Big Opportunity For Savvy Fashion Retailers

Owning any retail business (including fashion, clothing, footwear, jewellery) in the current economic climate is a challenge. However it’s also a ‘golden’ opportunity.

What would you rather do? Purchase a fashion business at the peak of the market (last peak was 2007) and pay the ‘peak’ price. Or obtain a bargain at the bottom of the market which can only move up?

Although I’ve included yet another article from "Gerry Harvey" – love him or hate him, he certainly knows the retailing trends in Australia (see article below).

Underperforming retailers are closing – often business owners have seen a decline in sales from 2008 to now – and they’re worn out, frustrated and tired.

A perfect time to make them a ‘fair’, yet realistic offer.

The challenge for you – if you decide to purchase a fashion business right now- it to be able to maintain a positive profit figure in the current consumer market. Certainly paying too much for the business and stock won’t help.

However, if you have bought well, kept a very close eye on your stock levels and marketed your store using some of our low cost marketing strategies – then you’ve really got a lean and profitable store with good sales growth potential when consumers return to spending (which they will). Not only will you take advantage of the increase in cash-flow, but also capital growth too!

Gerry Harvey Fashion Business Retail

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

What Are QR Codes And How Can They Be Used In Your Fashion Business

Business marketing Perth using QR codes

What are QR codes? Well, they’re similar to the barcodes used by retailers to track inventory and price products at the point of sale. The main difference between the two is the amount of data they can communicate.

Traditional barcodes which I’m sure you’re familiar with use vertical lines and can only hold up to 20 digits, whereas QR codes are two-dimensional (2D) and can hold much more information.

When a customer scans or reads a QR code with their iPhone, Android or other camera-enabled Smartphone, the phone can automatically:

  • Be linked to a web page (for your shop, or fashion business)
  • Activate a number of phone functions including email, messaging or SMS
  • Directed to an online video (Youtube, etc)
  • Display prices or other data about a product, etc

Really it makes it EASIER for a customer (or potential customer) to obtain further information about a product – WITHOUT having to enter in information (e.g. your website address). It’s a good fashion marketing and sales tool.

I’ve recently seen a big goods retailer use QR codes as a ‘teaser’ for advertised specials. So it will be interesting to keep tabs on the varied (and creative) uses for QR codes in fashion retailing and business.

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Fashion Retail Sales Slowdown Australia-wide

Consistent with the emails and phone calls we receive from fashion retailers all over Australia is this last weekend photo in the Weekend Australian (30-31 July 2011).

"Kira Stutton has seen a steep decline in sales figures for the shop she manages in Adelaide."

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has confirmed consumers are saving more and spending less. I believe many fashion retailers became lazy and complacent with their marketing over the ‘boom’ years and now as store traffic has declined they are feeling the pinch. The need for good (if not, great) fashion marketing is more important than ever to bring customers into your store!

Fashion business sales adelaide store

Photo source: Weekend Australian (30-31 July 2011)

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

You Need Deep Pockets Using This Type Of Fashion Advertising

This is a classic example of the "image" style of fashion advertising which I saw in a magazine recently…

fashion advertising mens clothing

Why do I say you need deep pockets to run this fashion advertisement?

Someone has paid a large sum of money $1,000 or more to run this advertisement to ‘brand’ their clothing label and fashion business.

This "image" style of advertising, unless run frequently (at a significant cost), often will not have an impact to the sales of the fashion business.

Deep pockets = lots of money wasted … ouch!

About the author. I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Will Mobile Phone Shopping Affect Fashion Retailing & Marketing?

Mobile Phone Apps and Fashion Marketing and Retailing

What do you think about the above article from the Wall St Journal? It’s an important shopping trends not only for US consumers but for Australian shoppers as well.

Fashion retailers, importers, designers, wholesalers, manufacturers and anyone that sells a fashion ‘product’ will be affected by the growing trend towards researching and even purchasing fashion online.
Once wary and shy consumers are now experienced online consumers by the use of ebay, Google, Gumtree and even Facebook.

Whilst many traditional brick’s’morter fashion retailers look at online shopping as a possible way to reduce their overheads (offering more stock without increasing floor space and reducing staff costs) it means they are now competing even more.

Whilst fashion retailing is less exposed to the move to online shopping due to the need for consumers to ‘try-it-on’ – certain fashion merchandise and products could be – such as shoes, bags, belts, hats, jewellery and so on.

Fashion marketing, branding and the retail experience for the customer has to be even better so that consumers WANT to make the trip to a retail store. This factor has become more and more important and may mean the difference between success or failure in fashion retailing.

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Gerry Harvey, You and Online Shopping

Wow, what a big controversy recently in Australia about online retailing and whether people should pay GST when ordering online from overseas suppliers.

