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How to Start a Clothing Boutique?

a clothing store

Table of Contents

Figure out what type of clothing boutique you want to open

Boutique means Monopoly Shop,especially clothing boutique store, that is, clothing monopoly store, with strong French style between notes. As early as 1929, Lucien Lelong, a French designer, pioneered this kind of business, serving the minority and selling various fine clothes in small stores. Today, it has another name – Monopoly Shop, which sells high-end fashion, accessories, jewelry, leather bags, gloves, ties, leather shoes and cosmetics for small target consumers. In the 1950s, clothing boutique became popular all over the world. Now, there are various boutiques or boutique cabinets in large department stores. If you want to open a store, which type should you open?

Main & surrounding sales mode for clothing boutique

If you go around the square, you will find that many clothing boutique sell bags, shoes and even jewelry in addition to their main products, clothes. This is the main & surrounding sales model. Peripheral refers to the by-products derived from the main products, also called collocation sales. If Lisa, the customer, buys a coat in your store, she is likely to buy another pair of pants or skirt to match. Similarly, if the salesperson judges the situation and helps match the appropriate accessories, shoes and bags during the fitting process, the turnover will be far more than clothes, which may double. Better than bundled sales, consumers will unconsciously buy more products and feel good.

Target population: select the right target for clothing boutique

According to different target groups, the stores can be divided into the following types: infant clothing, female clothing, male clothing, sports, leisure, middle-aged and elderly people clothing, etc.

Infant and young children’s clothing boutique: The clothes in these clothing boutique mainly include baby clothes and children’s clothes, which are mostly sold to preschool children and infants under the age of 6. Because parents have increased their investment in all aspects of their children, and their requirements for the quality of fabrics, formats, etc. The prices of baby clothing are also getting higher and higher, most of them are much expensive.

Women’s clothing boutique: These clothing boutique are retail stores mainly selling women’s clothing, occupying a relative proportion in the clothing market. Professional women and young women between the ages of 18 and 35 are the main consumers of the clothing stores. Besides, the demand for clothing of middle-aged and elderly women is also increasing, and they are becoming the new purchasing power of women’s clothing boutique.

Men’s clothing boutique: These clothing boutique mainly sell men’s clothing whose number is less than women’s clothing boutique. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of men’s clothing boutique. One is a men’s clothing boutique mainly targeting high-income men. The prices of goods in the store are high. The other is a men’s clothing store targeting the general working class, which mainly sells casual clothes such as men’s jackets or middle and low-end brand suits.

Casual clothing boutique: These customers are young students and young office workers. They mainly sell casual clothes that are comfortable and suitable for sports. The price is right and the goods are cheap. They adopt chain operation, such as fast fashion brands Zara, H&M, etc.

Sports clothing boutique: These clothing boutique also spend on young customers, mainly selling shoes, clothing, bags, etc., which are dedicated to sports. Most of them are operated by professional service brand chains, such as Li Ning Brand sportswear stores, Nike stores, Adidas stores, etc.

Three details of opening a clothing boutique

clothing boutique

1. Site selection should be investigated

The location is the king for opening a store . A good location has many similarities, such as large population mobility, downtown areas, convenient transportation, etc., so the following seven conditions must be met when selecting a good location:

  • Crowd flow: the proportion of people coming and going on ordinary days, holidays, and days and nights.
  • Traffic flow: traffic flow of cars.
  • Transportation hub: convenience and parking.
  • Regional characteristics: business district, competitive stores, complementary stores, leisure facilities, etc.
  • Population survey: population quantity, proportion of men, women, old and young, consumption habits, etc.
  • Business district survey: scope, rent, price, etc. of main and secondary business districts.

2. Clothing boutique name

Research shows that a concise and easy-to-remember name is more convincing and memorable than an obscure one. The naming of clothing boutique can incorporate local characteristics, customs, brand characteristics, etc. However, in general, store names should avoid using obscure words, and should be popular, easy to remember, clear, conform to customers’ psychology, and be easy to read.

3. Alignment

The tone and location of the clothing boutique should also complement each other. If it is positioned as a women’s clothing boutique with high-end niche, it cannot be opened in a busy affordable pedestrian street. Although the location has a lot of people and convenient transportation, it does not match the level of the store. The pedestrian street is relatively popular, and the price and quality are not high. Therefore, it should be opened near or in the high-end square.

Order clothing and accessories from wholesalers

Before purchasing, we should make a plan for our clothing boutique. For example, what are the famous wholesale markets and clothing stores in my region? What channels can I purchase goods through, customized factory processing or spot purchase? What’s new for this season? How about the sales trend? Is there any rise in prices? What is the style orientation of your clothing boutique?

