were so many takeaways and great conversations from all three events, and we’re thrilled to continue in this effort to bring operations professionals together to discuss the issues most pressing to the current retail landscape.
We hope you’ll join us next month for meetups in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. The topic is “Building a Better Mousetrap: Agile Operations for a Changing Retail Landscape.” Read more about the topic and RSVP by clicking on your city below:
We’ll have a panel of experts from brands local to each city discussing how they stay nimble in a rapidly changing industry. We hope to see you next month!
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