Using The Mailbox Flyer Fashion Marketing Strategy Successfully

"Fashion Retailer Brings In An Extra 51 People In One Week!" – but, first a little background information…

Shoe store fashion marketing logo

Often fashion retailers approach me and say they don’t have a lot of money to spend on advertising. If their fashion shop is in a residential area, or in a suburban shopping centre, I often recommend the mailbox flyer marketing strategy.

A mailbox flyer is a one page pamphlet stuffed into residential mailboxes (letter boxes).

Many retailers may have tried flyers in the past, but stopped because they didn’t get a good result. However, John’s Shoe Store brought in an additional 51 people in one week last month (they tracked them) using the flyer from our Customer Marketing Sales Kit.

Getting a good result from a flyer design 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. Sure, you can achieve a similar result from Community Newspaper advertising, but occasionally I like to ‘mix-up’ the marketing to reach local, surrounding homes for stronger store recognition and branding.

Oh yeah, a tip: I prefer the A5 size (1/2 A4) as it doesn’t require folding (as you would need to do for the A4 size), you get double the amount of flyers when printing, and the A5 size is easy for someone to put in letter boxes.

Fashion marketing with mailbox flyers

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!

Why Oh Why Are We Not Meeting Our Fashion Sales Targets?

I had a call this week from a fashion store owner who doesn’t work in the store himself (it’s under management). He was frustrated with the low numbers of paying customers even after placing "Up to 75% off" signs on the store windows. This business owner was convinced that the shopping centre was doing a lousy job of attracting people.

But you see, there are two aspects to obtaining paying customers… 1) Store traffic and, 2) Sales conversion.

Fashion retail sale sign

I had a feeling that the staff weren’t doing such a good job of selling.

The only way to find out is to measure TRAFFIC AND SALES. From that the sales conversion can be worked out.

For most fashion retailers the sales conversion rate will be between 10% to 40%. That is, out of 10 people that walk-in, one to four will buy.

Whoa, I bet you’re telling me your sales conversion is much higher. Okay, prove it!

Below is a sample store browsers chart. Rule a single page with 6 columns and mark one line for each person that walks into the store every day over one week (count a couple and families as one person).

Then check your sales numbers at the end of the week (from your POS or till). Divide # sales / # browsers and multiply by 100. That’s your conversion as a percentage.

Then you’ll know if your staff are doing a good job or not. If your conversion is below 10% you’ve got a BIG problem!

P.S. The more accurate way of obtaining your store traffic numbers is to install an automatic people counter – I have discussed this on a previous post on this website.

Fashion retail store success

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!

When Is The Right Time To Open Your Next Fashion Retail Store? Part 1

Oh boy, this is literally the million-dollar question.

When it comes down to it, there is only so much sales revenue and profit you can generate from one fashion retail store. You are usually limited by floor space and how much stock you can display.

However, you can generate a lot more revenue from one store than you might think. I love this real-life business story…

Beechworth retail store

“Tom O’Toole turned a failing little bakery in an isolated and dying Australian country town (Beechworth, VIC) with a population of 3,000 into a company with an annual turnover in excess of $12 million, serving over one million customers per year.”

“A bakery that has become one of the highest earning single bakery retailers in Australian history.”

So how do you grow your revenue in your existing fashion store. Again, in a nutshell, it comes down to good branding and fashion marketing, good products and great customer service.

You may have read or heard of my comments about branding – essentially I subscribe to the Dan Kennedy marketing rule… “Branding should be a by-product of good marketing”.

In other words, advertising or marketing that generates customers at a profit and pays itself – should always be your primary goal. We’ll discuss this further at another time.

So, to summarise – you don’t always need to open that next store, right now. You can squeeze out a lot more profit out of the store(s) you own already. But, if you’re still thinking about that new fashion store – I’ll go through on my next post some very important things you’ll need to consider before you put down a deposit on that new lease. Watch this space.

