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Ideas for Jewelry & Accessory Businesses
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A NUMBER OF EXCITING ideas came out of the Piper Jaffray retail conference in New York City recently where new ways of coping with the continuing recession uncovered a number of creative solutions to sagging sales. While many retailers recounted their experiences with cutting costs and inventories in order to improve their profit and loss statements, others gave encouraging examples of how they are fine-tuning marketing strategies and taking advantage of new opportunities for expansion and growth.  

 

Using the internet and examining secondary markets came up high on the list of workable business techniques for now and the future.   

 

According to Nordstrom’s vice president and treasurer Rob Campbell, “The upscale retailer’s focus remains on providing a compelling merchandise offering to meet the evolving needs of the customer.”  One way the firm is doing this is by expanding private label offerings.

 

                                                    Extended Reach

 

EXTENDING THE COMPANY’S retail reach is still another strategy for improving sales figures.  Adrian Kowalewski, chief financial officer of American Apparel, Inc. pointed out that there are many under-penetrated urban markets in the United States, Canada and  abroad.  “We believe there’s an opportunity to reach beyond young metropolitan adults,” Kowalewski asserted. 

 

The financial executive also discussed the advantages of keeping the firm’s wholesale business viable, saying.  “It allows us to keep costs down while building our retail business.”  In-house production means faster inventory turns, and faster turns mean higher revenue potential. 

 

CHOOSING MERCHANDISE WITH A HIGH VALUE-TO-PRICE RATIO IS JUST ONE OF SEVERAL SUCCESSFUL RETAIL STRATEGIES.  GETTING IT DELIVERED WHEN YOU WANT IT IS ANOTHER.  HERE ARE SOME PRODUCTS THAT FIT THE BILL:

 

  • Good-looking church hat with brim down.  This classy hat has a beautiful, squared crown and is decorated with a spray of horsehair loops and tiny crystals.  Very sophisticated!

 

 

 

 

                                     Manufacturing Abroad?

 

AMERICAN APPAREL DOES FACE a double-sworded problem, however, with its local manufacturing system. On one hand, manufacturing abroad could mean lower costs. On the other, it would mean compromising the company’s reputation for “Made in America.”  As Kowalewski put it:  “That could erode the brand.”

 

Other important strategies discussed at the meeting included:

 

   —Exclusivity.  “If you own anything others own, you are vulnerable to the competition selling it at a lower price,” declared J. Crew Group chairman and CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler.

 

   —Inventory streamlining.  “It is critical to our fast-fashion business to stay lean and to turn inventory as quickly as possible,” said Wet Seal executive vice president and CFO Steven Benrubi.

 

                                  Hi-Tech or Slow-Growth

 

INTERNET MARKETING is another increasingly important avenue for retail operations. J. Crew’s Drexler has said that his company will shortly launch e-commerce for its Madewell unit.  “We want to keep growing,” he asserted.  “The world is going where it’s going.  We’re not going to fight it.”

 

J. C. Penney’s senior vice president of corporate strategy, Jim Kenney, perhaps said it best when discussing how his company is articulating its value proposition, not reinventing its basic identity.

 

“We don’t want to be the slowest turtle,” he declared, “but the fact is, if you are the fastest turtle, you are still a turtle.”

 

KNOWING WHO YOU ARE, AND WHO YOUR CUSTOMER IS, CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN SUCCESSFULLY RIDING OUT THE RECESSION.  HERE ARE SOME PRODUCTS THAT CAN HELP KEEP YOU GROUNDED IN YOUR OWN IDENTITY:

 

So…you’re a costume jewelry retailer?  Here’s a product that will fit your business: 

 

 

Teens make up a significant part of your customer base?  Cater to them with this:

 

  • An ankle bracelet with dangling heart and lock charms comes carded with a title “Love” and a verse by George Sand:

                                        “There is only one happiness in life,

                                           To love and be loved.”

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Saturday, June 27th, 2009


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