Big heavy weight retailers like Gerry Harvey from Harvey Norman and others claim that they are at a disadvantage because people can buy online (overseas) and not pay GST.

How would the trend in overseas (online) purchases affect FASHION retailers?

I still firmly believe the overall trend is still in the (physical store) fashion retailer’s favour.

Gerry Harvey

Here’s my list of the advantages and disadvantages for the CONSUMER when buying FASHION jewellery, footwear and clothing online…

  FASHION RETAIL STORE ONLINE RETAILER
Ability to try on the item / view the item Yes. I believe this is one of the most important reasons why people visit stores. We all know that the actual size of clothing or footwear varies between brands and even by date of manufacture. The ‘cut’ can also make a huge difference. We ‘hope’ we’ve ordered the right size. Even with jewellery – it can look great in the photo but disappointing in real-life.
Quality #1 We can examine the particular ‘item’ before we buy it and take it home. The item may arrive damaged or was damaged at manufacture or somewhere along the distribution channel.
Quality #2 We can ‘see’ and feel the quality of the item before we purchase it The photo may differ to the real-life item
Service Varies – some staff at certain fashion stores have good product knowledge and some don’t. Sometimes you get friendly, prompt service and sometimes you don’t. May offer more information on their website about the item. Personal service not available.
Availability If it’s in store, we can buy it and take it home straight away – instant gratification. May take 1-3 weeks for delivery
Price A fashion retailer has higher overheads – usually high rent and staff expenses, so this is built into the price of what we pay. Usually lower. No GST for items under $1,000 (overseas orders only). Offset by having to pay for shipping.
Exchange Some stores offer the option to exchange items if they are not worn. Usually no exchange is allowed. Besides, you have to pay shipping to send the item back.

 

Out this list of products, the ones that I feel will be mostly affected by the trend to online shopping (in descending order) are:

  1. Bags (most likely to be purchased online)
  2. Jewellery
  3. Footwear
  4. Clothing

Sure, some ‘sales’ may be lost to online shopping but when it comes to FASHION jewellery, footwear and clothing – most consumers understand the benefits of buying locally.

Let me know that you think?

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Fashion Retailing Meets The Titanic

I get correspondence from a surprising number of fashion retailers who own smaller stores where the annual sales revenue is ‘stuck’ at $200k, $300k or even $500k per annum. I’m told that not only have ‘sales growth’ have been stagnant this year, but for many years.

When I write back to ask them what fashion marketing, advertising or customer relationship activities they are working on – I usually get this response…

"Oh, we need to buy some new stock and move our displays around. We should have this all done soon. Maybe we can look at marketing next year."

Talk about "Shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic!"

Running a fashion business like the titanic

If 100% of fashion marketing ‘activity’ is stock ordering and moving it around the store…

Beware!!!

It’s like shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

Albert Einstein once said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a difference result".

Yes, buying new stock and making the store displays attractive is important. Good visual merchandising does lead to increased sales. However, it can’t occupy 100% of the fashion business owner’s time.

At least 1-3 hours a week should be devoted to fashion promotion and working on the marketing calendar. You can’t expect store sales growth without this activity. It just won’t happen.

So when I get the ‘deck chair replies’ – I say to myself … "Insanity"!

If you are a fashion retail store owner and do spend 1-3 hours a week on ‘non-titanic’ activities – well done.

If not, or if you don’t know how to break-through to higher sales revenue, contact us about our fashion marketing programs. Not only will you save time and money ‘experimenting’, you will get actual proven and tested promotions ‘ready to roll-out’ for instant sales and more cash in your bank account.

Click here to contact us, or click here to join our entry level Fashion Retail Insiders program for only $47 per month.

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Getting Good Results From Your Fashion Advertising

Having a quiet week? Want to bring in more store traffic – right now?

Good, consistent store traffic year round is the holy grail of fashion retailing. There’s no point spending money on good stock, hiring the best sales staff, having the nicest store with the best customer service if people don’t come in. Ensuring regular people traffic is one of the major challenges for most fashion retailers.

Message branding advertising

Our Fashion Retail Insiders know the twelve (12) specific ways to bring in more traffic to a fashion store and they understand the specific tactics that make them successful.

Many of the twelve traffic strategies will be familiar to you, like … print media advertising, internet fashion advertising, good building signage, referral programs, and so on…

However, in order to get a good result from any fashion advertising or marketing campaign, a specific tactic or marketing message, is required.

For many smaller retailers especially (and larger fashion retailers too), the focus needs to be on generating a customer. Yes, absolutely branding is important, but if it’s the sole message in the advertisement, it will be a costly expense for the retailer – as we say in the marketing game – "you need deep pockets". A better way, is to employ a marketing message that brings in paying customers AND builds your brand at the same time. That way your fashion advertising and marketing will pay for itself.