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!

5 Main Ways To Make More Money In Your Fashion Business!

So many fashion store owners get caught up in a lot of staff and stock management "activities" and forget this one simple principle. There are only five ways to grow your fashion business:

Fashion retail store success

  1. Get more store traffic (get more).
  2. Have more browsers become paying customers (convert more).
  3. Get customers to buy more items or purchase higher priced ticket items on each visit (spend more).
  4. Get your regular or existing customers come back more often (visit more).
  5. Make more money out of each product line, improve your margins and minimise unnecessary expenses. (make more)

We call these the 5 Profit Centres in a retail store!

Yes, absolutely ‘Stock Management’ is very important to fashion retail store success, but it cannot be the only focus. Here’s how you can MAKE MORE MONEY using the 5 Profit Centres…

Profit Centre #1) Get more people into your store (thats store browsers) – preferably at a lower cost. Even if your conversion to a paying customer remained exactly the same, more store traffic equals more sales. The ‘challenge’ is to find low cost methods to increase store traffic.

Good strategies include advertising, mailbox flyers, fashion shows, referral programs, special events, signage and so on. Look in the ‘new customer marketing’ section in this member’s area for more information and examples.

Profit Centre #2) Get more people to buy. Again, if you improved nothing else but had more store browsers convert to paying customers, you’ll increase the total sales. Good strategies include improvements to store layout, staff training, product placement, signage, pricing and so on.

Profit Centre #3) Get customers to spend more on each visit (this is called the average sale or average cheque). There are literally dozens of strategies to get customers to spend more… up-sells, cross-sells, point-of-sale displays and so on.

Profit Centre #4) Get customers back more often. Utilise our customer marketing services at Kinetic Media & Marketing – we use post, SMS and email to communicate to your customers.

Profit Centre #5) Improve your margins. What’s your gross margin? Your mark-up? Your cost of goods? What’s the relationship between your turnover to staff wages? What are you best selling items? What items have the largest profit margin? How can you sell more of them? What’s the break-down of expenses? Is there a blow-out in one area? How much old stock are you carrying? How well does your store perform again the Australian statistics for retailing?

These are some of the many sub-areas you can look at to improve your margins.

By taking time to improve those 5 Profit Centres, you’ll see an almost INSTANT improvement to your bottom-line store profit!

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!

Retail Shopping Centre Fashion Advertising

Shopping Centre fashion retail advertising

Do you have a retail store located in a shopping centre? If so, I’m sure you’re familiar with the extremely high rent and outgoings bill you receive every month.

Besides the building and services component – a portion of your monthly fee to the shopping centre company also covers centre promotion and advertising. It’s the shopping centre’s role to bring in people so they can charge the retailer a fee for the space. Nothing new with that.

However, it’s actually a good idea to know how much of your annual rent is attributed to receiving store traffic (browsers and customers).

Let say you have a 30m2 store. Figure 1 : Your current shopping centre rent (let’s use $50,000 per annum for simpicity). Figure 2 : The cost of renting a 30m2 office in a street in the back lots of an industrial area (let’s say it costs $15,000 per annum). The difference $35,000, is the annual cost paid for the ‘better’ location (shopping centre v.s. back lots).

Some retailers choose to have a store located in a quieter street location and not in a shopping centre, but in order to create the same revenue, much more money needs to be spent on fashion advertising.

i.e. Shopping Centre = high rent, lower individual store fashion advertising expenses.

Quiet location = lower rent, higher individual store fashion advertising expenses (in order to produce a similar annual revenue).

There is aways that trade-off. Whether one option is better or not for your store really comes down to your level of experience in fashion retailing, your brand and sales system.

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!

Improving Retail Store Traffic : How Many Browsers & Customers?

When it comes to finding out how effective your fashion advertising is (and even the advertising of the shopping centre management – if this applies to you) in bringing people into your store, you’ll need to have a system to measure STORE TRAFFIC.

