Building today’s retail strategies for tomorrow’s retail giants.
Mercedes R. Gonzalez has been a buyer in the garment industry since 1988.
Her passion for the industry started when she was 14 years old and went to work every summer for her uncle who owned and operated a manufacturing company in the heart of the garment district in New York.
After graduating from New York University where she earned her degree in economics, she went back to work full time with her uncle. She changed the operation of the company by moving production overseas, streamlining the company and insuring a stronger bottom line.
Soon after Mercedes decided to try buying and was hired by one of the largest buying offices at the time, Frederick Atkins. She had participation in private label for such stores as Dillard's and Harvey Nickels of England. She soon went to work at one of the member stores Gonzalez Padin in Puerto Rico and her love for international trade grew.
In the last 19 years Mercedes has worked with some of the most important buying offices in the country and has helped to open or restructure hundreds of stores in the United States and abroad, including the inaugural Sears store in Panama.
Regularly featured in industry publications, such as Women's Wear Daily, Mercedes also teaches workshops on successful retailing at industry trade shows such as MAGIC, and at regional markets in Atlanta, California and Dallas, and previously as an adjunct professor at N.Y.U. School of continuing education.
She sits on the board of the Fashion Merchandising Department at the University of Arkansas and at the University of Nebraska. She is invited around the world from Chile to China to speak to retailers and manufacturers on entering the US market.
She has been featured on the "Today Show", as a retail expert has given presentations to the International Fashion Group, and has two award winning videos in the New York Public Library website on retailing.
Mercedes started Global Purchasing in 1998 and has been successfully expanding her international and domestic business. Noted as an industry expert and a self proclaimed Wal-mart expert, she has hands on experience in every facet of the industry, from manufacturing to marketing.
Mercedes has also written numerous articles for trade magazines such as Focus on Shoes, Fashion Mannuscript and Intima. She has also appeared on Fine Living Television playing herself as the industry maven.
In 2005, Global Purchasing became Global Purchasing Companies with the addition of Global Group Showroom, which showcases new and young design talent.