5 ways British womenswear brand Marble supports independent retailers  

As well as supplying highly commercial womenswear collections, Glasgow-based label Marble is dedicated to supporting its retail stockists. Here we reveal the key advantages indies can expect when investing in its popular collection… 

1. Marble doesn’t sell directly to shoppers, ever

Many indie retailers find themselves competing with suppliers online. But Marble directors Nick and Lynne Williams have made a commitment to sell to retailers only and don’t sell directly to consumers: “I think this helps give Marble a real point of difference as retailers can rest assured that we won’t start discounting online and forcing them into early promotions,” says Lynne. “We don’t want to be retailers – our focus is always on supporting our stockists as much as possible.”

2. Retailers make the call on drops

Marble offers a comprehensive collection each season encompassing 120 garments each in four different colours. But rather than splitting the collection into stories and stipulating when they land in-store, buyers can choose when each product arrives (minimum 40 pieces in one box). This helps retailers keep their offer fresh all season while freeing up stock room space and aiding cashflow. “We have both been retailers ourselves so we’re aware of the pressures independents face,” says Lynne. “Customers can choose when they receive Marble pieces and we can stagger as many drops as they need throughout the season. We don’t know when certain garments are going to sell in-store – our stockists know their customers best.” 

3. The brand only produces garments to order 

Shoppers will never find a Marble garment on the rails of a discount store or designer outlet. Why? Because the British brand makes everything to order for its stockists each season, which eliminates the risk of overstock. “Our collections are available on a forward order basis and we don’t hold left-over stock,” says Lynne. “If customers need in-season top-ups, there are certain ranges that roll over such as our jeans. But when it comes to the main range, buyers need to make sure they order enough for their business. The team takes a lot of pride in our product range and we don’t ever want to see it damaged by heavy discounting.”  

4. It’s picky about stockists

Marble is conscious about distribution and won’t ever supply more than one retailer in the same vicinity. What’s more, it only supplies retailers operating a bricks-and-mortar store, meaning its stockists don’t have to compete with pure play online businesses: “I think it’s easier for retailers without a physical store to cut prices and start discounting,” says Lynne. “This doesn’t fit in with our ethos as a brand and it can be quite damaging to the industry. We get asked all the time but it’s always going to be the same answer: unless your business has a bricks-and-mortar store, you won’t be able to stock Marble.”

5. Retailers get free marketing tools

Marble invests heavily in its imagery and product descriptions to make online selling and marketing easier for stockists. Retailers can access a full bank of free high quality images every season to upload onto their social media channels and websites. It also provides a spread sheet containing care instructions, colours, sizes and fit for each garment that can be easily copied and pasted into websites. Finally, Marble supplies stockists with free A3 strut cards, which it produces for every style and colour photographed on a model. If retailers order the pieces featured, the boards are sent out with each delivery to help stockists promote the collection in-store. “Supporting our customers with images and product information is something we do very well,” says Lynne. “We want to help our stockists sell as much as possible and providing these resources is all part and parcel of Marble’s service.”