Retaissance has been built from the ground up on a bespoke platform and is designed specifically for brands and buyers, offering an experience tailored to the retail ecosystem.
The team is promising to support its members at both ends of the supply chain, with plans for additional features to be added in future updates, as well as expansion into other global markets over the first few months.
From launch, independent brands can use Retaissance to build a comprehensive online profile, highlight key features and brand values and showcase a selection of their favourite products and collections with in-depth details for potential wholesale partners in the UK, Europe and beyond.
The site also allows brands to host essential buyer resources such as look books, line sheets and product catalogues in one easily accessible place.
Buyers, meanwhile, will be able to browse the site and build a portfolio of products which match their exact preferences on stock availability, product categories, lead times, price points, features, sustainability and ethical credential among others.
They can also use the site to track brands as markets develop and extend their lines with fresh products from independents.
Shortly after launch, the site will also boast a community framework called The Lounge, which aims to create more opportunities for members to meet and trade.
“Wholesale models are changing across retail – low MOQs, short order, ‘never out of stock’ and ‘in season, stock available’ models will be in greater demand,” commented Cathie Osborne, founder and owner of Retaissance. “Retail buyers in all categories have lost resource and have increasingly difficult targets to meet and need to find the ‘next big thing’ efficiently and repeatedly.
“People’s lives have changed and this will prompt changes in their approach to purchasing. Communities have rediscovered local, and this renewed sense of community and desire to support local businesses will see the consumer re-look at independents.”
Cathie continued: “Our namesake is the Renaissance period – it also followed both a pandemic and economic crisis. It was a fervent period of cultural, artistic, creative and economic rebirth. Retaissance aims to be more than a network, we’ll be supporting independent businesses to help them navigate the changes to buying cycles, sustainability, global market expectations and consumer behaviour during these turbulent times.”
Retaissance enters its ‘soft launch’ stage this week. Brands will be able to sign up and prepare their profiles, and buyers can apply to join ahead of the full launch in the first week of August.
The service is free to buyers and is available to brands for a small monthly subscription. Showcase set up time is free for early adopters to allow them to prepare their product showcases and upload resources ahead of the launch.