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Pretend you own a clothing store.... - Page 2

post #16 of 36
Pretending I have a clothing store....

Okay, I've given away all of my money, now what?
post #17 of 36
It'd involve old hardwood floors, a piano, Canadian brands ('cause I got national pride thing going on), tea, the baller boots thread, and swing dancing.
post #18 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereis View Post

Boutiques are a financial dead end. If you love clothes but don't know how to make them yourself (or don't care to) then you can go into the marketing or management side of things if you really want to make a career in the industry.

Stores that have a solid online presence, like Tres Bien, probably do alright.
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stazy View Post

What brands would carry, how would you design your space, would you sell women's and men's clothing, and how would you differentiate yourself from everyone else?
Thought it might be interesting to see where this goes. Feel free to discuss any other relevant topics.

local retail only

carry what no one else has ... this is very important. cater to womens wear first and then move to menswear once established (2-3 years down the road).

the key to success in the clothing business is finding quality lines that nobody else has. promote/advertise in creative ways. pay for advertising in smaller underground local publications (every city has them). once you are open 6 months advertise in larger or main stream local publications.

find the right buyer for your medium. you need to offer your customer a reason to come into your store and spend money. you need to be open to many different styles. instinctively you will only want to carry what you like. if you get in that mind-set shut the door now because you wont be around long.

treat each customer as if your business depends on it. it does not matter if the customer is buying a pair of socks or 4 pairs of shoes. each and every customer needs to feel that you have her/his best interest in making them feel good in clothing that no one else has.

offer specific items you thing your customer will look good in. push them to try new styles. people are creatures of habit ... do them a favor by introducing them to pieces they would not normally consider.

dont not offer latte's or food. its a clothing store.

offer tailor services (very important).

buy real high-end furniture for your store. you only need a few pieces but make sure it is from a real furniture designer.

dont worry about having sales. if you pick the right lines and establish value in each product you have people will not care about buying at a discount.

you need to focus on high-end lines ... do not sell shit.

do not support clothing lines/designers that are produced in china or asian sweat shops.

plan to work 60+ hours a week for at least 6 months and plan to not see any profit for at least 12 months.

pay your sales people a base pay + commission. you are making at least 100% profit so you can afford to pay your help at least 25% of gp.

keep overhead low. do not buy a huge space. carefully selected 600+ sq ft (plus storage space) will be more the enough.

if you do it right it will be fun. if you follow the path of everyone else and do not do the above (at least in part) it will not be fun and you will fold in 18 month (if not sooner).
post #20 of 36
I'd sell RVCA , Seavees and some watered down Americana brands...
post #21 of 36
Me and my friend asked ourselves the same question...

and came up with The Dredgers Union.
post #22 of 36
whatever123, that is pretty damn good.

I did some consulting for a few boutiques last year and I think that everything you said above is very accurate with the exception of the no coffee/food and the buying furniture.

Customers, especially in high end mens stores, love dumb shit like espressos, or a glass of wine, or some scotch. It makes them feel 'special' and more comfortable.

Also, no need to actually buy high end furniture. There is no shortage of high end furniture makers that will co-sign you pretty much whatever you want. Much better model to get the stuff you need for free with the chance to make some extra income selling it.

The biggest mistake that stores make is treating their employees like shit and not paying them enough which of course creates tons of turnover, laziness, etc and costs them more than simply paying fairly in the first place. The space issue is a big one too. Less is more in a boutique. You have to keep your fixed costs as low as possible and less space is the easiest way to do so.
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desi View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
If we being serious, I would stock menswear and womens mid-priced brands of clothing, shoes, and accessories. Mainly from American designers that I like but still have some basic market appeal. Not too out there that it would "offend people" but not too pedestrian that customers would complain about the 230 dollar blouse. Important for the names to ring a bell as well since customers would correlate popularity or the "vogue effect" to quality.

