The wholesale business market experiences constant changes which require a savvy retailer to adapt, or risk being left behind by his or her more astute competition. Changes can include the popularity of a brand, the adaptation of a new style by customers, and price fluctuations in the marketplace.
For instance, at one point Tory Burch was one of the most requested brands by retailers who visited my wholesale warehouse, now I rarely even hear the brand mentioned by my customers. On the other hand there are brands that seem to be constantly popular, such as Tahari or Calvin Klein. You should be frequently asking shoppers, whether it be by email or in person, which brands they like. Once you know which designers they prefer you can search for wholesalers that carry merchandise by those names.
Styles are trickier since they can come and go in a very short period of time. I would not try to ride the wave of a new style unless you were confident that your customers will continue to buy the style even after its popularity has receded, or you have a very high traffic store or website that can quickly turnover the wholesale products which you stock. For example, Nine West can introduce a new corporate suit for women with a unique style based on a current trend. I would only recommend purchasing that suit if you felt that your clients would enjoy wearing it regardless of what the future style trend might be. While this strategy cannot be applied to all types of clothing, I believe that there are certain categories in which minor stylistic changes are not highly influential factors in purchases.
Changes in the price of a product are an essential factor which you need to monitor. I would recommend that you visit retailers in your local shopping malls, and in other expensive locations. Since these shops have high rents they need to always sell at the most competitive prices, not necessarily the lowest prices, but the most realistically acceptable prices for consumers. You can also conduct your research online by visiting Amazon, eBay, and the websites of leading department stores such as Macy’s or JCPenney. If your boutique carries BCBG social dresses at $150, and the average price charged by other boutiques is less, you need to either lower your prices or offer a good reason why your prices are higher, such as convenience, wider selection, free gifts with a purchase, or additional services like tailoring.