Even if you don’t advertise – you’ll need to understand which days of the week and which months are your quiet times and which are your busy times.

Simply looking at your retail store sales figures only tells you half the story – how many people made purchases, not how many people came in.

The best way to find out how many people came in is to install a store traffic counter across the entry (or entries to your store). Armed with this information, you can create a more effective marketing calendar and fashion business strategy.

Here’s a small list of some of the benefits of having an automated store traffic counter…

  • Be able to monitor how effective your advertising and marketing promotions are.
  • To be able determine your sales conversion.
  • Know whether you are generating enough store traffic to ensure target sales revenue.
  • Ensure you have enough staff during peak times and be able to reduce staff at quiet times.

Fashion retail traffic counter example

Closely monitoring your store traffic will allow you to refine your marketing and even reduce money wasted on ineffective marketing campaigns!

IMPLEMENTATION : You can get electronic store counters from ‘Total Count’ in Melbourne. This is their web site address :
www.totalcount.com.au

They have inexpensive counters and all the way up to advanced models. And before you ask. No, I don’t get a commission by recommending them. Our clients have been using the counters from Total Count and they have been reliable.

THE KEY POINT : You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Automated systems work best because they don’t rely on humans – if you don’t have a store traffic counter – now is a great time to get one!

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 Advertising : How To Get People To Visit Your Fashion Store Website

People visiting your website (or traffic as it’s called in the internet world) can be a source of new customers for your fashion retail store.

Fashion retail store online advertising

In my last post, I talked about the advantages of having a website for your retail store. The next step is to discuss ‘traffic’.

Just like in your physical brick’n’morter store, the more people that visit your website, the more new customers and sales you will generate. Before we can look at ways to increase traffic to your retail store website using advertising, let’s examine the ways people usually search for, or come across a website…

Method 1 – SEARCH) They search for an existing brand using a search engine. e.g. They search for "Nike".

Method 2 – SEARCH) They search for an existing product using a search engine. e.g. They search for "Nike SB".

Method 3 – NEWS / PUBLICITY) They skim the news topics in online, or in traditional media, find an interesting fashion article, read it, and then visit your web site.

Method 4 – ONLINE ADVERTISING) They see a product they like advertised on a portal / directory / web site they visit frequently.

Method 5 – OFFLINE ADVERTISING) They see a product they like advertised in traditional media like newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, etc. Then they type the URL of your web site into their web browser, or search online for your store name.

Method 6 – ONLINE LIST ADVERTISING) The product / brand / label is promoted via email to a list of people who have subscribed to receive an e-newsletter. The link in the e-newsletter takes them to your website.

Method 7 – DIRECT) The prospect / customer visits the retail store and at some point visits your fashion web site by typing the URL into their web browser.

These are the main methods of bringing traffic to your retail web site. Most retailers will need to look at utilising several of these marketing methods, not just one. My recommendation is to take some time to sit down to think about and create an online marketing plan and how that plan ties in with your current website design and sales strategy.

For example, are you using your fashion store website to get people to visit your store, or to make a purchase online, or to subscribe to your online newsletter?

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 Industry Contacts – Associations

Australian Retailers Association

I recently received an email request for assistance with finding fashion industry contacts. My advice was to visit a number of Australian association web sites. After sending the reply email, I thought other people may benefit from a list of Australian associations involved with fashion. So here they are.

P.S. If you come across any others or have updated information please make a comment on this page and we’ll update our list.

Fashion Industry Association List. Dated (23rd April 2010).

Australian Fashion Council (AFC)
www.australianfashioncouncil.com

Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia Limited (TFIA)
www.tfia.com.au

National Retail Association (NRA)
www.nra.net.au
NRA has a lot of fashion retailers

The Retailers Association (TRA) – now called United Retail Federation

United Retail Federation
www.unitedretailfederation.com.au
Membership Australia-wide.

