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Considering a Big Physical Sale...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by discostu004, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. discostu004

    discostu004 Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    i was going to put this in the "selling" section but didn't feel it was a direct sale offer. as most know i'm basically strictly internet, with the exception of a few people who know i do this and stop by, so i'm not a "retail" store. Currently i have nearly 2,500 individual items and will stock up again in late august. my wife and i (our only 2 employees) were discussing renting a retail space for a friday-sunday big sale. i've been thinking about this for awhile now but never seriously enough to do it, but i finally figured whatever $$$ i spend on it will tell me if there's a market for it here in Lubbock or not. i know some on here operate some kind of retail places, what things do i need to consider? Here's what i have come up with:
    Credit card terminals
    a good location that is easy to reach
    employees
    moving everything and setting up
    advertising

    right now i feel the CC terminals and location shouldn't be a problem, neither will employees. I know enough people who have responsible kids who probably would do it. the moving will be a big chore but is doable obviously. i don't know anything about advertising except that i carry some lines that a local "high-end" store carries (charvet, lorenzini, canali, brioni) and feel if i advertise right it could be pretty big b/c this store NEVER puts their charvet, brioni on anything but a 15% or so discount. i thought about putting something like the names of the labels i carry that would resonate with the locals and then 70% off retail, stuff like that.

    any opinions? i'm guessing it would be like the sales on Seventh avenue by loro piana and everyone else, except i live in lubbock, tx and not NYC or any other place that:
    a. has people who know what a "borrelli" is (sic)
    b. has people who would realize that a $450 borrelli shirt for $159 or a $600 pair of Borrelli slacks for $199 is actually a pretty good deal
    c. has people who will actually spend any kind of money on such stuff to make it a financially feasible thing to do.

    that's the gamble. of course you guys are welcome to hop a plane to the big bad LBK and check it out if we do it, but i'm always interested in opinions especially from people who have such experience on the "other" end of shopping
     
  2. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    What about putting everything in a truck and taking it to Dallas, and renting space there? I suppose I can see your agreement with the store you buy from (Korschak?) prohibiting this kind of retail competition.

    I don't know Lubbock well, other than that one guy I went to law school with was from there -- he was brilliant and positively the funniest guy in our class.

    In any case, I think alot depends on who your target buyers are - - how many of them there are in the Lubbock area and how you get them to come to your sale.
     
  3. fkl118

    fkl118 Senior member

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    Don't forget about security, even if the rental space is within a mall.
    Hire one or two cops.
     
  4. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I thought Disco Stu doesn't advertise.
     
  5. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Senior member

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    where the hell is lubbock, again? If it is in west texas anywhere, I might be able to get there from time to time.
     
  6. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    hahaha.

    Although, shouldn't your post RJman be in the streetware and denim forum?

    Jon.
     
  7. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    (RJMan @ April 06 2005,14:55) I thought Disco Stu doesn't advertise.
    hahaha. Although, shouldn't your post RJman be in the streetware and denim forum? Jon.
    I don't give a flying butt thong about the streetwear and denim forum.
     
  8. JohnMS

    JohnMS Senior member

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    I say have the sale in the Kingsgate Center, right by Malouf's. And of course with each purchase of $1,000 or over, dinner at the County Line.
     
  9. discostu004

    discostu004 Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    can't do it in dallas b/c of Korshak.

    Lubbock is 5 hours from dallas, 5 hours from albuquerque, NM, 5 hours from Oklahoma city, 1.5 hrs from amarillo

    cops, i think i might have that covered w/ an old BB player who's 6'8 270 and likes to wear vests w/ no t-shirt.  that MIGHT be enough to prohibit people from stealing

    i really SHOULD do it near malouf's but my wife thought that that shopping center's lease might include restrictions on "same biz" kinds of stores.


    i thought about this and brought up this point: malouf's is a high-end store in a space where the lease pmts have to be HUGE. they never run good sales, usually if something is $129, they mark it down to maybe 100. brioni or oxxford suits that were 3,000 are like 2,600 and they have been in biz 50 years so SOMEBODY is buying from them, i would think if i could tap this market with comparable and better clothing (borrelli suits, isaia, some kiton etc) all at 70% off, it could be a veritible zoo
     
  10. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    I think reaching your target audience with the right advertising is a big "if". Also, I know the demographics of the bigger TX cities (Houston, SA, Dallas, Austin) well enough to be more comfortable thinking you could find your target market there. I think the Dallas suggestion is good, but I would also think that effective advertising in a bigger city would be more difficult.

