Women's Clothing Boutique Business Plan

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Strategy and Implementation Summary

Based on extensive research conducted on women's shopping behaviors as well as De Kliek's own research among Los Angeles women, the following marketing strategies will be employed:

  • Develop strong relationships with customers by utilizing Style Assessment and offering services to help each woman determine the right clothes for her.

  • Provide educational materials and programs that enable customers greater decision-making confidence.

  • Build awareness of brand and services to exemplify strong store reputation.

  • Provide customers with a sense of access to "inside information" and harness the power of a woman's personal network by leveraging marketing collateral designed for sharing and encouraging referrals.

  • Utilize personal referrals and stylists to build traffic.

5.1 Sales Strategy

Product/Service Selection
To overcome seasonality concerns, De Kliek will carry 20 percent of merchandise in fashion and wardrobe accessories. Additionally, De Kliek will provide alterations, personal shopping services and special ordering for our customers. Special Orders are a huge benefit as De Kliek obtains full-price sell-through and there is no floor space needed to sell the article.

Pricing
42% of households with a $75K income agree, "When I really want something, price is no object." [1]

At De Kliek, we are very committed to bringing high quality clothing to women and the prices will reflect a range of mid-to-high pricing. Average price points will be around $200. To maintain profit margins of 20%, De Kliek will negotiate and focus on obtaining an average 61% retail markup for all merchandise classifications.

Location
De Kliek will be located in an upscale neighborhood in Los Angeles. A significant proportion of the target market lives in this area. De Kliek will work with the local merchants association as well as local publications to generate PR and shopping in the neighborhood. De Kliek will also attract women from throughout other Los Angeles neighborhoods as well as the few women who come to LA from out of town to shop.

De Kliek will launch in July 2004 and have a website presence where fashionable customers throughout the country can go to learn more about the boutique, the Style Assessment, how to wear certain items for day, evening and weekend, and make personal shopping appointments.

Style Concierges
Most women are intimidated by upscale fashion boutiques, as many sales associates can come across rude and snobby. Additionally, the sales pressure from an associate can be a huge turn-off to a potential customer as it doesn't allow a woman to browse and get to know the store's products at her own pace.

De Kliek will have three store associates, or "style concierges:" myself, an assistant manager, and a PT employee (both still to be hired).

5.1.1 Sales Forecast

The appropriate merchandise -- and the right amount of merchandise-- are critical in building a successful clothing boutique. De Kliek will carry 15 merchandise classifications in addition to the Style Assessment. Each month, the sales forecast and open-to-buy (OTB) plan will be reviewed with De Kliek's inventory service provider, Retail Merchandising Service Automation (RMSA), against the previous month's sales to ascertain any adjustments and make the appropriate changes. As Open-to-Buy is planned, the percentage of merchandise that is new (i.e., Fresh ratio) will also be considered to ensure that the inventory is, on average, around 40-50% fresh.

Fall/Winter sales are forecasted at $272,141 for the rest of 2004 and $513,500 for FY2005, with an average monthly sales goal of $46,600. The summarized forecast for the Fall season is listed below:

Sales Highlights, Fall/Winter Season FY2005

 -AugSeptOctNovDecJan
Sales$36,450$43,740$50,301$46,780$60,814$34,056
% Increase-20%15%-7%30%-44%
Weeks/ Month454454
Sales/ Week$9,113$8,748$12,575$11,695$12,163$8,514
Sales/ Day$1,302$1,250$1,796$1,671$1,738$1,216

