The Scarlet Tassel

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Home Accessories and Gifts Business Plan

Products and Services

The Scarlet Tassel identified a need to gain feedback on the product and service offerings of the concept as well as tap into the buying patterns and market awareness of women within the greater Atlanta area. To do this we conducted a Shoppers Focus Group. Held in June, 2002, the focus group was comprised of 10 women representing a diversity of backgrounds and lifestyles:

  • 30-60 years of age
  • Homemakers to independent business owners
  • Single to married
  • Living in four cities within the greater Atlanta area
  • Representing several ethnic groups
  • Unique and independent decorating styles

The objective of the focus group session was to gain insight into the following topics:

  • Shopping experiences
  • Store services
  • Product concepts
  • Market and competitive awareness
  • The retail concept that came to be known as The Scarlet Tassel

To solicit feedback, the focus group was asked a series of questions related to shopping, shopping experiences and store services. Additional feedback was gathered through a word association game focusing on the brand identity elements of stores in the Atlanta area. Lastly the group was shown the concept boards for our business and asked to describe what it represented to them.

The ideas gathered provided us with a wealth of information that helped to formulate and define the products, services and marketing strategies outlined in this plan. This focus group was a key element in establishing a successful blueprint for The Scarlet Tassel.

PRODUCTS: The Scarlet Tassel focuses on selling quality- and value-oriented home accessories and gifts to the independent homeowner and decorating trade.

Our eclectic product mix will consist of products that allow for the successful combination of a lot of different styles - blending the old with the new, the classic with the contemporary, the wild with the tame. Products will be showcased via lifestyle merchandising that inspires a personalization of the home environment.

To support continued business expansion and growth, The Scarlet Tassel will firmly establish its product identity through a narrow and focused product assortment in Year One. In Years Two and Three, the product offer will be expanded and enhanced with new product statements and a broadening of the most profitable product categories. This approach will establish a brand identity, allowing us to tailor our offering to meet the needs of our customers.

The following list identifies the categories for Year One and beyond:

Year One

  • Decorative Accessories--Tassels
  • Decorative Accessories--Clocks
  • Decorative Accessories--Desk/Office Accessories
  • Decorative Accessories--Floral
  • Decorative Accessories--Lighting
  • Decorative Accessories--Candles
  • Accent Furniture--Shelving
  • Accent Furniture--Footstools & Benches
  • Accent Furniture--Bed & Bath
  • Accent Furniture--Chairs
  • Wall Decor--Framed Art
  • Wall Decor--Wall Grills & Plaques
  • Wall Decor--Mirrors
  • Home Textiles--Accent Pillows & Throws
  • Special Occasion Gifts--Men's
  • Special Occasion Gifts--Personal/Girlfriend
  • Special Occasion Gifts--Housewarming
  • Special Occasion Gifts--Hostess
  • Special Occasion Gifts--Baby
  • Personal Accessories--Bath & Body
  • Personal Accessories--Personal Interest Books
  • Personal Accessories--Pet Interest
  • Seasonal Decor--Halloween
  • Seasonal Decor--Fall Harvest
  • Seasonal Decor--Christmas
  • Garden Decor--Planters
  • Garden Decor--Fountains
  • Garden Decor--Garden Gifts
  • Garden Decor--Miscellaneous Gifts

Year Two

  • Decorative Accessories--Tabletop Accessories
  • Home Textiles--Accent Rugs
  • Home Textiles--Tabletop Linens
  • Personal Accessories--Jewelry
  • Seasonal Decor--Valentines
  • Seasonal Decor--Other

Year Three

  • Personal Accessories--Tote Bags
  • Personal Accessories--Cards & Stationery
  • Garden Decor--Accent Furniture
  • Garden Decor--Statuary

As an overview, each of the product categories will be represented as described below:

Decorative Accessories: Encompassing a variety of decorative elements that provide character to a home and give it a personal feel, the price-points in this category will range from $10 to $300.

  • Tassels
  • Candles and clocks
  • Desk and office accessories
  • Tabletop accessories
  • Dried and silk floral arrangements
  • Lamps including tabletop and floor lamps

Accent Furniture: Smaller, more unique furniture items used as accents with larger furniture pieces make up this product category with price-points ranging from $100 to $800.

  • Occasional and accent furniture
  • Tables
  • Shelving
  • Footstools and benches
  • Bed and bath accessories

Wall Decor: One of the fastest growing product categories in the home decorative market, our wall decor offering will encompass a unique variety of items beyond traditional framed artwork. Price-points in the category will range from $25 to $200.

  • Mirrors
  • Framed art
  • Wall grills and plaques

Home Textiles: Known as the "soft elements" in the home decorative market, our home textile offering will provide the finishing touches to a room or table setting. Price-points in this category will range from $15 to $150.

  • Accent pillows
  • Accent rugs
  • Tabletop linens

Special Occasion Gifts: For unique gift giving occasions, our gift selection will allow our customers to purchase items that reflect their personal sentiments and feelings for the gift giving occasion and gift recipient. Price-points in this category will range from $10 to $80.

