[ 3:54-6:46 ] Evolution of Merchandising
Over the years, merchandising as a role has really evolved. Kenny Anderson describes how merchants used to approach their job 5-10 years ago versus now. Back then, it was all about trends and following the numbers. Today, it's a much more creative profession, and it involves active listening. After all, customers know best what they want, and they are providing qualitative feedback every day.
[ 7:48-8:49 ] Information lives in-store
The best information exists inside the store. Traveling across the country and actually going in-store is the most important thing an executive can do. Speaking directly to store associates and customers is key, not only looking at the data behind the desk. It's a piece of advice that Kenny constantly gives, and that executives sadly rarely take. If you feel disconnected from your customer, there's nothing better than you can do for the brand that put yourself in their shoes.
[ 10:49-12:25 ] Good American Case study
Kenny talks about the challenges that Good American faced when it came to sizing. They were providing an inclusive sizing range but getting some negative feedback on sizes 14 and 16 in particular. The CEO brought in a sample group of customers to provide real-time feedback to her team to create a size 15. That's an example of excellent active listening and agility. It's something more brands should strive to do. They receive feedback every day, and that feedback should inform the production process.
[ 19:47-21:14 ] D2C vs Wholesale in modern retail
Many brands have been turning away from wholesale. Why? They wanted more control over their brand, their location, their assortment, etc. The experience at a wholesaler is not the same as it is in a boutique. Wholesale, as a result, has experienced a dip. That's not to say you, too, should abandon ship. It's all about finding the balance that works for your customer base.
[ 22:22-25:43 ] Gaps in the luxury shopping experience
Many luxury brands struggled during this pandemic. Why? They weren't prepared. Some of the highest-profile bankruptcies were in the luxury space. The online experience in particular for luxury brands is lacking, which was crucial during the pandemic. This is because many luxury retailers put a lot of their focus on the in-store shopping experience, which contributes to that brand image and feeling. Kenny Anderson believes it's time for luxury retailers to invest in the online realm.
[ 28:44-32:34 ] Pre-order in luxury retail
The fashion industry produces so much waste. It's time to finally address it because reducing waste is not just about the environment. It's about your bottom line. Wasted inventory results in markdowns and unsold products. Pre-orders are an excellent way of gaging interest and producing in a more sustainable way. It's also a great way to interact with customers and provide a special experience.
[ 34:58-36:54 ] Concept of showrooming
When Kenny Anderson was asked about the concept of showrooming, he had mixed thoughts. He believes a lot of customers walk into a store because they're looking to walk out with something. They crave instant gratification. And showrooms may alienate those customers by removing the point of sale. What is your opinion on showrooming? Like Kenny says, I think it's worth a test. Start with a small number of stores or locations and see how it performs.