    In any case, good luck with whatever you try.

    dan
     
  11. JohnMS

    JohnMS Senior member

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    Lance,

    I was just kidding on the Malouf's thing. I've never seen much of a sale there myself.

    Regarding people who buy at Malouf's, I asked one of the sales persons there a couple of years ago about their customers and he indicated at the time that 70% of their sales are from out of the Lubbock area. Many, he said, just call in what they want because they have their measurements/sizes on file.

    But I think you're right, if you can tap into the locals...
     
  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    These people account for a big chunk, if not the bulk, of sales at pretty much all the highend stores like Bergdorfs too - not the same clientele who will stand in line for Helmut Lang sample sales.

    Lubbock, TX, my fiancee tells me (lived in Houston) is up near the panhandle. I can't really see that there are thousands of displaced metrosexuals (it's nearly all men's clothing., right?)there wanting a really good deal on Kiton and Borrelli - but I've been wrong about these things more than once. Maybe you ought to advertise your sale in publications in the larger municipalities maybe up to 3 or four hours away from your sales location...

    As for cops... The basketball player may do it. But there is something about a blue uniform and a gun that makes things just a little more intimidating. I mean, the B-ball player may be able to kick your ass, but you still have a good chance of outrunning him if you've got a bit of a start and good legs. Running away from a cop, on the other hand...

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  13. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    What about a direct mail postcard to the "right" zip codes in town? Or you could engage in some corporate espionage and get the Malouf's mailing list... [​IMG]
     
  14. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    (imageWIS @ April 06 2005,12:02)
    I thought Disco Stu doesn't advertise.
    hahaha. Although, shouldn't your post RJman be in the streetware and denim forum? Jon.
    I don't give a flying butt thong about the streetwear and denim forum.
    [​IMG] HAHAHAHAHAHAHA [​IMG] Jon.
     
  15. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    What about holding your sale in one of the many suburbs of Dallas...Denton, Irving (Fort Worth [​IMG] )....? Also, I'd suggest more than one security guy. Young mischief makers might take a risk that one sacrificial lamb to distract him might actually be able to outrun someone 6-8, 270.
     
  16. discostu004

    discostu004 Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    i'm thinking of giving my security guard 2 sets of brass knucks just in case. he's very menacing.

    i knew they did a lot of phone business, i just can't imagine to whom. true story: i bought a corneliani jacket from them one time, like in 1997 and i was in there 2 or 3 YEARS later and they had 1 left just like it, and this wasn't a basic jacket, very plaid and distinctive. they won't mark something down 60-70% to clear some old stuff out, just mark it on sale and if it doesn't sell, take the sale tag off and put it back to full retail.
     
  17. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    Can you get someone to slip you a copy of malouf's mailing list? Or, is there some high-falootin men's club or country club or city magazine or charity or art gallery or something in Lubbock that might be willing to sell to your their mailing list? That might get your ad (in the form of a letter or postcard) in front of the target audience. Or, perhaps you could place an ad in that high-falootin city magazine.
     
  18. sashae

    sashae Senior member

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    You could always do a blowout for all of us loving StyleForum folks who would be more than happy to take some fine clothing off your hands at a steep discount [​IMG] Of course, we're merely trying to help. -s
     
  19. discostu004

    discostu004 Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    we're members of the country club, so we have that list from the directory and that's in our plans. i'd LOVE to get malouf's list, but i'll also probably target some doctors around town that i know. i'd LOVE to sell it all to you guys, but given that i have about 1.35M at the retail value, it'd take a whole lot of purchases by you guys, but i'm willing.
     
  20. Matt

    Matt Senior member

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    Hi Lance

    Getting a bit concerned about your overheads now, since you are talking about running this at 70 percent discounts.

    So far we have:

    Venue rental, an ever increasing number of security staff, plus also likely some kind of security tagging and detectors as well (which could cost anything), credit card and register rental, presumably shelving rental, staffing costs, not to mention the marketing costs for DM/other means...which could run very high by the time you purchase the database, arrange the printing and arrange the distribution...and all in a relatively small market.

    This is why your clotheshorse is virtual to begin with, right :)

    May I offer a completely random alternate suggestion?

    Conduct the sale at the country club, donating 10% of sales to some charity project the club is involved in (or to whatever renovation the club is doing at the time). Zero venue rental (your part of their agenda), youll still need to staff it of course, but they have security provided anyhow at the club, and since its for a good cause (ie them), members and guests unlikely to give you too much of a security problem, theyll market it to their database and through their bulletin boards for you, so it cuts your overheads way down.

    And if you dont sell enough...do the public one later.

    Just a thought

    Matt
     

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