A Day in the Life of a Buying Trip

As people know who visit our store, we always strive to not only give the best possible service but to constantly source new and exciting products

The quality of service we offer must be reflected in our range of clothing

Our menswear ranges are usually decided upon during two key buying periods.

One in February where we buy for the following Autumn/Winter range and one in August for the next Spring/Summer.

Suiting our range of customers

We have a wide age range of men who come into the store. Many younger men now come to Symonds and we love to welcome new faces, but true to our roots, we have customers who remember when Damien first started and are able to relay stories of times gone by at Symonds.

Our trips usually take place in the UK where suppliers from all over the world gather for the buying shows.

Planning our buying trips

Here is a little behind-the-scenes guide to how we always begin...

1. We start our research for the different seasons a good few months before we buy so already have a good idea about the key pieces we want to look out for.

We also look at what has been bought by our customers in the particular season we are buying for... this is central to how we make buying decisions.

2. On the Big Day we arm ourselves with our Buying Bible, full to the brim of ideas for new items as well as shopping lists for our established suppliers.

Big bags for catalogues and comfortable shoes are a must!

We try to hit the ground running although it's a bit of an "in-joke" that you spend the first hour or so of the day chatting to both owners of other menswear shops as well as to our own suppliers!

3. We find our bearings and do any buying we need for current stock. Then we tackle the suppliers we have built up relationships with over the years; Magee for our Jackets/Suits, Olymp/Eterna for our Shirts and Meyer/Sunwill for our Trousers.

We try to build up a 'story' between the products that we are buying so that when the clothing arrives at the store, it all fits together.

4. Having found what we need for our immediate purposes, we're on the lookout for new brands that can fit in with the 'story', using our knowledge of what's will be 'on trend' in the new season.

The new brands we look out for are also things our customers asking for. As you will see in store this year we have now added Crew Clothing to our collection, so many of our customers have asked for it, as well as a range of slimmer fitting suits.

The one thing we always keep in mind is that although an item may look good it is the feel and touch of the clothes, the material they are made from, and the attention to detail in their manufacture, that make them good enough for our customers.

We always ask ourselves two questions "Would we be happy selling this?" and "Would our Customers' be happy buying this?"

If the answer is 'yes' the chances are you will see it in store next season

We take many photos during the day to remind ourselves of the items we have bought, because by the end of it we're suffering from 'Showitus' (the inability to think or speak clearly after a buying show). The photos we take will remind us of what we have bought on the day as well as giving us ideas on how we may display the clothing for the following season.


Coloured men's shoes

When the day is over and our feet are sore we head back to the car. It is then that we become excited about the new season and the hope that our customers will love the buying decisions we've made that day.