Australian Retailers Association (ARA)
www.retail.org.au

Fashion Technicians Association of Australia (FTAA)
www.ftaa.com.au

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!

Should You Let Your Accountant Run Your Fashion Store?

I usually have several conversations a day with fashion retailers… existing clients and people enquiring about our marketing services. One such conversation with a prospect business (not a client) last week (early March 2010) was with an owner of a small fashion store who also managed an accounting firm with his wife. One of first things he said (I won’t mention his real name – but let’s call him Peter) … was "The store isn’t doing well". Peter’s comments weren’t anything new… I’ve been hearing about slow retail sales from mid-January this year (2010).

Fashion Store Accountant

 

When Peter said "The store isn’t doing well", to be honest, I was a little annoyed. Peter and his wife had contacted me in January I had given them one particular strategy to increase sales. Guess what? That’s right, Peter didn’t implement it at all. Two months later he calls to tell me how lousy sales are.

Now this particular strategy had zero cost – yep … zero cost!

Peter’s reason for not implementing the strategy was…. drum roll … "…we were too busy...". Yes, too busy losing money.

Don’t get me wrong, I have good friends who are accountants, but an accountant’s mindset about running a business … is 1) Financial management, and 2) Cost cutting.

Accountants don’t know much about marketing and sales – they foolishly see it as an expense rather than an investment. That’s why big businesses have an accounting department separate to the marketing and sales department. You and I, as entrepreneurs, value accountants for 1) Minimising tax, 2) Preparing accounting statements and keeping the ATO happy, 3) Giving advice about gearing and balance sheets – that’s it – don’t ask an accountant if you should spend more money on marketing!

If you, or anyone else in fashion retailing, is hurting (financially) make fashion marketing and sales your top priority.

About the author. I’m Mark Fregnan, founder of Kinetic Media & Marketing, an Australian consulting business that focuses entirely making our clients MORE PROFIT WITH LESS EFFORT. We understand the financial and time pressures felt by small business owners especially in a competitive marketplace. We rely on our proven marketing and business strategies along with smart systems to produce and maintain a healthy increase in sales and profit for our business clients.

Fashion Merchandising Tips To Increase Sales

Fashion merchandising

Visual merchandising is the activity of promoting the sale of goods by their presentation. Here are some of benefits:

  • Improve your store brand
  • Increase store traffic
  • Increase sales

Where and how fashion clothing, accessories, jewellery and footwear are displayed can make a big impact in a number of ways, including:

  • Style. Establishing visual elements that are consistent with the store brand. For example, signage colour and sizes, lighting, and even the shelf racks say something about the store.
  • Entrance displays. Effective displays will increase store traffic as people walking by will be ‘drawn’ in.
  • Presentation. Sales will increase if the fashion merchandise presentation is appealing to customers.
  • Location. The front of the store, middle, back, side, etc; can make a massive difference to sales of particular items. That’s why most fashion stores change their layout frequently.

But, don’t forget to monitor the effects on sales after changes to the visual presentation. Otherwise the process becomes subjective, rather than scientific. The visual merchandising main aim is to increase store traffic and sales, not to create extra work for your staff in your fashion retail store.

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!

Closures In Retail Expected

A friend of mine sent me a link to a recent 2010 article by the Dominion Post about the typical trend of retail closures just after the Christmas period. i.e. January and February every year. Here is an excerpt from the article…

CLAIRE MCENTEE – The Dominion Post. Original article

"More retail closures could be in store following the rash of holiday receiverships. Several retailers were declared insolvent in January, including 10 Stax fashion stores, electronics store Eastern Hi Fi and Christchurch cycle shop Bike HQ. Three Wellington Mitre 10 stores were put into receivership shortly before Christmas."

"PricewaterhouseCoopers partner John Fisk said businesses that had struggled all year often capitulated in the face of holiday wage costs and a slowdown in turnover. Some retailers were thriving but many had been forced to swallow large rent increases, and there were likely to be some smaller ones hanging on and waiting for their leases to expire so they could close."