In the early stage, it is suggested that the clothing boutique should not take many goods as much as possible. It should take more time to check the quality and market sales, and then consider long-term cooperation and large replenishment. If possible, you can check the comments of your peers on each wholesaler on the forum website of the clothing wholesale market for reference. If a wholesaler is often complained about or exposed any bad information, you can filter it.

Build your store and decorate it to suit your style

People have five senses: vision, hearing, smell, touch and taste. Through research, it is found that vision is the first items accounting for about 83%, which shows the importance of visual design. So what is visual design? In short, it is the image that people directly see through their eyes that feeds back to the brain to form a certain state. Reasonable commercial space layout can not only bring comfortable psychological feelings to consumers, but also play a role in guiding consumption.

The appearance of the clothing boutique is the face

If a clothing boutique is the face of a brand, then its appearance is the face of a boutique, which must be fully considered as the first visual element. The appearance of the store includes the landscape of the location of the chain store, the building, the store light box, and the sunshade. In addition, the decorative role of the transparent window cannot be ignored. Appearance is an important part to induce consumers. The whole design principle is to attract passers-by as much as possible. It is suggested that clothing stores adopt monochrome design, which is simple, grand, overall, stable and easy to remember.

Lighting is a sharp weapon for atmosphere and focus

The shape and color of lamps and lanterns are important means to create an indoor atmosphere, which can bring infection to the indoor environment. The light sources inside the clothing boutique mainly include natural lighting and artificial lighting. The natural lighting source is rich, but the brightness is insufficient and difficult to control. The decisive role in the clothing boutique is artificial lighting. Different artificial light sources will produce different colored light due to their different energy distribution, for example, incandescent light sources are yellow, and fluorescent light sources are blue. Under different rings, different lamps should be selected for lighting, and attention should be paid to coordinate the changes of clothing under the light color. In the light environment design of the franchise store, the light should be concentrated on a certain staple clothing to guide consumers’ eyes to stay and focus, reduce excessive and changeable light, and avoid consumers’ tension and disgust. In the design, attention should be paid to such details as the texture and color of clothing materials, the reality and level of light and shadow, and the delicacy of shelves, so that the display style presents a strong commodity culture and wins the favor of consumers.

The window is the highlight

The shop window is the highlight of the design of the clothing boutique. Elegant and fashionable soft colors and soft lighting should be used to create a comfortable and quiet atmosphere. During the design, the characteristics of the clothing boutique can be highlighted by means of background design or theme design. The repeated combination of painting, photography and texture, color, line and shape of various hard materials can also be used to form an artistic interior decoration to embellish the environmental atmosphere.

What kind of employees do you need

Robert Burke, an American luxury consultant, said: “In the past, consumers would find this kind of behavior offensive and even violate their freedom. But now they all like this private shopping guide service very much.” Proper shopping guides can not only improve the store image, but also increase the sales volume. What kind of professionalism does a suitable shopping guide need?

1. Generous with appropriate makeup and manners

The impression that people leave in the first contacts with each other forms and occupies a dominant position in the other person’s mind. This effect is called the primacy effect. The primary cause effect and the proximate cause effect were first proposed by American psychologist Rochins, which is often called the first impression. Therefore, qualified shopping guides should paint decent makeup and greet guests with appropriate manners and attitude. The image of shopping guide not only represents the image of the clothing boutique, but also affects consumers’ desire to visit next time.

2. Be able to observe words and expressions

A good shopping guide must be able to observe what is said and what is seen. If customers of the opposite sex are traveling together, don’t try to guess the relationship between a man and a woman cleverly. They may be friends, brother and sister, not necessarily lovers, or husband and wife. In addition, it is better to praise the other party through details than to talk in general.

3. Don’t judge people by their appearance

Some luxury shopping guides will wear colored glasses to check the customer’s dress, speech and behavior, so as to judge whether the other party has money and can afford it, which is very inappropriate. All visitors should be treated equally.

Market your clothing boutique to attract customers

shopping for women

Only popularity can lead to sales, and foot traffic is the key to clothing boutique. Promotion should follow the seasons, festivals and various activities. The following recommend several clothing boutique foot traffic methods:

   First of all, proper publicity is required. In holidays, many people are in the local market, night market, etc., sending some leaflets is a good idea. In this way, more people will acknowledge.

   Select some leading products, such as finding out a product, as a propaganda statement. Attract people with low prices or by giving away gifts. One or two products can be selected on a regular basis, with a lower price for the purpose of foot traffic.

