Should You Only Stock Up On Bestsellers?
How would the fashion industry look like if they only focused on best-selling apparel?
Skyrocketing sales? To a certain extent. Less promotions needed? Perhaps. But how would the runways look like? Here’s a sneak peek.
Best- selling tops from Boohoo
Best-selling pants from Topshop
Best-selling dresses from Missguided
These are just some examples of what sells best from popular fast fashion brands such as UK brands, Boohoo, Topshop and Missguided. These basic pieces are hardly discounted and sellouts will often be replenished automatically.
Take for instance Missguided and Topshop’s assortment on the Omnilytics dashboard from January 1st – March 31st 2018:
Overall, Topshop sold best in the pants & leggings category but it’s their jeans collection that enticed customers the most. Out of 912 SKUs sold, almost half (47%) were due to this classic favourite. Not those stylish, ripped ones, but the average joes of jeans.
For Missguided, dresses were their best-selling category and it’s no surprise that black (28%) and white (16%) shades still triumphed over the other “flashier” colours.
Granted, bestsellers are often subjected to location and customer preferences but the data does speak for itself. While it is undeniable that classic pieces do sell extremely well most of the time, customers are starting to get bored.
Urban Outfitters chief executive Richard Hayne told the Washington Post, “Our customer’s current lack of enthusiasm for the apparel and accessory categories is primarily due to a lack of fashion newness.”
And that’s where those “flashier” colours step in to keep consumer boredom at bay. In the retail world, visual merchandisers often display these showy alternatives to attract customers but ultimately, it’s all the bestsellers that sell out.
The threat of fashion fatigue
To visualise this, let’s turn back time to year 2007 when skinny jeans were all the rage. High street wore them with boots, fashionistas opted for flowy tops to balance out the body-hugging fit. It was a time where anything that wasn’t skinny from the waist down became passe and this phenomenon lasted a long time. Today, jeans have widened their hemlines and welcomed the flared styles from the 80s. So if brands are only stocking up mostly on the once best-selling skinny, they are seriously losing out.
You already know Topshop’s best-selling category is jeans but did they focus on the skinny or followed the wide-leg trend? Let’s take a look.
They did. 29% of 1,800 SKUs were stocked for the wide-leg trend and only 7% allocated to the skinny. And did their customer demands meet the supply?
They did sellout on more wide-leg items than the once best-selling skinny but they missed a huge mark in the petite subcategory.
Failure to keep up with trends is imminent. Art Peck, chief executive of Gap, said that the chain stocked too many different versions of the basic colourful T-shirts over the summer but failed to offer enough of the trendy off-the-shoulder tops and lace blouses that customers were more interested in.
No doubt, in today’s fast and ultra-fast fashion world, basics are often favoured for their flexibility and easy pairing of outfits. But millennials have spoken. They are all about expressing individuality and experimenting with style. While timeless colours and styles appeal to the masses, creative trends hit the nail on the head when it comes to everyday wear.
Taking fashion risks with data
Fashion is evolving rapidly by the day and it’s almost impossible to solely rely on bestsellers to churn profit. That’s where numbers come in to help solve creative blocks.
Using data will ensure that you not only stock up on the items that sell best, but also leave some wiggle room for trendy styles that your customers will appreciate. You can expand your collection at suitable prices and stock up on the right depth for a certain trend. There’s no ‘one shoe fits all’ approach and sometimes you just need to take a step out of the runway. Data will help you do that, with confidence and lesser risks.
Find out how data can help increase the width and depth of your collection. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch!
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