Monday, December 23, 2019

What is a Discount?

What is a discount?

Retailers are also consumers and should understand how they think, so here goes my reality check:

Retailer: The obsession with discounting in the apparel business is a retailer’s excuse for not working hard enough to find what the customer will buy at the original price.

Oh sure, there’s Amazon, Walmart, TJ Maxx, etc. etc. They made you do it, right? No. If what you are selling is comparable enough to theirs by any stretch of the imagination, then, is that the sandbox you want to be playing in?

Where is it written that there is only one sandbox in the world? I believe there are a lot of blue oceans in the apparel universe.

Consumer: If someone has to offer you a discount to buy, it is for something you did not want in the first place


you outsmarted them by waiting.

BUT, what if you really wanted to buy something and you didn’t know when or IF it would be discounted? What would you do?

Retailer: Unfortunately, the distortion of reality in today’s retail world is this: the discount is the real price. The original price is BS and has no real value for consumers. The retail gurus, led by Macy’s and Walmart, have molded the customer’s expectations, and trained them NOT to buy until they get what they believe is maximum discount.

There is no doubt that customers buy when they perceive the item is at its REAL value.

Consumer: SO, buying something you really like and want at the regular price tells us two things: a. The item has real value to you which is what? The price PLUS the internal satisfactions that the purchase would bring; and b. you have the self confidence to buy what you want, when you want, and at the price, because you want IT, not the price.

DOES that mean you should ignore discounts offered? Of course not. But the next time you hear the discount bells tolling, think about if they are tolling for thee. And, if you would not have bought the item at regular price, did you really want the item or just the momentary satisfaction of saving money?

BUT- are you really saving if you spent money on something you really wouldn’t buy in the first place, rather than putting that money toward what you really do want? AND, if we believe the saying, “you get what you pay for,” could you be making a mistake?

SO, in the rare case that you go to buy something at regular price and are surprised to find that it is on sale, by all means snap it up (after you think about why the retailer has decided to give it away).

Retailer: IS there a solution to the discount mania that drives away profits and drives people nuts? IF there is one, the only hope is that people put their maximum effort into the PRODUCT and pack it with value, so the price asked IS the real VALUE. The hot item is out there- IF you look and have the merchandising touch to find it. 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Sustainability Report in Fashion Retail 2019 by NOSTO-we tick the boxes

Sustainability. What does this mean, really?

The common definition of sustainability is to maintain something at a certain level. 

As defined by the fashion industry, maybe the definition is just now coming to light, even though the C-Suite has been using it as a buzzword for years.

The report attached here, "Sustainability Report in Fashion Retail 2019 by NOSTO" surveyed 2000 consumers to find out what they think Sustainability is and how it would affect their retail purchases.  In doing so, it clearly defines some main themes that are important to consumers. But-

How important is sustainability to consumers nowadays? From the report:

"50% of consumers who desire sustainable
fashion would be more likely to buy clothes from companies they know
are committed to sustainability, while 28% of them would stop buying
clothes from a company if they find out it is not committed to the cause."

This article is important for BOTH consumers and brands.

  • Consumers should read and recognize what coincides with their attitudes toward purchasing and, most important, will they follow this direction? 
  • Brands should use the report as a self-check (assuming that sustainability is a key part of their business mission) to make sure that they are doing what they can to fulfill customers' expectations (and their own).
Some key takeaways from this report and how we stack up:

1. 57% try to keep clothes longer because it’s better for the environment. We make our shirts, ties and pocket squares out of natural materials of high quality that won't need to be trashed anytime soon.
2. 46% say they prefer to buy clothes that are made sustainability rather than buying them just because they’re from a well-known brand. Good for us and our future, because this is US.
3. Consumer Expectations re: Sustainability:

   Reduce the amount of packaging (75%)
• Provide fair pay and good working conditions (74%)
• Use renewable and recyclable materials (73%)
• Make clothes that are designed to last longer (71%)
• Use fewer resources — e.g power, water, materials (64%)
• Focus on innovation to come up with new environmentallyfriendly
materials and methods for making clothes (61%)
• Create initiatives to help people resell or recycle their
old clothes (59%)
• Make clothes in classic styles that will stay in fashion longer
(to encourage people to keep them longer (49%)

We have described all of the above on our website. And we tick all the above boxes except the second to last, which we haven't started yet because we're new. But we will.

Our business was built with this goal in mind and is mission-critical to us. 

How about your favorite brand? What are they doing NOW about sustainability (not what are they saying). Please do check and let us know!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Why you are not buying clothes (but should be)

Why you are not buying clothes (and should be)

 Here are the top reasons you (and everyone else in US) are not buying clothes anymore:

  1. Clothes are boring- regardless of price, what can you buy that you don’t already have in your closet?
  2. “Low prices are not fun anymore”- As CNBC reported in October of this year, “Consumers have reached peak happiness with clothing purchases” “In other words, consumers already own so many clothes that each new item they purchase doesn’t spark happiness.”
  3. Consumers have given up on department stores as a location for fashion inspiration- As you can see from the below chart, by age group, between 34% to 51% of Macy’s consumers have given up shopping there in favor of TJ Maxx, Target, Amazon, etc.
  4. There is too much to look at online; what should I buy?- The Paradox of Choice has betrayed us by giving us so many choices we don’t know what to believe anymore.
  5. Clothes are disposable- So I buy this heavily discounted clothing, and a few months later, I find that either I don’t like it anymore or it looks like crap.

Does this mean consumers are just not spending money? NO. In fact, for example, Millenials have increased their total annual expenditure by 233% since 2013. Yet, total apparel industry revenue has declined since then. So what are they spending their money on? NOT clothing.

CNBC again: ““Put simply, consumers would rather spend their marginal dollar on, say, going out for a meal, than on buying a 60th item of clothing in a year,” 

But we all love clothes- IF they make us feel happy, appreciated, powerful, individual. Can anyone deny this? Social movements have all expressed themselves with clothing and style; in the 60’s and 70’s, the social revolution expressed itself dramatically in a change of style. Today, we have the LGBTQ and women/minority social revolution, which will have much more of a lasting impact on society and the male/female persona than any other in the last 50 years at least.

AND, if we can feel that each purchase of clothes is an investment, not a fast-food purchase, we might actually buy more

Finally, at the same time, the sales and penetration of luxury brands has increased significantly.

So, what does this tell you about what you should do to rid yourself of disposable clothing and to begin to build a stable wardrobe of stuff that makes you happy when you wear it and will continue to support you as a wardrobe foundation?

But First- Wait, let’s be clear-tell me if you don’t agree- great clothing makes you happy every day.

  1. Throw out your disposables- First, throw out all those items in your wardrobe that you were seduced to buy because of 50% + another 20%, sale ends today, etc. 
  2. Buy VALUE, not PRICE- Focus your expenditure on items that will satisfy your expectations, not just your wallet.
  3. Don’t buy anything that doesn’t make you happy every time you wear it- The self-esteem generated by a bargain will never match the self-esteem which you get from a really great garment.
  4. Understand that, in today’s global marketplace, luxury is AFFORDABLE for most of us- Don’t be afraid- you don’t need any tax returns or certification to buy excellent clothing.
  5. Interact with your chosen providers; they are anxious to hear from you (or should be)- Today, the customer is the CEO- make your wishes known.

There is no better way to express yourself than through the clothes you wear. Period. 
So let’s find a way to build our own custom presentation through clothing. You can!

We have made affordable luxury and sustainability a priority in our shirt business:

source info:

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