Have you ever wondered where the stores get the merchandise that you shop for? Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at how it all works.
At least twice a year, F.M. Light and Sons sends a delegation (headed by our buyer Michelle) to Denver, CO to purchase the merchandise you see in our store. This past market, in January, featured ladies clothing, and western apparel. Here are the steps we take to provide you with a shopping experience:
Appointments are made with each vendor (the companies you like, such as Levi, Scully, Dan Post, Pendleton, Woolrich, Old Gringo, Christopher Blue, etc.). At each appointment, Michelle picks out what will be sold in the store as representatives from each company show us clothing, arranging shipments, and working out any and all problems. As our trip is bi-annual, it is especially nice to see old friends – men and women who have worked with us for years. At our appointments, reps display clothing for fall – always a season in advance, highlighting the products that have performed the best during the show. This is the best part of buying: seeing what is new and fresh a season in advance.
As the buyer, you also have to look for new, fresh products. The building is huge (look below for statistics), so this task can be quite daunting. January’s market was the largest Western and English Trade Show in the entire world.
To give you an insight into the scale:
- 25 foreign countries, all 50 states, and 1 territory was represented at the January Market.
- The Mart building and facilities comprise 269,000 square feet. That can hold a lot of people!