ALL RETAILERS KNOW you have to constantly freshen merchandise to maximize sales. Customers either inquire if you have the latest (and specific) fashion item they want to buy, or may simply ask you, “What’s new and exciting?” Most stores have a specific mix of items and work within that context. This gives them their identity and builds a customer base for repeat sales.
For one Manhattan boutique, IT’S THE IDENTITY THAT WILL CHANGE, at set intervals (currently, every two months), to excite existing patrons, and attract new buyers. One part of the signage that will be static is the name of the company: Scoop. The second half of the signage will change every other month, AS WILL THE CHARACTER OF THE STORE’S MERCHANDISE! Right now, the sign reads Scoop After Dark —so you know the store is focused on night-on-the-town wear and accessories, BUT ONLY UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY! In February, it will take on a totally new personality in a new themed merchandise mix, with a new and provocative name on that second half of the sign, all as yet to be decided.
The boutique was formerly Scoop’s discount outlet, and smallish, under 800 square feet. It’s acting as a TESTING GROUND for management for this unique chameleon concept. Later, with store stats in hand, management will assay how much work is really involved, how customers react to the quick-change program, and whether the level of profit makes it all worthwhile.
EXCITEMENT ALWAYS SELLS. HERE ARE SOME HOT IDEAS TO FRESHEN YOUR OWN STOCK, PRESTO! TRY THESE:
- Black and Gold Murano Style Glass Necklace. Modern look, classic beauty!
- Below Elbow Satin Gloves. These add an aura of elegance to any formal or evening occasion.
IS THIS VISIONARY MERCHANDISING??
The Scoop chain currently has fourteen units, with three others ON THE SAME BLOCK as Scoop
After Dark, and each of the stores has distinct character. The discount operation has been relocated to the lower level of SCOOP ACTIVE (the name defines the active sportswear and accessories featured there). The other two stores are for each of the sexes: SCOOP NYC (ladies contemporary specialties) and SCOOP MEN’S.
The chain is definitely upscale, and the perks of higher pricing should provide leeway for management to transform the test store in a provocative and effective manner every eight weeks. But sources do need lead time, sales staff must be knowledgeable, and exchanges could be tricky if a purchase is made at Scoop After Dark, and returned the next week at, say, Scoop Casual. You know that, by now, management has figured out how all this is going to work, and they’ve decided they have the systems to deal with it.
One thing is certain, “new idea” is a fitting label for Scoop After Dark, and lots of added excitement will stem from SIMPLE CHATS WITH PATRONS BY SALES STAFF about the short life of each store theme (only 8 weeks, remember), and the oncoming thrill of a new store persona, again and again. Who wouldn’t be intrigued to come back and see what fresh theme and what all-new merchandise choices would be coming next?
BUT EVERYONE NEEDS QUALITY PRODUCTS THAT KEEP PACE WITH CURRENT TRENDS– AT DOWN-TO-EARTH PRICING. SO LOOK HERE:
- Leatherette Evening Bag: silver or washed gold. Measures 6” x 8”, gathered at the top with crystal studded fold-over closure. Tuck in the chain handle and use as clutch. Stunning!
- Stylized Flower Brooch. Layered crystal forms a stylized flower. Gold plate, amber crystals sit over champagne Murano style glass stones. Magnificent accent jewelry gives new dimension to apparel.
There have been high-level executive changes since Scoop was acquired by Yucaipa in 2007. Retailing in general has been difficult for several years, but imaginative top brass like Scoop’s are determined to flourish. And we not only wish them the best, but we’re certain the outlook is great!