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Beth Clifton, senior buyer for AlexandAlexa.com, on what makes or breaks her buy.
What She Needs: We are always looking for newness, whether that be within a brand we already buy or emerging brands in the market. I want to see a collection that excites me. I am also looking to give the customer what they are after at a price they desire. In a business that’s extremely tech-driven, I have the ability to analyze and drill deep into the details, allowing me to make informed decisions for each market. Sustainability is another key focus in business of late. In an industry of high wastage, it is important we act as market leaders to ensure our suppliers are environmentally conscious.
What She Avoids: It has to be profitable for the business. I also avoid real fur, Angora and poor quality.
What She Discovered: I have just discovered a really fun skiwear brand, which is fully sustainable. The clothing is made from recycled plastic bottles and eco-friendly dyes. I spend lots of time looking for new and exciting brands via social media and trade shows. I also look at every email that hits my inbox! If it’s something the team is looking for, we’ll always follow up with these leads.
What She Recognizes: Buying has become more technical. Coming from a company that works across worldwide markets, this is key—especially when dealing with markets I’m less familiar with. Process has become much more efficient. We have an impressive automated warehouse that ships worldwide. Sell-through reports are obtainable with the click of a button. When I first started, we didn’t even have access to such information!
What She Recommends: Relationships are key. Make sure you stay true to yourself, and be kind to all the people you work with. The childrenswear industry is a very small world, and you will call upon these relationships throughout your career.
Girls’ Playwear: Stella McCartney Kids
Boys’ Playwear: Bobo Choses
Tween Fashion: Moschino or MSGM
Accessories: Mimi & Lula
Baby Shower Gift: Liewood
Special Occassion: Bonpoint
Shoes Golden: Goose
Home Décor: Jox