"Each insolvency was different – in the case of the Mitre 10 stores poor property investments by the owner were blamed – but a common cause was purchasing the wrong stock and being forced to discount it. ‘That puts pressure on the margins and it can be a slippery slope.’  KPMG head of restructuring and insolvency Shaun Adams said the holiday season was traditionally crunch time for struggling retailers."

So let’s review the main causes from this article and others that I’ve picked up in my business experience over the years:

  • Increases in rent in the New Year.
  • Staff wages costs over the holiday period : Overtime, annual leave pay, etc
  • Purchasing stock that didn’t sell well over the holiday period. Or overstock.
  • Having to discount heavily to compete with other retailers.
  • The sales slump that occurs from mid-January onwards after the Christmas and post-Christmas sales (The exception may be shoe stores that do well with Back-to-School promotions until the first or second week of February).
  • Having to commit to purchase $50k, $100k, $200k or more in stock for the upcoming winter season which puts a strain on balance sheets and bank accounts.

Sound familiar? In my next post I’ll show you some ways to counter these challenges for a typical fashion business. Stay tuned.

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 fashion business clients enjoy better store and label brand exposure, greater cash-flow and more time off to enjoy the finer things in life!

Media Ideas for Fashion Advertising

Fashion magazine stand

The first source of people visiting your retail store is the obvious one – walk or drive by traffic. Besides that, getting your store, brands and/or labels noticed by the public requires some form of advertising. Again, there is a multitude of media and places to advertise. Here are just a few…

  • Your city newspaper
  • Local community newspaper
  • Special interest newspaper
  • Inserts (newspapers)
  • Magazines
  • Industry newsletter
  • Trade journals
  • Yellow Pages
  • Taxi backs and bus sidings
  • Coupon / voucher books
  • Shop-a-dockets
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Internet
  • Mailbox flyers (to residential addresses)
  • Special event signage
  • Sponsorship / Charity
  • Shopping Centre promotions
  • Cinema (which I don’t recommend as an effective media)

Fashion advertising in newspapers

Fashion magazine stand

The choice of media depends on several factors including:

  • Location; whether you have one local store or a chain of stores,
  • General or Specific; whether you sell something specific like baby wear – so speciality media is a better option, and,
  • Cost.

 

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!

Magazine Fashion Advertising

Once you have thought about your target market and have designed your new advertisement aimed at that target market, you can now find out where to advertise. There are literally thousands of places to advertise your fashion items (clothing, footwear and jewellery).

I will discuss various advertising media in future posts on this web site, but for the moment let’s look at one obvious one, which is Print – magazines. To see which particular publication or publications match your target market, look at the readership demographics and psychographics information. Here are some of the ways to do this…

  1. Pop down to your local newsagency and purchase a half dozen magazines based on your understanding of the market for each publication. Read through each magazine to get a feel for the target audience. Which ones are suitable for your fashion advert?
  2. Borrow a copy of the Margaret Gee’s Australian Media Guide (you can usually find one at your state library).

Fashion advertising media guide

The Media Guide is a comprehensive listing of all newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations in Australia together with key journalists’ contact details for each.

  • Contact details (address, phone, fax, email) for both individuals and outlets
  • The advertising rates and deadlines for each publication
  • A concise summary of the audience of various media outlets
  • Precise details regarding subscription, circulation and cover price of each publication

Now we’ve covered fashion advertising style, target audience and have chosen suitable magazine media. Go to it!

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!

All About Fashion Advert Placement

Planning your fashion advertising campaign

Once you have decided what style of fashion advert you want – branding, benefit, sale/offer or event; you need to then think about your target audience before choosing a media to advertise in.

(If you’re not sure which style of fashion advert to use – click here to see our previous post on fashion advertising examples).

