Chelsey's Rosanna chats to Garth Allan, head buyer at BrandsExclusive, Australia’s leading online shopping club that has recently launched in New Zealand.
What are your favourite brands and why?
My favourite brands are MJ Bale, which has a superb range of suits and shirts with classic styling and modern twists, and Country Road, which provides great options for winter with the collection of chinos and knitwear.
I also have a large selection of Nudie jeans, which are always a terrific fit, and an endless supply of Happy Socks, because you can never have enough multi-coloured socks in the top drawer.
Where do you draw inspiration when choosing what to buy? (Is it from celebrity fashion, runway trends etc?)
I draw my inspiration from my team of 30 buyers. They have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to all areas of fashion, homewares and accessories. I also like to read blogs, magazines like GQ and Vogue, and smaller publications that present something different.
What differentiates brandsExclusive in such a competitive online environment?
brandsExclusive is able to offer its members new products and new ideas on a daily basis. Every day we source from local and international labels and bring these products to our members at up to 70% off the retail price. Being online, we are also able to offer our members absolute convenience in purchasing the brands they love without the hassles of shopping on high streets and in shopping centres.
What do you think matters most to the consumer when shopping online? (Right sizes, proper description etc.)
Providing as much detail as possible when listing an item online is crucial in giving the customer confidence in making an online purchase. brandsExclusive provides multiple photographs, from varying angles, of the items listed to ensure the customer gains a complete view of the item they are looking to purchase. Offering standardized sizing is also important in an environment where international brands will size their products differently.
Having a strong returns policy is also important. When buying online there will always be a chance the item purchased is not exactly what you envisaged, or you could simply change your mind, so an easy and hassle-free returns policy is essential to give customers complete peace of mind.
What are the differences in being the buyer for big stores and buying for the online populace?
Buying for an online market is fast and dynamic and growing rapidly. I enjoy this immensely as it offers different challenges and is always evolving. The online retail sector never stands still and with the nature of our website, providing our customers new options every day, it certainly keeps me on my toes.
Is there anything exciting coming up for brandsExclusive in the future? (New countries, celebrity endorsement etc.)
brandsExclusive is continuously changing and providing new opportunities for its members. The great thing about our website is that every day it has a new range of products to inspire our membership base and equally amazing prices to excite their shopping instincts. Our New Zealand-specific iPad and iPhone apps have just launched and these platforms will continue to make shopping on brandsExclusive easier and more enjoyable.
Any tips or tricks for shopping online?
One of the great advantages of shopping online is its 24/7 accessibility, so take advantage of this and do your shopping when it suits you. Most importantly, have fun looking through the different styles and choices that become available at the click of a button.
brandsExclusive has new sales starting every day; we try making it ever so easy to discover a great offer. I would recommend signing up to our daily email reminders and connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter so that you never miss out on your next fabulous fashion fix.
When shopping online, ensure you are purchasing from a trusted source. Purchase from a company that is working closely with the brands it is selling and don’t get caught buying something you didn’t expect.
When you sign up to brandsExclusive, you can rest assured that your personal details will only ever be used to ensure that you receive the best offers available and that you are kept up to date with our sales events.
Are there any differences you've noticed in the New Zealand market / consumer from Australia?
New Zealanders and Australians are fairly similar in their shopping behaviour in that they both enjoy great choice at a great price. Consumer preference in styles and trends slightly differs between the two countries, and because of this brandsExclusive is working closely with local Kiwi designers to bring a range of local fashion labels to the New Zealand membership base.
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