Take for example; Fashion Retail Insider  Gill from John’s Shoe Store. Gill took one of our designs and tested a very small advertisement in the local community newspaper – it brought in $1,382.70. Granted it was a very small advertisement and dollar sale, but you can see the potential of running a similar advert weekly. i.e. $1,382.70 x 52 weeks is $71,900.

I’m sure adding almost $72,000 in annual revenue would be welcome by any fashion retailer.

Not only is the revenue important, but see what else happens :

  • 12 new customers were introduced to the business (from one week) – that would be 624 new customers a year. Those customers would return to make additional purchases and refer other people to the store, and,
  • The retail store would achieve brand awareness with the readers of the local community newspaper.

And that’s a good result from fashion advertising!

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

When Is The Right Time To Open Your Next Fashion Retail Store? Part 2

I know, I know – you’re itching to open your next fashion retail store.

If your next store is store number 3 (or more) – I reckon you must have created a very good store opening process, so I would say go for it.

However, if it’s your second store – BEWARE – there are pitfalls.

Fashion retail store fit out

Many single store owners are tempted to open a second store because the first fashion retail store may not be performing that well and an opportunity arises to have another store in perhaps a better location.

Watch out – not only could this be a money trap, it can be a time trap as well.

I’ve personally met ‘stressed-out’ fashion retailers who try very hard to keep two stores profitable, by cutting staff time and working unrealistic hours, running back and forth between the two retail outlets. What often happens (and I’ve heard this first hand on the telephone from these poor retailers) is that they will finally close one store and be stuck with a big financial loss, excess stock, and excess store fittings. This extra burden puts more pressure on the cash-flow of the remaining store and often the retailer will close that store too, and be out-of-business!

It’s a heart-breaking situation, but unfortunately all too common in the fashion business world.

Here’s how to avoid that situation…

Guidelines for opening your second fashion retail store

Your single store MUST be able to stand on it’s own. That is, the store needs be profitable by being staffed without you being there. That is, your full-time staff member(s) and casuals cover 100% of the store hours. Another way to look at it – could you take three months off and still have an open store when you got back?

If not, please don’t open that second store – you’re not ready yet!

When you open your second store, you’ll need to give it your full attention for perhaps several months – to get everything right so it’s a profitable store too – you can’t be worrying about your original shop.

To have a fashion retail store that is profitable without you requires good marketing systems, good sales systems and good procedures for the staff to follow. Not only will this information make your first store very profitable, it will essentially form the basis of a ‘cookie-cutter’ system which will allow you not only to open a second store, but many others too.

For more information on good fashion marketing take a look at our FREE mini-course (click here).

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Low Cost Fashion Advertising – The Trusty Old Mailbox Flyer

Fashion marketing to mailboxes

You know… a mailbox flyer – an A4 or A5 sized one page pamphlet stuffed into residential mailboxes (letter boxes). Many fashion retailers overlook the humble mailbox flyer as a marketing strategy for producing more retail store traffic.

I like mailbox flyers for apparel, clothing, footwear, and jewellery stores – they are quick and simple to produce, low cost and very effective in targeting people that live around the store.

For the cost of around $470 you can typically reach around 5,000 homes. The ‘trick’ is to produce a flyer that gets results. Many retailers who may have tried flyers in the past, stopped because they didn’t get a result and came to the incorrect conclusion that flyers don’t work. They do!

Effective flyer design comes down to simplicity with a marketing message that entices the reader to visit the store. Often retailers will focus too much on a ‘branding’ message rather than a design focusing on new styles and looks. As we have created many mailbox flyers for our clients we have a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t. If you like – send us a copy of your mailbox flyer and we’ll be happy to critique it for you.

About the author: I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Image and Branding for a Fashion Business

Image and Branding is a strong motivator for fashion retailers but what do these concepts actually mean?

Simply, ‘Image’ is the perception (picture) that consumers have about a particular business at any one point in time. Whereby, ‘Brand’ is the relationship between the business and the consumer’s values. For example, when a consumer looks to purchase a running shoe they may think of Nike because of it’s alignment with winning and achieving.

fashion business marketing brand

Image and branding has everything to do with identifying your target market, identifying the values that are important to your target market and then creating an image and a brand that relates to those values.

Trying to cover all demographics and values is not recommended because it would be very difficult to achieve effective branding economically. The consumer will be disappointed with the product and the business.

For example, promoting luxury airline tickets whilst actually hearding travellers into small seats and delivering poor customer service will upset those consumers and word will get out and damage the ‘Brand’. Conversely, entering the marketplace promoting high levels of service at a cheap price, will hurt margins for the business and will unsustainable in the long-term.

