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SHOP TALK

“With 16 years’ experience in wholesale fashion, we’ve created a user-friendly platform that connects buyers and sellers on a global scale” Thangarajah Kuganeswaran on fashion wholesale and launching global B2B marketplace TradeGala What is your career background?

I first came to the UK from Sri Lanka in 1989 and began working in the supermarket and restaurant industry. My entry into fashion came in 1996 when my brother Thangarajah Ravi Vimaleswaran and I started CMT factory Angel Fashion. I am involved in charity work and contribute both to Sri Lanka and local communities.

How did the launch of City Goddess and Goddiva come about?

City Goddess launched in 2003 followed by Goddiva in 2009. The idea was a meeting of minds and experience: Designer Mina Melikova, brought her wide experience in fashion design while I brought my own extensive experience in manufacturing. We worked well as a team and this led to us building wholesale brand City Goddess, which would become one of the UK’s leading eveningwear brands with production facilities in the UK, China, India, Morocco, Romania and even Dubai. Goddiva was born due to the high demand from consumers and allows shoppers to buy directly from us.

Why do you think the brands continue to be so successful?

We regularly add new stock to both of our websites, ensuring that customers benefit from a vast choice of products. 98 | boutique. | january 2020

Another benefit is the fast production of our designs. Popular trends from catwalks and the red carpet can be made readily available to customers in as quickly as a week as a result of our in-house design team and local manufacturers. Smaller independent buyers can purchase our products in single pieces and not have to worry about committing too much money on products. On the other hand, larger buyers can buy in bundles or packs and save money in doing so. Finally, we believe our personalised service is a key reason for our success: our sales teams personally get to know the retailers they work with and understand their businesses. In this regard, they can help to recommend suitable items or assist them in any way possible.

What’s the idea behind TradeGala?

We saw a gap in the market. There are B2C marketplaces such as Amazon, Zalando or Silk Fred that are hugely popular, but there weren’t any marketplaces available for a B2B audience – hence, the introduction of TradeGala. Using 16 years’ experience in the wholesale fashion industry, we have created a user-friendly platform that connects buyers and sellers on a global scale.

How does it work?

Buying or selling through TradeGala is actually very simple. Buyers can

apply to join the site in a few clicks and our customer service team will assist them in opening their account. From this point, buyers can browse through a range of styles and designs from international brands, compare the prices, and purchase the products they want for their business. Sellers use our online marketplace as a platform for their brand to showcase their products and collection lines directly to retailers, allowing them to expand their reach and build a bigger consumer base. We work closely with our vendors to maximise their sales and stability. And as registration is free, we believe that TradeGala is a great opportunity for sellers.

Why do you think this is such a good idea for retailers and brands?

The main aim of TradeGala is to streamline the processes of fashion buying by providing a simple platform to connect buyers and sellers. Prior to TradeGala, businesses would invest huge amounts of time, money and resources in building business connections. The initial idea behind TradeGala aimed to remedy this and make things easier for retailers by giving instant access to the best suppliers in the industry. We work with both experienced wholesalers and small independent brands taking their first step to wholesale. By registering with TradeGala they have instant access to our huge database of buyers.


shop talk In fact, our website proudly boasts around 5 million page views per month.

What benefits does the service offer independent retailers?

The main benefit of our service is that retailers save time and money by buying through TradeGala. Time is an important resource for retailers and they want to spend more time with their clients – with TradeGala, they can order stock from their mobile and discover new brands every week in just a few clicks. We also offer our customers both payment protection – our integrated payment platform with advanced online security gives our users peace of mind – as well as a personalised customer service, which aims to assist buyers with any questions or issues they may have.

How will this help them run their business more profitably?

We have sellers that require a low minimum order quantity, which is hugely beneficial for small independent retailers as it allows buyers to try new brands without committing themselves to a higher order quantity. We also have premium sellers operating on TradeGala, who can be easily identified by the banner next to their brand name. These premium sellers offer free shipping to the UK on orders with a value of £150 or more and to the EU or US on orders with a value of £300. Another benefit for buyers is that TradeGala has its own rewards scheme – customers can earn loyalty points with every purchase, irrespective of the brand, which can be redeemed to make partpayments towards any new order. In this way, buyers can make even more savings through our website.

Which brands do you already have signed up? We already have many sellers registered with us with more joining every week. Some big names include Gatsbylady London, Globaltex

GODDIVA

Fashion, Independent Clothing and Liquorish. We also have sellers that exclusively wholesale via TradeGala, such as Nesavaali and Paradox London.

How do you hope TradeGala will grow in the future?

We have plans to expand our product ranges – we look to offer more of the best for our buyers. We believe that TradeGala has the potential to become the sole location for buyers to come into contact with suppliers. However, our main focus for the near future is to maintain a steady level of growth and to continue to uphold TradeGala as a safe and genuine platform for buyers and sellers.

What are your new year business resolutions?

Our main focus is to take our already successful platform to the next level and keep providing a highquality service at a bigger scale. We are looking to accomplish this by

establishing a new team dedicated to sales, account management and customer service. We are also focusing on achieving a major marketing push in a number of ways. In terms of the global market, we aim to have a greater international presence including opening international websites in Germany, France and Spain.

Where do you hope to be in your business this time next year? By this time next year, we will have expanded the product ranges on the TradeGala website to include menswear, childrenswear, gifts and many more. With this, we hope to attract different target consumer bases and subsequently experience further growth. Our main aim is to become the number one B2B fashion marketplace renowned for ease of use, high quality goods and customer service. We hope to be on course for this in 2020. CONTACT Tradegala.com

january 2020 | boutique. | 99


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