   Organize activities, such as setting some free games in front of the store. Children’s trampoline can attract parents to take care of children. It can also be combined with some promotional activities.

Track inventory and make sure you order enough inventory

displayed clothes

Clothing replenishment is the most important part of clothing boutique management. The trick lies in the ingenious coordination between “quantity” and “timing”. If the replenishment is too slow, not only will the sales be out of stock, but also the replenishment will become overstocked when it is out of season. If there is too much replenishment and it is not sold out until the end of the quarter, you can only deal with it at a discount. This is one of the techniques that deserves careful consideration. Today, let’s take a look at how the clothing boutique replenishes the goods? What replenishment skills do you need to master?

Generally, goods are divided into two categories, namely, primary sales and distribution sales. Replenishment should also be separated.

Replenishment of main products

Estimated daily sales * turnover days+store quantity – current inventory – goods in transit

  • Estimated sales=average sales in the past 7 days
  • Turnover days=calculated by two replenishment cycles, such as replenishment twice a week, and the cycle days are 7 days
  • Goods in shops=the demand for goods at the location

Example: Taking a certain style as an example, the sales volume in the past 7 days was 210 pieces, with an average of 30 pieces per day. Now there are 176 pieces in stock, 150 pieces in the shop, and no goods on the way. Then the replenishment volume is: 30 pieces * 7 days+150 pieces – 176 pieces=184 pieces.

Replenishment of distributed goods

This kind of goods only need to reserve about two weeks of sales volume, without additional turnover. Remarks: The determination of whether the goods sell well shall be based on the sales report.

Timely handling of overstocked goods: The inventory quantity of goods in the clothing boutique should be counted frequently. It should be handled in a timely manner when it is found that there is an excessive inventory of single products. Launch appropriate promotional activities to digest inventory. Therefore, the store owner often counts the structure and inventory of goods in the store to grasp the sales opportunity.

Although reasonable suggestions can be made, the formula, market, climate, season, events, promotion and other reasons are also changing factors. Therefore, replenishment personnel should also have keen market insight and rich experience, while maintaining good communication with procurement and personnel, and adjust according to the actual situation.

How will you handle customer service and returns

According to the data of TrueFit, an American clothing retail industry data consulting service provider, about 98% of online consumers are just window shoppers who are used to seeing, while those who consume online have a very high return rate. TrueFit data shows that the return rate of clothing is as high as 50%. It can be imagined that if the problem of return rate is solved, it will undoubtedly greatly improve the efficiency of retailers, improve the profit margin and, more importantly, enhance user’s loyalty.

Jill Standish, senior manager of Accenture retail business at Accentureplc (NYSE: ACN), an American consulting service provider, said that the high return rate was mainly caused by two reasons, one was lack of personality, and the other, more importantly, unfitness.

If the customer returns the goods due to the quality problem of the clothes, although the clothing store stipulates that the goods can be returned in this case, the customer has exceeded the return period. How should we deal with it?

Error response

  • “I can’t help you in this situation. The company stipulates that clothes cannot be returned even if there are problems after the return period.”
    Analysis: This statement of dealing with customers according to the rules of the clothing store is not conducive to solving the problem, but also will make customers have a bad impression on the clothing boutique, thus damaging the customer relationship to a certain extent.
  • “If there is a problem, why don’t you bring it back earlier? It’s too late to return now.”
    Analysis: This statement contains the tone of blaming and questioning customers. It is very disrespectful to customers, which is not conducive to solving problems, and may lead to further expansion of problems.

There is a very popular saying in the sales circle: “Store management will always be the future!” The implication of this statement is that when dealing with after-sales problems such as customer complaints or returns, clothing salesmen must take the long-term interests of the clothing boutique as the starting point, take the vision of investing in the future and managing the future, think about what customers want, and be anxious about what customers want, so as to win customers’ trust and loyalty, win customers’ return rate, and thus make the clothing boutique continue to operate steadily. If this can be achieved, even if clothing salesmen suffer a “loss” on customers, it will become a kind of super value investment.

When a customer comes to ask for a return with clothes that have exceeded the return period, the clothing salesperson should follow the following principles

  1. When the customer buys clothes,please clearly tell the customer about the cleaning and maintenance methods, return and replacement time limit and other matters.
  2. Whether the customer’s exceeding the return period is caused by non subjective reasons, such as the sudden emergency or business trip after the customer has purchased the clothes, resulting in the clothing has not been worn. If the customer’s overdue return is caused by the above two reasons, the clothing salesperson should consider and deal with it based on the principle of humanization, such as the store to bear all or part of the losses, so as to win customer satisfaction and the customer’s trust and loyalty.
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