Typically a brand will consist of an unique mix of values for a fashion business, such as :

  • Consumer benefits,
  • Style,
  • Durability (clothes, shoes and jewellry)
  • Quality,
  • Price,
  • Consumer age target (e.g. children, young adults, mature adults, Generation X, etc),
  • Image projection (conservative, hip-hop, professional business, modern, sportswear, etc),
  • Culture,
  • and so on.

Branding can also be broken down into ‘external’ and ‘internal’. External branding is prodominately used to create new customers for the business via mass advertising, such as print, internet, radio and television.

Internal branding is reminding existing customers that you value their business of which the aim is to increase repeat sales from those customers. Internal branding will typically use such media as email, SMS, direct mail and the telephone.

Creating an image and a brand for fashion retailers is not about flashy and slick advertisements. It’s about getting your key customers (target market) to recognise your business as their prefered choice for the products you provide.

About the author. I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Smart Fashion Marketing (Kinetic Media & Marketing) – an Australian consulting business that assists fashion retailers to increase sales and improve business value. Because we have a passion for marketing, our retail business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Fashion Retailer Increases Sales by $10,683 in One Day!

Shoe store marketing

Gill and Kim

Directors, shoe store, Midland, WA.

(Full name withheld due to privacy reasons)

"We are really hitting our stride now using promotions to increase sales."

"Our Back-to-School event created another $20,039 in additional revenue. Recently we ran our one day May 2009 promotion and increased sales by $10,683."

"We can’t wait to see the results of our July clearance event!"

May 2009

Why did I create this site for fashion retailers?

Fashion retail advertising marketing and sales for business

 

Hello, my name is Mark Fregnan. I work with fashion retailers everyday. So, why did I create this web site?

Simply due to the frustration I hear from clothing, footwear and jewellery retail shop owners. I’m sure you can relate to some of these challenges:

  • Flat out or dead quiet. You have some good days, but can’t figure out how to bring in more store traffic when you need it.
  • Having hundreds of thousands of dollars of capital tied up in stock.
  • Not moving forward. Annual sales which have reached a plateau or even declining.
  • Expensive advertising which is ineffective.
  • Increases in rent
  • Rising expenses
  • Staff problems
  • The economy

The list goes on…

But, generally most of those problems can be solved by INCREASING SALES of your fashion products whilst MAINTAINING GOOD MARGINS.

So What Are Successful FASHION RETAILERS Doing Now?

You see after many years of studying SUCCESSFUL FASHION RETAILERS and conducting intensive research and marketing analysis I discovered literally dozens of simple, yet powerful strategies TO INCREASE FASHION RETAIL SALES and PROFITS.

This information has been collated and edited into a very special mini-course called ‘Marketing Secrets of Top Fashion Retailers’. Here’s what you’ll learn…

  • Discover The Promotion That Brought In Additional Sales Of $53,858 To A Retail Store In 4 Hours!
  • How To Increase The Value Of Your Fashion Retail Business By At Least $45,000 In The Next Four Weeks! This Is So Easy – Every Retailer Should Be Doing It!
  • 3 Simple Steps That Were Taken By A Fashion Retailer That Increased Annual Sales By 126%!
  • How A 430% Increase In Advertising Response Was Achieved By A Local Business!
  • How To Add At Least $8,500 To Your Bottom Line In Your Fashion Retail Business By Avoiding This One Big Mistake!
  • The Quick & Easy Way To Ensure A Good Consistent Volume Of Sales Each & Every Month. Never, Ever Have A Bad Sales Month Again!
  • Revealed! How To Overcome Price Shoppers And Actually Enjoy 20% To 50% Higher Gross Margins Than Your Competitors!
  • Plus many more fashion marketing tips & tactics!

Excited? Well, you should be. It wasn’t easy creating such a valuable resource. All of the fashion marketing information in the ‘Marketing Secrets of Top Fashion Retailers’ mini-course has been tested in actual real-life businesses – no theory here.

So, how much is it?

We understand that many fashion retailers are experiencing 20% (or more) reduction in sales due to the current economic climate, so we have decided to hand you a ‘gift’. This mini-course sells for $167.00, but for a limited time, we have decided to make it FREE.

FREE – For a limited time… Request your Fashion Marketing mini-course now!

 FASHION RETAIL MARKETING INFORMATION…
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Marketing Secrets Of Top Fashion Retailers!

 

Free Mini-Course
FREE MINI-COURSE (Valued at $167)
   
Find out how to…
   
tick box Bring In More Customers To Your Fashion Retail Store!
tick box Increase Sales!
tick box Improve Customer Loyalty!

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