023 – Mercedes Gonzalez of Global Purchasing Companies – Moments of Opportunity

Strategy and brand development for retail and emerging designers…

Mercedes Gonzalez, Director of Global Purchasing Companies (a fashion strategy and brand development agency, planning and implementing strategies for retailers and emerging designers – (bio)) joins Samanta Cortes, Stephanie Benedetto, and Rob Sanchez on location at TexWorld USA in New York.

Becoming a negotiator, matching American retail sensibilities, and buyers vs. accountants

Gonzalez reveals her work as a buyer, with a forte in international business, moments of opportunity, how selling old ladies polyester dresses is not glamorous, and why that led her to being a buyer in pursuit of glamour and ending up working with knit tops up to $10. How Gonzalez developed a reputation as a good negotiator, how speaking Spanish led to advancement, her current 19 years-old company, the impact of matching international stores with the sensibilities of American stores, discoveries of a mall developer in Siberia, how advising emerging designers helped raise sales but in 2009 when online sales started were soaring, the importance of timing for opportunity, why Gonzalez has been called the dream crusher (vs. nightmare avoider), and how buyers are not buyers but instead accountants.

The avocado effect, arguing sustainability, and shifting consciousness

The Avocado Effect (paying because you want it because of a good story or great feature), and a debate about the word “sustainable”. Do sustainability, ethical, fair trade, etc. make a product more valuable if the brand or designer don’t understand it? Why a minimal standard should revolve around basic human needs. Being the best in any product category. Shifting consciousness from checking a box to making a difference, and whose job is that? How if people want to abuse the system, they will.

Fair cost vs. price, Cuba, and global privilege

Pursuing a fair relationship between cost and retail price, chasing the big picture, and the ideas of global standardization vs. one factory at a time. And personal questions in a round of Remnants cover how communism works in Cuba, no orphanages in Cuba, being an Island girl, being bossy, talking a lot and not sharing. Plus, global privilege of communication offers a huge opportunity for brands and retailers.

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