Shopping For Jeans

If you were about to enter the world of retail and wanted to choose a product to sell with the biggest possible potential market then you might well conclude that Denim was the best choice. After all, virtually everyone wears jeans and they never seem to go out of fashion but rather get reinvented each season and appear in different styles. If you sell denim then you have an enormous number of potential customers but then there are plenty of people selling it to! How do independent retailers survive in such a competitive environment?

Big Brands and Malls

Our high streets are now largely dominated by a relatively small number of big brands as are the big shopping malls which are now the preferred destinations for many shoppers. Independents have their work cut out to compete in this environment even if they are selling popular labels because few could afford to take the risk of leasing one those high rent units in the malls.

Online Shopping

To make matters worse, online shopping is becoming a big factor and so the consumer can buy exactly what they need without even leaving home and they have access to a huge range of products. No independent retailer could stock enough jeans to rival the choice available online. So does this mean that these retailers will all have ceased to exist in the near future?

Success Stories

Actually it doesn’t because some are actually thriving in the face of the competition. What are these guys doing that has made all the difference? Well the success stories appear to have certain strategies in common. They are businesses which have embraced the internet by investing in ecommerce websites and SEO (search engine optimisation) services to ensure that their sites appear high in Google searches. They are businesses who provide a good service to their customers and who frequently market directly to their existing customer base.


Pricing is clearly important too particularly online and some retailers steel a march by pricing their products low. There was a time when this would have been difficult as the big brands were able to dictate resale prices but EU legislation has outlawed this practice and retailers can charge whatever they wish. However, it is not in anyone’s interest to set the benchmark too low because the inevitable result of such aggressive pricing is unsustainable margins.

EPoS Software

It has been vital for retailers to embrace ecommerce but selling online is not without its difficulties. Multiple sales channels make stock keeping and replenishment more complex and retailers realistically need broad ranges of products to attract enough customers. Multi-channel sales make EPoS (electronic point of sale) tills and software essential. It is no longer viable to run a retail business with an old till and a manual ledger!

Whatever products retailers choose to sell they will face competition and must rise to the challenge and embrace ecommerce. Retailers of jeans face more competition than most but if they sell the right products at the right price and devote a sensible budget to marketing they can compete against the big high street chains and also online. We must hope that they continue to do so because otherwise our choices may become more limited and those bargain prices more rare.

Article by Sally Stacey


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January 2021