Target market questions… What are the demographics and the psychographics of your customers? Are you targeting females from the age of 18 to 30? Are you trying to reach older women with higher disposable incomes? To find out, take this short questionnaire.

Fashion advertising target market

  1. Sex? Male or female or both.
  2. Age bracket?
  3. Price bracket?
  4. Style?
  5. Use? Day wear, evening wear, club wear, casual, formal, bridal, cocktail, etc.
  6. Emotional appeal? To look sexy, to look younger, to look older, to look professional, to look wealthy and successful, to look powerful and in control (i.e. business women and men), to look desirable, fun loving, thrill seeking, etc.

Fashion advertising example - urban wear

The next step is to find a photographer, models and items of fashion (clothing, footwear and jewellery) that communicate that message in one visual image. If you’ve advertised to brand your fashion business and labels before you’ll know all about it.

What’s our take on fashion advertising? Simply, almost all fashion businesses and retailers prefer to focus entirely on expensive advertising to generate new customers with little or no effort taken to retain customers using good internal branding or marketing systems. Such systems maximise customer retention which in turn creates more word-of-mouth advertising and referrals – much cheaper!

For more information about how to achieve this in your fashion business, request a copy of our ‘Marketing Secrets Of Top Fashion Retailers!‘ – click here to download your copy.

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!

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…
shadow

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!

To receive your Fashion Marketing Mini-Course simply complete the form below and click the ‘FREE Instant Access’ button.

FREE Mini-Course request form :    
Full name:   *** IMPORTANT : The report will be emailed to you, so please ensure you have correctly entered your email address.
Email Address:  
 

27 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying A Fashion Retail Business

I met the husband and wife owners of a small retail shop recently. The business was running at a $65,000 (approx) annual loss. They had purchased the business over 12 months ago and had been steadily losing money. I looked briefly at their books and realised they had paid too much for the business. On top of that, both of them had no retail business experience and they had decided to cut out all of the advertising that the previous business owner had been running – due to cost reasons only.

I asked them how much research and due diligence had they conducted before buying the business. I was shocked by their response…

Don't sign to purchase a fashion retail store without doing your homework

"We asked the solicitor who was performing the business settlement service if the business was a good buy."

In otherwords, they asked after the sale… Talk about throwing money away. Needless to say, they no longer have any available capital to invest in marketing or anything else. The outcome will be to close up shop and accept the loss, and the lesson.

 

This is real important…

I’ve spoken to and met with many business owners who have paid too much for their business (and not just fashion retailers – all types of businesses). It’s like paying $100,000 extra for a house. The problem is that usually the extra capital has been borrowed which puts a strain on the business cashflow. Often it’s very difficult to recover from this situation.

To gain $100,000 in net profit in a fashion retail store may require at least an additional $800,000 in sales revenue (i.e. on a 12.5% net profit margin).

$800k in ‘additional’ (over and above existing) sales revenue which isn’t a very easy thing to achieve in a short-time frame, i.e. 12 months.

So how do you actually avoid this type of business disaster?

Do your homework – Ask yourself these questions…

1. What do I want from being in business?

  • Freedom to do ‘my’ thing?
  • Be an entrepreneur?
  • To make more money than being an employee?
  • Work fewer than 30 hours a week?

2. Why am I going into a fashion retail business?

  • For lifestyle (to work fewer than 40 hours per week, with the freedom to go on holidays whenever you choose)
  • To make a profit by building the business up (increasing sales) and then selling it.
  • To generate more cash-flow than than a 9-to-5 job.

If your reasons are not listed above (lifestyle or profit) – don’t buy the business. If you want to be involved in retailing out of interest and passion for fashion – honestly it’s much safer to be an employee.

3. What will be my exit strategy to get out of the business?

  • Sell the business for a profit
  • Sell the business to a major shareholder(s) and become a silent partner
  • Pass the business down to a family member
  • Franchise

4. What skills do I have that will make me successful in this business?

Please don’t think that all that is required to ‘improve’ the business is cosmetic – by changing fashion labels or re-designing the store interior. Unless the store has poor stock and an ugly showroom – these ‘improvements’ won’t double sales.

