If you are a budding clothing or merchandise designer, you may be trying to get your items sold in department stores. Department stores have a buyer, or group of buyers, who make the purchasing decisions for the store or their department. Contacting the head buyer of a department store is an important step in getting your merchandise on their shelves.
- Skill level:
Call the store that you are interested in selling through. You may need to speak to a manager to get the head buyer's contact information. This is sometimes the easiest way to get the information.
Search the Internet for department stores and browse their websites. They may have information on their website about contacting their buyers, or you may be able to contact them via e-mail to get the information.
Purchase a directory. If calling the stores and trying to get the information by searching the Internet isn't working, or is taking too much time, you can order a directory. These are available online or in book stores, and they have a list of the contact information for stores. The downside to buying printed guides is that the information can change rapidly so it may be outdated.
Go door to door. You may have better luck just walking into the department stores and asking to speak to the head buyer directly. He or she may not work in the store full time or be available, but you may be able to set up an appointment or at least get contact information for the buyer.
Be persistent. Part of sales is getting out there and making the phone calls. If you are a small company, you may have a harder time getting the head buyer's information or setting up appointments. Try to contact as many stores as possible and be patient.
Tips and warnings
- If you can't find the head buyer, try to contact one of the assistant buyers. They may be easier to get in touch with and can help share your information.
- Make sure you have organised samples of your work. The buyers can be very busy and you need to be prepared to make a sale.
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