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Smart Bridal Buying by Ellie Sanderson

Words by leading bridal boutique expert Ellie Sanderson from Ellie Sanderson Bridal


Buying stock is one of the most important investment decisions you will make annually. Get it wrong and you jeopardise your turnover, clog up your cash flow and potentially you can come to a standstill while you drown in stock that isn’t working. Sound familiar? We have all been there!

Read on…



Ellie’s Top Ten Bridal Buying Considerations


Top things to consider when buying a new label or re-investing in a current label:

  1. Is the label financially solid (new and old)? Companies House is a great starting point, don't be afraid to ask questions about who owns the brand and who is financially invested in it.

  2. Be clear on the financial terms of business for payments from the get-go.

  3. Agree on your annual financial investment in stock in exchange for your area of exclusivity and get it in writing.

  4. Discuss who will be your business support or shadow on a day-to-day basis for finance, marketing and operations. The answers could raise some opportunities or even red flags.

  5. Understand the marketing strategy for the year ahead to promote the main brand and what is in place to support and promote you as a stockist. If it sounds flaky it most likely is. Another red flag.

  6. Discuss the big picture with the brand development, no point in investing heavily into a new brand to discover in year two they have massively developed across the UK and you no longer have a golden opportunity of exclusivity.

  7. Assess your total commitments to buying all of your labels versus your sales projections. Consider the ROI you will get on any investment you make. Five times the cost of your investment should be the minimum you expect. For example, you invest £10k so you should look for a minimum of £50k back. This may limit the number of labels you buy but that is not always a bad thing.

  8. Don’t forget you are buying from finely tuned sales representatives – don't be swayed into over-committing because they are nice or promise the earth. They want the sale - just like you when you see your brides!

  9. Never ever buy from a supplier based on a sense of loyalty because you have had the label for years. If it's not returning and not driving footfall to your socials or website that converts them to sales appointments you are doing it out of a sense of duty to them not your bank balance.

  10. Assessing the success of a label is not just down to finances, it's down to its marketing clout and visits to your Pinterest, TikTok, website and social media that ultimately convert to appointments and sales.

Featuring Ellie Sanderson's Kiddington Boutique


If you have any questions or concerns around bridal buying, then you can contact Ellie directly at es@elliesanderson.co.uk or DM on Instagram if you have any questions. Visit our Boutique Hub for more expert advice from our panel.


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