It’s no secret that occasionwear sales have plummeted this year. With weddings and events cancelled, holidays postponed and the nation largely staying at home, retailers selling event dresses, high heels and eveningwear have been among those hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis.
But news of a viable vaccine for Covid-19 has brought with it renewed optimism that life will return back to normal. According to news reports, regulators are assessing a series of potential vaccines while the government has pre-ordered millions of doses. Every day brings the UK a step closer to a possible vaccine rollout. So, could 2021 be the biggest year for special events that the nation has ever seen?
Mina Melikova, co-founder of B2B marketplace TradeGala, certainly thinks so: “We’re remaining cautiously optimistic,” she says. “But if there is a vaccine – and that’s looking even more likely – we anticipate that there will be a lot of pent up demand for occasionwear as the country looks for any excuse to get together and celebrate.”
The wedding market in particular could see a real boost if postponed events are finally able to take place in summer. What’s more, the travel industry could see a spike in demand as shoppers book much-needed holidays following the trauma of 2020. Of course, many retailers have pulled back on dressier pieces and footwear for AW20, focusing on loungewear and comfort-driven pieces to engage shoppers working from home. But when spring arrives, boutiques may need to be ready to pivot once again with event outfits and holiday clothing.
Online B2B marketplace TradeGala is perfect for boutiques that want to react in-season as buyers can order garments for immediate delivery from a plethora of brands. Its occasionwear range is great for retailers who want to add some glamour to their rails without placing a huge order. Options include party dresses by London label Two Ruffles, feminine dresses and separates by Figi and Lenitif, pretty printed blouses and dresses from Zibi London or full party season glamour pieces by Glitz Shoes and Gatsbylady London. There’s also a range of sustainable dresses by Nesavaali and edgy pieces by Hoxton Gal as well as day-to-evening styles from City Goddess and Goddiva.
Finding what you need on TradeGala is quick and convenient. Once registered with an account, buyers can place orders from the safety of their screen and arrange for the goods to be delivered in-store. With a simple order process, buyers can create product edits from their screen with just a few clicks. Searches can be refined using the site’s in-built filters, helping buyers quickly find particular colourways, styles or prices. This feature makes it easy for boutiques to create coordinating stories for the season. Each product on TradeGala also has its own detailed page with professional photographs and in-depth information, which makes it easy to select the right pieces. And because the site is in operation 24/7, retailers can research and choose products whenever and wherever it suits them.
The site offers instant access to international sellers, which is a great way to find new brands when you can’t travel or visit trade shows. When you place an order, it is processed directly from each label’s own warehouse. However, the website shows live stock levels so you can always be sure that you’re ordering products that are ready and available.
While shipping prices, times and terms vary from seller to seller, many brands offer next day delivery on TradeGala and you can always rest assured that your stock will reach you in the fastest time possible. Buyers will be kept in the loop throughout the entire process and will never be left wondering when stock might arrive.
“As we’ve learned in 2020, it can be almost impossible to predict what the future holds,” says Melikova. “That’s why buying through TradeGala, which offers great flexibility for boutiques, is a great option for many businesses. We’re hopeful that weddings and events will return again in spring 2021 and we’re here to help boutiques owners make the most of the opportunities the return to normality will bring.”