Men: Ben Minkoff, Robert Geller, Rachel Comey (footwear only), Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, NikeGyakusou, Patrik Ervell, Siki Im, Zero+Maria, Common Projects

Women: Gary Graham, Reed Krakoff, Rachel Comey (whole collection), Zero+Maria, Phillip lim, Alexander Wang (well he brings money), Patrik Ervell, Jeffrey Campbell (money), Tory (uh huh), Pamela Love, Theyskens' Theory

Probably a few brands from overseas that I think would work in the area given the chance: Chronicles of Never, Carin Wester, Schneider, Dr. Martens (the cash flows), McQ (name recognition), Chris & Tibor, Nike Gyakusou, Raf Simons 1995, etc etc

I love candy so candy shop with a mini-book stand would be very interesting. Though the magazines I read don't use nearly any of the listed brands I would stock; 10 men, fantastic man, gentlwoman, elle collections UK, Industrie, Acne Paper. Running weekly workshops would be interesting and keep the store in the news.

The real factor is price and location. If I was in Baltimore it would be impossible to sell brands like Dries, Celine, McQueen, Narciso Rodriguez, Juun J, Missoni, Undercoverism, The Row, and Marni. My stocklist is also too long but I just felt like covering all bases and keeping too about 2-3 aesthetics max for the overall store.

Sounds like you've almost exactly described Bird, a boutique in Brooklyn that is pretty popular.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stazy View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
This is basically why I started the thread. I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about what I'd like to do if I owned a clothing store. I think it would be sweet to somehow have a cafe/clothing store hybrid to make the location more of a social experience. I'm not sure how it could be successfully executed though.
I doubt it will ever happen but it's fun to think about.

Saturdays Surf did this successfully, there are always lots of people lounging around drinking coffee and shooting the shit on the back patio. That said, I might want to do something like this, although I think their actual wares are pretty stupid. Will think about it some more and try to get a more insightful post.
post #24 of 36
I've been to bird a few times and can see some similarities though I dislike the vast separation of mens and women in their Williamsburg location. Beautiful fitting room doors though and a pretty good even if safe buyer.
post #25 of 36
just curious, are there any high-end stores that only conduct business online?
post #26 of 36
i think ssense? but i'm not 100% sure
post #27 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tween_spirit View Post

Sounds like you've almost exactly described Bird, a boutique in Brooklyn that is pretty popular.
Saturdays Surf did this successfully, there are always lots of people lounging around drinking coffee and shooting the shit on the back patio. That said, I might want to do something like this, although I think their actual wares are pretty stupid. Will think about it some more and try to get a more insightful post.

For customers who initially sit at the cafe, it would be pretty cool to give them a tablet with the current stock on it, they could select items they want to try on, and then have the items ready for them once they're done their coffee. Wouldn't be very hard (or expensive) to do and it would be kind of a unique experience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DECEMBER View Post

just curious, are there any high-end stores that only conduct business online?

Mr Porter.
post #28 of 36
Barneys has that except the interface is built into the cafe table. One big communal table with touchscreen, articles, blogs, and stock available at every seat.
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by thatguymj View Post

whatever123, that is pretty damn good.
I did some consulting for a few boutiques last year and I think that everything you said above is very accurate with the exception of the no coffee/food and the buying furniture.
Customers, especially in high end mens stores, love dumb shit like espressos, or a glass of wine, or some scotch. It makes them feel 'special' and more comfortable.
Also, no need to actually buy high end furniture. There is no shortage of high end furniture makers that will co-sign you pretty much whatever you want. Much better model to get the stuff you need for free with the chance to make some extra income selling it.
The biggest mistake that stores make is treating their employees like shit and not paying them enough which of course creates tons of turnover, laziness, etc and costs them more than simply paying fairly in the first place. The space issue is a big one too. Less is more in a boutique. You have to keep your fixed costs as low as possible and less space is the easiest way to do so.

i wanna consult. i would love to leave goldman. smile.gif
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desi View Post

Barneys has that except the interface is built into the cafe table. One big communal table with touchscreen, articles, blogs, and stock available at every seat.

sounds like a terrible social experience
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