Wholesale boutique clothing vs. retail: What’s the difference?


Kampala, Uganda | By Krisna Garcia | There has always been an online debate over which type of business works better and which provides more benefits for the customers between wholesalers and retailers. The main thing that differentiates these two concepts is represented by their final clients. Below, we explain each selling model and list their differences. 

What Is a Wholesale Boutique?

Wholesale clothing boutiques sell larger quantities of items, which is why they can apply more competitive prices. Wholesalers’ clients can benefit from numerous discounts and promotional price tags. Wholesalers pick up the products they will later sell directly from clothing manufacturers. 

End users can purchase clothes directly from wholesalers, but, in general, these outlets and online stores offer their goods to retailers and other businesses. The main advantage of the wholesaling business is the fact that these entrepreneurs sell their goods in bulk, so their prices are highly affordable. 

What Is a Retail Store?

Many people seem to think that retailing provides higher profits because these businesses can establish higher prices because they sell clothes per piece. Most of the time, retailers buy their stocks from wholesalers and then resell those products piece by piece. 

Retail businesses market their goods to the end-users. In the retail selling process, you will encounter many different distribution channels. There are four main categories of retail stores:

  • Department stores;
  • Brick-and-mortar shops;
  • Online stores;
  • Discount shops. 

Retailers distribute final products to the end customers. Normally, they market small clothing quantities. 

Wholesale boutique clothing vs. retail stores

There are several factors that differentiate wholesalers from retailers:

  • Quality differences – some wholesalers offer factory seconds while others market high-quality items from well-known brands. So, if you choose carefully, you can buy first-quality garments. Choosing wholesalers that market good-quality goods will help you get clothes that are free of any tears or fabrication defects;
  • Quantity differences – retailers sell clothing items piece by piece, in individual units while wholesalers usually sell in bulk. This makes their prices lower than the ones applied by retailers;
  • Cost distinctions – financially speaking, it is in your best interest to purchase clothes from wholesalers because you will benefit from lower prices or even discounts. These advantageous price tags are due to the fact that wholesalers take their goods from the manufacturer and there’s no middleman involved;
  • Control variation – it’s true that going to retail stores and choosing your clothes by yourself gives you a greater sense of control. You can see, touch, and try those items you want to purchase. On the other hand, online wholesalers have a wide variety of products that you can browse through. 

Pros and Cons

Each of these two selling models comes with their unique advantages.

Retailing has the following benefits:

  • Customers can try whatever clothes they want to purchase, and they can see these items up close;
  • There’s a personal connection that’s built through the employees that work in retail stores. With their help, the company can gather valuable insights regarding their potential customers;
  • Retailers have a higher level of control over their brand identity and the way their products are presented;
  • Many retail stores have the pieces they sell specially created for their brand or shop. 

Wholesale businesses have the following perks:

  • Customers and wholesalers alike have access to a lot of popular and trendy products;
  • The ordering and buying process is very simple;
  • As long as the wholesaler is reliable, ordering from it will be fast and safe;
  • Clients can browse through all the products from the privacy of their own home and select their desired style, size, and color. 

Maybe you’re wondering which business model is better and where you should buy your clothes from wholesalers or retailers. Neither of them is bad or good. Both have advantages and drawbacks. In the end, it is mostly about your budget and personal preferences.