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Wholesale Women's Suits: A Business Analysis

The wholesale women's suit market is of an international nature due to current cultural and work norms. In the past only men wore suits, now more women wear suits for both religious and work related functions. Depending on the country, employers now require suits for all corporate level employees. For example, in African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa, the required office dress code for females constitutes of corporate suits. In Central and South American countries suits are optional, but as more women advance into executive level positions, they are opting to wear ladies business suits instead of dresses. Caribbean women from countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, Jamaica, and the Bahamas wear suits to Church. In European countries such as France and Italy women wear tailored suits to social occasions and when enjoying the night life. The global market is diverse, with each region having its own unique preferences.

Styles do not change as frequently as with other apparel items such as dresses or shoes, so the market is more predictable for a retailer. Because shoppers have a willingness to purchase last season's styles, the shop owner can take advantage of closeout opportunities. Purchasing closeouts will enable the reseller to work on a much higher margin while still providing shoppers with a decent discount. The vendor should ensure that his inventory matches his customer's preferences and needs, such as their appropriateness for work, social, and religious events. Size is also an important variable, since depending on the country certain size ranges will sell faster than others. Customers from Africa prefer sizes from 12 to 18, Caribbean customers generally want large and plus sizes, Europeans need sizes small through large, while Central and South American customers need petite sizes. Internationally recognized brands such as Tahari, Jones New York, Kasper, Le Suit, and Calvin Klein are in globally desired.

The best places to purchase wholesale women's suits are directly from the brands and from off price suppliers. The advantage of purchasing directly from a brand is that you will have a full size range and color choices, but the downside is that you will have to pay the full wholesale price. On the other hand, when you purchase suits from a closeout dealer, you will pay as low as 10% of the original retail, but your order will be filled based on availability. If you can travel to a wholesale warehouse in person you can have the best of both worlds, since you will then be able to make your own selection while still paying a price which is below the published wholesale price. Some savvy retailers will carry inventory which they received directly from the brand, while sprucing up their inventory with closeout and overstock. There are also private label suit manufacturers that offer high quality clothing at low prices, but lack the appeal of a well advertised brand. The key to retail success is carrying designer labels since the designers have already spent money and effort to market their names to customers.

Donny Lowy
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