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Opinions Needed on High End vs Low End

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Get Smart, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Get Smart

    Get Smart Senior member

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    I have a friend who has a retail storefront in W LA that sells her own line of menswear (caters primarily to young guys who arent in the habit of dressing up but are starting to get interested in it since new indie bands all dress up these days) and the clothes aren't particularly well made but have the "right look"

    Her pricing is in the dreaded "middle range" where it's not cheap (esp for the material/quality) but it's definitely not high end pricing either.

    So my question is...she wants to perhaps go upscale using quality materials and production and charge accordingly....or go really really affordable and make it even cheaper. *My* preference is to go high end rather than cheaper, since we're in LA guys can and will pay for expensive clothes so the demographic could support a move like that. But it's obviously more risky since she'd probably move less merch.

    So what would be the better marketing move, going upscale (say $9-1000 for a better made suit) or cheaper ($2-300 for a suit)?
     
  2. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Senior member

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    If she is so inclined, I've always wondered why not more independent shops try to combine high-end vintage with high-endish newer goods.

    Didn't Jeremy Hackett start out that way, and later segued into building his own brit-RL brand image? Or am I thinking of Sir Paul Smith?
     
  3. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

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    At the ~1000 range, the suits would be competing with a variety of other brands and tailors that might be the preference of shoppers who actually care about quality. At the lower end, there's little truly stylish clothing, so if she can do it, she'll have an easier time of it, I think. The people who look at fashion spreads, for example, can't see how $1200 Lobbs are 3 times better than $400, and probably wouldn't care much, anyway. There are a lot of those kinds of people out there.
     
  4. StevenRocks

    StevenRocks Senior member

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    Going upscale is tricky. your friend needs to evaluate her sales a little more and see if the market she's catering to can comfortably afford to go upmarket.

    There is plenty of data out there she can access. If she has a merchant account with them, American Express will provide her with detailed demographic information for a neighborhood or customer base for little to no charge.
     
  5. Get Smart

    Get Smart Senior member

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    *Ideally* it would be nice to have a product like Saque Suit...something in the $600 range that is actually worth $600 and contains some real quality (I've never seen a Saque in real life but the word seems to be good) with a fashionable aesthetic, if it were easily do-able.
     
  6. Get Smart

    Get Smart Senior member

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    There is plenty of data out there she can access. If she has a merchant account with them, American Express will provide her with detailed demographic information for a neighborhood or customer base for little to no charge.


    right on..i will pass on that nugget of info!
     
  7. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    I think it is very easy to overestimate the sophistication of consumers, even in brand-conscious/style-conscious markets in LA. That's the problem I see with going high-end. How many people can spot really good construction and materials, and make their purchases accordingly? I know plenty of people who deem themselves to be picky and well-informed about clothes, and end up buying fused Tessuto E. Zegna suits just because the label said "Zegna." How many people (present company excepted) know the difference between a fused suit and a canvas one, and can tell the difference just by eyeballing the product?

    If she is able to create a distinctive enough style at the lower end, I think the opportunity is greater--so long as she gets her pricing right.
     
  8. tiger02

    tiger02 Senior member

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    Get Smart, I tend to agree with you on this one. Don't look at it as competing with other $1000 suits for the attention of guys who already look for quality--look at it as upselling to guys who want to look like their band-heroes. Since it's her own line she also controls merchandising and most importantly sales. Bring in a hip, passionate sales staff who can explain the high-end details without sounding stodgy and you'll do all right.

    Going lower end would have her competing with H&M and Zara. That is *not* a market I would want to attack.

    Tom
     

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