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Ideas for Jewelry & Accessory Businesses
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THE EVOLUTION OF THE CONSUMER: They call it “cashing out,” and what it means is getting rid of what isn’t wanted anymore, and bringing in only what is truly needed.  It has to do with living a simpler life, a life without excess, without clutter.  It follows the “less is more” philosophy that points out that you can literally be ruled by material things when you have too much.

So, what does this mean to Fashion Accessory retailers?  Plenty!  As many industry publications point out, this is the dawn of a new consumer age.  Shopping habits have changed.  To be successful in this new environment, retailers have to be aware of what is going on with the consumer, and begin catering to her new set of values and habits. 

Some major points regarding the new buyer:  She is much more frugal.  She waits for sales to shop, and she is highly price sensitive.  She often trades down.  She buys on line, and she researches what she wants and where she can get it online. 

Some analysts say she exhibits little brand loyalty, others say brand loyalty is important in many purchases, and she often looks for brands that are time tested.  She wants value and she wants to be able to trust the products she does buy.

AFFORDABLE ACCESSORIES:  Just about everybody in the accessories game right now is offering a new package of products based on affordability.  It echoes back to what we noted just above, regarding that new, frugal consumer who is looking to save money on what she buys. The new products aren’t just cheap, or even cheaper.  They are a whole new kind of quality product, based on real and perceived value. They appeal not to yesterday’s extravagant consumer, but today’s new consumer.

Some examples:  Dooney & Bourke’s leather Kindle cover for $75.  This is a great looking brown reptilian-looking cover with plenty of class and fashion.  A cross-body bag by L.A.M.B. in fashionably trendy light tan leather, featuring interesting silver-tone hardware and dark fringe. $168. A fun orange and tan silicone rubber watch from Rumbatime for $155.  And a Carolee Lux’s necklace of turquoise, fluorite, and gold-tone metal.   $195.  Note that these are from top brand suppliers, several of whom are used to nothing short of many hundred- if not thousand- dollar price tags on their products.

Things just aren’t the same!





LURING THE HESITANT BUYER:  “Retailers are looking for ways to bring consumers into stores with all kinds of schemes to give the consumer a sense that she is saving money,” declared Arnold Aronson, managing director of retail strategies at Kurt Salmon Associates.

Items that can be worn in different ways give a high perceived value, and are often excellent sellers in this kind of market.  That could mean necklaces with interchangeable pendants, bracelets that can be worn singly or doubly or more for different effects, scarves that are attractive worn on either side, even charm bracelets with interchangeable charms.

Packaging is another factor that can appeal to hesitant consumers.  Good looking gift packaging sells. Adding boxes, tissues, specialty bags with your name imprinted on them, little gift cards, ribbons and bows all add up to better sales volume.  Don’t forget:   Including a card with your store name and address on it allows the gift receiver to see where the item was bought and helps bring her into your store, as well.

“The consumer now wants a more upscale shop environment.  (He or she also wants to) have a pleasurable shopping experience,” declared Molly Matt, sales vice president at Kayser-Roth Corp.  You don’t have to physically redo your entire store to create the right atmosphere for sales.  How About adding some bright paint to one wall?   Or playing interesting music that will appeal to your customer base, maybe calypso, or even classical. Think about the mood you are trying to create, and then fit the music to it.  

Putting someone at the door to greet customers will also help bring in those who “sort of stop” but then pass you by.  A friendly “Hello” can change that to entering!




Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

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