Love clothing? Think you’ve got enough creative flair to make some fashions of your own? The wholesale clothing business is very competitive as well as lucrative to those with the best ideas. However, without basic business tools and knowledge of the trade, it’s difficult to know what to do, never mind who is wearing what. Here are a few important terms to get started with your own clothing line.
Distributor – A company with textile industry contacts that sells raw and finished materials to designers and businesses.
Liquidation – A heavily-discounted sale of items that occurs when there is an overabundance of stock or when a distributor is going out of business.
Retail – A term to describe a business that sells directly to the public.
Markup – The percentage a business adds to an item’s tag price in order to make a profit. If a shirt costs $2 for a store to buy, it might receive a 100% markup when placed on shelves for sale, making it $4 for customers to purchase.
Merchandising – The marketing side of the fashion business. A merchandiser will display and market items so that they will appeal to buyers of a certain demographic, such as plus-size women or casual older men. They may do this with window displays or a catchy slogan.
Steaming – To keep clothes looking fresh and wrinkle-free, store associates may use steaming tools on displayed apparel. High-end retail stores that sell formal men’s and women’s clothes frequently use steaming to freshen their products.
Cold storage – Delicate items such as fur require storage in a temperature-controlled space in order to protect them from decay.
Boutique – An independent shop that sells clothes to a specific demographic. Some may appeal to fashionable young women while others cater to plus-size. Most carry original designs found nowhere else.
Consignment shop – A store that sells secondhand apparel for cheap prices. These are very popular choice for thrifty, casual buyers or for those looking for costume pieces.
Wholesale clothing as a consumer category applies to the wide range of apparel manufactured and made available in different sizes and for different uses. Wholesale clothing could refer to high fashion items and more casually worn garments. While people may buy such clothes directly from designers, more often they will acquire their outfits wholesale from distributors.
Wholesale clothing can be cheaper than other garments, such as the most fashionable items, as might be created according to the client's individual specifications. The best clothing discounts might be accessed during liquidation sales, as can occur when distributors go into bankruptcy or some other cause for closure.
In addition to size, another basic distinction between categories of clothing consists of those for men and women. One specifically female category of garments consists of maternity clothing. As a related category, shoes can be crafted for just one gender, or both and women. Less casual and more formal shoes, and clothing in general, tend to more specifically gendered in purpose. Dress pants and jackets, to name two examples, tend to be created for men. Designers will also create junior versions of various items of apparel for children. Just as the garment industry puts out juvenile versions of shorts and shirts, it also creates clothes in plus sizes for adult customers.
Wholesale clothing runs the gamut for jeans, stitched for casual wear, and high-end items. At both extremes of the garment industry, however, purchasers can choose to rely more or less on individual preferences of style as opposed to utilitarian concerns. Consumers more concerned with fashion may also be in the market for jewelry and accessories. While wholesale clothing exists in a number of forms, curious consumers can research this variety in the pages of catalogs.