Bride’s Entourage has the distinct advantage of being the only store of its kind in its market. Our marketing and sales strategies will emphasize our unique advantages for the Multnomah County wedding party:
Our marketing strategy begins with standard print and online listings in wedding media, and continues through networks of wedding consultants. Our location, next to complementary shops and an upscale mall, will generate additional foot traffic.
Our sales strategy is designed to "close the deal" - from the moment a potential customer walks in the door, she will know that her place in the wedding, and her needs, are important to us. We will create an atmosphere that makes shopping for the "other items" as significant as the experience of shopping for the wedding gown. In other stores, mothers, bridesmaids, and other wedding party members are often an afterthought. At Moms, Maids, and More, they will be given as much prominence and attention as the bride receives when gown shopping.
The predominant competitive edge of Bride’s Entourage is that it is the only store of its kind in Oregon state. Most bridal shops focus on the wedding gown itself and dabble in a few other product-lines, such as mothers' attire or bridesmaids' attire. When shops focus primarily on the bride's gown, there tends to be a lack of selection and lack of attention devoted to the other product lines. At a traditional bridal shop, the bride is the primary focus, and everything else is secondary.
Bride’s Entourage offers an entirely different shopping experience. At our shop, the focus is everything besides the wedding gown. This means that our customers will be offered a wide selection of their desired attire, and their needs will be our primary focus. We will have the most comprehensive selection of mothers' attire, attendants' attire, and bridal accessories.
Another competitive advantage is our location. We are located in downtown Portland, which is geographically convenient to customers in the greater Portland area and the surrounding suburbs. Downtown Portland is a destination shopping area, and our store is located directly across the street from one of the largest and most up-scale shopping malls in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, our shop is located on the corner of a main intersection with great street visibility and free parking. We are located in a complex that includes jewelry stores and a tuxedo shop, all of which are complementary businesses.
Bride’s Entourage will use the following mediums for its marketing efforts:
The following table illustrates the forecasted sales for Bride’s Entourage. The forecast reflects sales to slightly more than one percent of the total customer base in Multnomah County, based on the following assumptions:
One percent is a sensible estimate for the first year of operations. There are currently about 40 shops in Multnomah County that carry some or all of the items offered at Bride’s Entourage. Assuming that the customer base was divided evenly among these shops, each shop would have about a two-and-a-half percent market share. However, because this will be the first year of operations for Bride’s Entourage, that "even share" of the market is not expected right away. It is expected that by year two, the market share will increase to two percent, and by year three, the market share will exceed three percent. This will happen as Bride’s Entourage becomes known as the place to shop for mothers' attire, attendants' attire, and other bridal accessories.
To break the sales forecast down even further, the goal of of sales in year one is equivalent to selling to 160 wedding parties during the year, or to three wedding parties per week.
The table is constructed in such a way that it counts a sale when cash is received. When dresses are ordered, a minimum 50% deposit is required. When a customer receives the item they ordered, the remaining 50% is due. For projection purposes, it is assumed that the dresses will arrive two to three months after they are ordered. So, for example, if a customer orders a $200 dress in January, $100 goes into January's sales, and $100 goes into April's sales. For shoes and accessories, we are assuming that the items will be in stock, therefore, those projections reflect the gross amount of the sale on the day of purchase.
Costs of sales assumes that for clothing, the wholesale cost will average about 46.5% of the retail price, and for accessories, the wholesale cost will average about 30% of the retail price. For the clothing items, there is a two-month lag in cost of sales because the inventory takes two to three months to arrive from the day it is ordered, and the store does not pay for custom-ordered items until they are shipped.
The accompanying table lists the critical milestones for Bride’s Entourage from now until the store is ready to open for business. Dorina Thaker will be in charge of each of the completion of each of these items.