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The state of play

With the influx of high street shops challenging the traditional bridal marketplace, we’ve been talking to suppliers to get a view on how they see the current trading environment

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Mark Stevens of Enzoani says:

Strengths
The strength you as retailers have always had, your personal and professional service, advice that you as industry professionals can give, are vital and positive. Add to that working with manufacturers who understand you and your boutique and can help in a business-like way, and the strengths are even greater. Make your business as unique as you are. Invest in your staff, the people at the front line are a reflection on you and your business.

Weakness
The temptation to focus on the “what if they…?” and “they are coming” train of thought. Instead, concentrate on your own boutique, work with manufacturers you can rely on and all will be fine. The lack of a strategic relationship with your suppliers is not good business; ask about their plans for the future and how they, too, will help you stay the course in the long run.

Opportunities
The industry is changing and it’s important for both retailers and manufacturers to embrace change and continually adapt. Look at your current market, do you see this as an ongoing adaptation of your business model? Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate and change course if needed… investigating untapped markets with an open mind could be the way to future growth.

Threats
The only real threat is the inability to change and adapt. Most retailers recognise the positives in evaluating not only their own business model, but also the industry as a whole. Be prepared for the future - plan, plan, plan and then plan some more. Work with your suppliers, make sure you understand the threat from future competition, and define how you can protect yourself with their help.

To see what other suppliers have to say, check out the feature in the latest issue of Bridal Buyer

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