  • Hostess gifts
  • Men's gifts
  • Personal/girlfriend gifts
  • Housewarming gifts
  • Baby gifts

Personal Accessories: Our personal accessory offering will encompass items that our customers will use for themselves, enhancing their wardrobe, lifestyles and home environments. Price-points in this category will range from $10 to $60.

  • Bath and body products
  • Jewelry: handcrafted and unique
  • Tote bags
  • Cards and stationery
  • Personal interest books
  • Pet interests

Seasonal Decor: Our unique offering of seasonal decor will allow our customers to decorate their homes and entertain family and friends in fun and dynamic ways. Our offering here will focus on several key holidays and range in price-point from $20 to $175.

  • Giftable valentines
  • Halloween decor
  • Fall Harvest decor
  • Christmas/New Years decor
  • Other

Garden Decor: Allowing our customers to extend their living environments outdoors, our decorative garden offering will feature both decorative elements as well as functional elements. The accent pieces in this category will range in price-point from $25 to $300.

  • Statuary
  • Planters
  • Fountains
  • Small accent furniture
  • Garden gifts
  • Miscellaneous decorative

Focusing on offering products with quality, value, style and uniqueness, The Scarlet Tassel will utilize established vendors from four home decorative product markets to preview and purchase products from: Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, Dallas International Gift and Home Accessories Show, New York International Gift Show and High Point International Home Furnishings Market. One-of-a-kind products will be sourced through local artist and craftsmen via major antique markets and craft shows.

SERVICES: To create a point of differentiation between The Scarlet Tassel and other retailers in the area, we will offer a variety of custom, personalized services that further enhance the products offered and shopping experience of our customers. Our service offering will provide one-on-one design inspiration for the customer, will allow the customer to shop in a variety of ways, and will support a broad consumer, business and design trade client base.

Customized Giftwrap: The signature gift wrap offered by The Scarlet Tassel will be the added touch that makes the gift special. The gift wrap will reinforce the brand image of the store.

Corporate Gift Program: As a business-to-business offering, our corporate gift program will allow a business to purchase fun and unique gifts for their client or employee at a 10% discount.

Gift Certificates: Making gift giving easy for a variety of occasions, The Scarlet Tassel will offer gift certificates in a variety of denominations.

Gift Registry & Wish List: Whether for a wedding, birthday, anniversary or other special occasion, our gift registry program will allow friends, families and spouses on the hunt to purchase a gift that the gift recipient has already indicated they would like. It takes the hassle out of selecting a gift.

Realtor Gift Certificate Program: As a way to reach newcomers to Atlanta, our realtor gift program will allow realtors to purchase "welcome" gifts for their clients at a 10% discount. Not only will our exposure to the affluent realtor market enhance sales, but the opportunity to build our customer base will be greatly enhanced.

Creative Workshops: As a way to inspire and educate customers on "do-it-yourself" decorating projects, The Scarlet Tassel will offer a variety of educational workshops that will provide hands-on techniques to decorate and adorn your home. Utilizing products sold in the store, we look to enhance sales as well as make decorating easy for our customers.

"Makeover In A Day:" This unique service will provide the customer with "in-home" decorating assistance, re-creating a room or two in a customer's house within a day, utilizing both the homeowner's existing pieces as well as incorporating new decorative pieces from The Scarlet Tassel. Exposing our products and services to the friends and family of customers will enhance our opportunity to attain new customers. This service program will be available to customers during Year Two of operation.

ASID Discount: Offered exclusively to the design trade, an ASID discount of 20% will be extended to Interior Designers.

Preferred Customer Shopping Events: As recognition of our best customers, we will hold preferred customer shopping events allowing those customers to shop special days and hours, and receive personalized shopping assistance and special discount offers.

Newsletter: As a way to communicate with our customer base, we will publish a quarterly newsletter that highlights design trends, new product offers, gift giving ideas and decorating tips. This service program will be available to customers during Year Two of operation.

Customer Comment Card: To ensure that we are servicing our customers fully and offering the products they desire, we will provide a customer comment card where ideas and thoughts can be expressed by the customer. Comments will be reviewed on a regular basis in an effort to enhance products and services.

Personal Shopper: The entire staff of The Scarlet Tassel will possess the skillset to personally assist each customer with all of her shopping and decorating needs. As customers and sales associates establish personal relationships, The Scarlet Tassel will be able to inform the customer about new product arrivals that might interest them as well as provide decorating and gift giving tips that are aimed at the unique and individual customer.

Birthday Recognition: To recognize that important day, The Scarlet Tassel will send out birthday cards to customers while also providing them with a short-term "birthday discount" of 10%.

3.1 Fulfillment

The company has a number of sources available for their product is vast as the home decor market and industry is quite large. Management will rely on three markets for preview and purchase of products from established vendors: Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, New York Interntional Gift Show, and High Point International Home Furnishings Market.  Unique and one-of-a-kind products will be sourced through local artists and craftmen via major antique markets and craft shows.