Indiemoda.com, a new business-to-business platform, is set to launch Feb. 25.
Founded by A.J. Casey, former distributor for Beverly Feldman, IndieModa aims to be a digital marketplace where independent retailers and wholesalers can establish a link in the supply chain and enhance their power to compete.
A primary purpose of the site is to give independent retailers the ability of self-operated, single-pair inventory replenishment: They can reorder the style, color and size needed, and IndieModa ships it to them the next day. Retailers also will be able to drop-ship the order directly to the customer’s home.
According to Casey, smaller independent retailers and suppliers need help catching up with the industry’s technological advances in recent years because they’re self-financed and often lack the financial, logistical and marketing support necessary to compete with the big chains.
“We’re shoe people creating methods to add function and value in the supplier-retailer relationship,” Casey told Footwear News, adding that he believes there is strength in numbers.
Ten firms have so far signed up to be members.
“We feel it is an excellent concept that allows the smaller independent to carry a variety of brands that they would otherwise be unable to,” said Jay Litvack, president of J. Litvack Inc.
Larry Bienenfeld, owner of Jildor Shoes, said, “The ability to order single pairs instead of cases gives us the flexibility to satisfy our customers’ needs without excess inventory. In addition, it allows us to focus on sizes, colors and styles that need to be replenished. [Ultimately, this] will allow us to drive up our volume, with fewer markdowns.”
The website also aims to be a resource for fashion trend reports, global trade show calendars, a subscriber forum and a dedicated helpline providing logistical, market and administrative support for businesses at both ends of the supply chain.