We are back after the holiday season. We want to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and successful 2012!
Before the holidays we talked about the “WHY” of luxury eyewear. We will always continue to focus on “WHY” and circle back to this in future posts.
Now, we also need to focus on “HOW”. “HOW” is about buying, selling, and marketing. And remember – I am not advocating changing your entire product mix and becoming a luxury store. I am simply saying you need to embrace luxury product as part of your overall strategy as it is the best way to help you create that point of view we all strive for.
- How can we develop a specific luxury strategy and incorporate it into the overall retail strategy?
- What tools do we need?
- What initiatives should we undertake?
Any overall strategy must include not only GREAT product but also THE RIGHT product for the environment. And someone has to “buy it”.
This post and the next few posts will focus on BUYING.
I must admit, I have never been a retail buyer nor have I ever worked in a retail store. However, in my 20 years of experience sitting on the other side of “the table” I have seen successful buying strategies and “not so successful” buying strategies. I have worked with retail stores ranging from Wal-Mart to Neiman Marcus and everyone in between, as well as hundreds (maybe thousands) of eyecare professionals and independent retailers. I figure that is a pretty good perspective.
Here are some TOP TIPS on buying Luxury Eyewear:
1. There is an old adage out there – its quality and NOT quantity. In this case its quality AND quantity – nothing looks worse than 6 pieces of a collection. Buy 20 pieces at least. Ideally, you need 36 to 50 to make something look meaningful. Look at the most successful retailers. They buy deep and they show they believe in brands/collections.
2. Reorder what sells – don’t be happy you sold it – support the business that sells. The worst mistake a retailer can make is to be “happy” something sold. In most cases (not all), the items which sell are the best sellers… you always need these to make money. And the best sellers also help the slow movers.
3. Evaluate your assortment – make sure you have product for your different types of clientele – take into consideration the different income levels of your consumer base, the gender mix, and your consumer’s varying fashion interests. Make sure you have the right assortment that will appeal to the majority of your patients/consumers.
4. Develop a matrix so you can track what you have in your assortment and what you need to add to your current assortment.
5. Do a patient survey so you can learn…. In short, you need to know your clientele and the different tastes they have. You don’t need every brand or collection under the sun. If you buy properly, you can always satisfy 99% of your customers with fewer brands/collections.
To summarize, I believe in the KISS method – “keep it simple, stupid”. Developing a luxury strategy and a buying strategy does not need to break the bank or create unnecessary anxiety. All you need is some focus, courage, and commitment and you will very soon start to see results!
In the next post we will have MORE buying tips. Stay tuned.
Lastly, it would not be a post without some Culture Corner updates. Check them out!