Only very good marketing, a good sales team and good systems will increase sales significantly. Sorry, I’ve seen many business owners take over an existing fashion retail store – changing labels and interior perhaps at best has increased sales by 30% initially and then nothing after that.

5. What skills will I have to “hire in”?

  • Sales staff/assistants
  • Bookkeeper
  • Fashion buyer/consultant
  • Sales trainer
  • Outsource marketing?

6. What monthly cash-flow do I need?

  • To pay myself a decent wage
  • To cover all the retail business expenses
  • To cover the repayments if I borrow to purchase the business
  • Additional business profit

7. How much working capital do I have access to?

Can I get an overdraft to cover seasonal buying?

8. Will this business suit me i.e. hours, type of operation?

To ask the vendor who is selling the business…

9. How long has the business been operating?

10. How long has the current owner had the business?

11. Why is the current owner selling?

  • Worn out from working long hours for little money?
  • Couldn’t make the business work (perhaps in it’s current location)?
  • Actual legitimate reasons such as retiring, moving to another state or country, or looking for another challenge in another business?

If it’s retiring – also be aware that may business owners in their 50/60s hang on to a unprofitable business (maybe paying themselves a very basic wage) because it was too difficult for them to have sold earlier and got a job.

12. What is the Cash flow and Profit (Gross and Net) for the business?

13. What is the business owner paying him/herself?

14. What do the last 3 years of financial accounts show?

15. How has the business been valued?

16. Who are the key customers, suppliers, staff?

17. What are the terms and length of any leases?

18. Will the current owner stay on and assist for a period of time?

Ask them to put this period in WRITING!

19. What areas of the fashion retail business are systemised?

For example:

  • Point-of-sale (POS)
  • Bookkeeping
  • Marketing / customer marketing systems
  • Website / social media (e.g. Facebook)
  • E-commerce website

20. Is there a business plan?

21. How many hours a week does the current owner work in the business?

22. When was the last time the current owner took a holiday?

23. What is the marketing systems like? Do they make money for the business?

Review all advertising material, the customer database, the POS systems, any loyalty programs, special promotional material, etc.

24. What facts support the "story" of the business?

25. How secure is future income i.e. contracts with customers and suppliers?

26. How dependent is the business on the current owner?

27. What will it take to grow the business so I can sell it for a profit?

Fashion stock

Often this is the BIG ONE – many fashion retailers overcapitalise in stock in relation to the store sales annual turnover. Ask your accountant is there is too much capital tied up in stock on the balance sheet. If there is – don’t buy the business!!! Tell the vendor. You can either wait until they sell down the surplus stock at regular prices, or they can offload it at cost. Don’t let their past buying decisions become your problem!

Before you make an offer

1. Get your accountant to check the financial accounts

Obtain actual lodged tax returns with the government, not the business owner’s printout or handwritten bookkeeping summary.

Your accountant will ensure that the business has cashflow and is not over-capalised.

2. Hire a solicitor who is experienced in buying fashion retail businesses like the one you are looking at.

Your solicitor will ensure that the contracts with suppliers, the landlord, etc don’t have any surprises.

3. If you are spending over $250,000 on the business, or even if you want to be extra careful, pay for a business valuation.

Pay a licenced valuer to come in and audit the business. Even if you have to spend $7,000 for the valuation, it’s still much better than paying $50,000, $100,000 or more than you should have to buy the business.

You may even be able to ‘use’ the valuation to negotiate a better price.

The lesson

Homework always pays off in business. Sure, there is a lot of questions (above) – but, like with real-estate, the profit often is made when you buy the business, not when you sell. Taking shortcuts and buying a business on emotion often lead to regrets. Don’t let this happen to you.

« Previous Page