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Sales
Casual Tops $47,880 $55,288 $55,841 $56,400 $56,964
Blouses $41,356 $48,039 $48,519 $49,736 $50,482
Sweaters $37,343 $43,721 $44,377 $45,043 $45,718
Knits $39,160 $45,622 $46,534 $47,465 $48,414
Pants $43,707 $50,972 $51,737 $52,513 $53,301
Skirts $33,839 $39,904 $40,703 $41,517 $42,347
Dresses $26,110 $30,710 $31,017 $31,327 $31,641
Denim $29,974 $35,737 $36,451 $37,180 $37,924
Separates $20,024 $23,824 $24,301 $24,787 $25,282
Jackets/Blazers $25,450 $30,679 $31,292 $31,918 $32,556
Coats/Outerwear $22,211 $26,520 $27,050 $27,591 $28,143
Fashion Accessories $53,372 $62,243 $63,799 $65,394 $67,029
Jewelry $22,850 $26,836 $27,238 $27,647 $28,061
Personal Care $11,983 $14,164 $14,306 $14,449 $14,593
Wardrobe Accessories $17,737 $21,032 $21,243 $21,455 $21,670
Style Assessments $2,767 $2,976 $3,036 $3,097 $3,159
Special Orders $36,250 $39,525 $40,316 $41,122 $41,944
Alterations $1,490 $1,611 $1,643 $1,676 $1,709
Total Sales $513,503 $599,403 $609,402 $620,315 $630,937
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Casual Tops $20,588 $23,774 $24,012 $24,614 $24,983
Blouses $17,370 $20,176 $20,378 $20,889 $21,202
Sweaters $15,684 $18,272 $18,455 $18,918 $19,202
Knits $16,447 $18,973 $19,163 $19,643 $19,938
Pants $17,483 $20,288 $20,491 $21,005 $21,320
Skirts $13,874 $16,200 $16,362 $16,773 $17,024
Dresses $9,922 $11,670 $11,787 $12,082 $12,263
Denim $11,990 $14,155 $14,296 $14,655 $14,874
Separates $8,010 $9,436 $9,531 $9,770 $9,916
Jackets/Blazers $10,689 $12,759 $12,886 $13,209 $13,408
Coats/Outerwear $7,996 $9,454 $9,548 $9,788 $9,934
Fashion Accessories $18,680 $21,466 $21,681 $22,225 $22,558
Jewelry $7,998 $9,346 $9,440 $9,676 $9,821
Personal Care $4,793 $5,666 $5,722 $5,866 $5,954
Wardrobe Accessories $7,095 $8,413 $8,497 $8,710 $8,841
Style Assessment $1,107 $1,179 $1,191 $1,221 $1,239
Special Orders $14,500 $15,655 $15,812 $16,208 $16,451
Alterations $596 $638 $644 $660 $670
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $204,820 $237,520 $239,896 $245,911 $249,600

5.1.2 Year One Sales Plan

Objective #1 - Sell $600,000 of merchandise in Year 1

Strategies:

Build awareness of brand and services to exemplify strong store reputation

Provide customers with a sense of access to "inside information" and harness the power of a woman's personal network

Utilize personal referrals and stylists to build traffic

Tactics:

-

Promotion:

Strengthen the customer relationship via events and special communications

Hold two large sales a year: winter and summer

Web:Promote key merchandise & events on the website
Direct:Send out monthly email newsletter to customers
Personal Selling:

Develop working relationships with 2-3 personal stylists

Become an active member of AICI

Provide personal appointments

Train Style Concierges to provide exceptional service and exhibit patience in the selling process with women

Events:

Hold Launch event/party - Invite VIPs and LA Socialites

Hold unique after-hours shopping events (Mother-Daughter night, Travel Planning, Girls Night Out, etc.)

Hold Fall & Spring events

PR:

Get voted as one of best places to shop on Citysearch and in Lucky magazine

Get featured in Los Angeles travel & shopping guides

Send press kits to, and hold interviews with, top publications

 

Objective #2 - Generate 10% of Sales from Special Orders

Strategies:

Provide educational materials and programs that enable customers greater decision-making confidence

Provide customers with a sense of access to "inside information" and harness the power of a woman's personal network

Tactics:

-
Web:Provide overview of how a special order works on the website
Direct:Announce events through postcard to best customers
Personal Selling:Have Style Concierges communicate the opportunity with their best customers
Events:

Hold four trunk shows a year

Hold "Bring Your Man" night and sell clothing from lines that carry men's lines (Ensure men know about gift assistance!)


 

Objective #3 - Garner In-Depth Understanding of Customers

Strategies:

Develop strong relationships with customers by utilizing Style Assessment and offering services to help them determine the right clothes for them

Provide educational materials and programs that enable customers greater decision making confidence

Tactics:

-

Promotion:

Promote gift giving during key holidays (Christmas, Valentine's & Mother's Day) and utilize assessments to assist gift givers in purchasing the appropriate gift

Web:

Offer the assessment on www.dekliekstylestudio.com

Direct:

Integrate style personalities and other key information into customer database and develop customer segments

Create awareness of assessment through emails to customers

In-Store:

List the style personality numbers on each merchandise tag to generate interest and awareness of the Style Assessment 

Provide overview of Style Assessment in dressing rooms

Tailor merchandise offerings to specific Style personalities

Events:

Hold monthly Style Assessment workshops

5.2 Competitive Edge

Although De Kliek will bring high-quality clothing and value to Los Angeles women, the most significant competitive advantage De Kliek will have over all competitors is dedication to providing an approachable retail atmosphere with top-notch customer service. De Kliek's unique selling proposition is the integrated concept of personal style services: from events and bios that educate shoppers on designers, to personalized Style Assessments, on-site alterations, and our own unique Style Concierges and wardrobe accessories. In contrast to many other boutiques, De Kliek will become a corporate member of the Association of Image Consultants so that our Style Concierges learn from the nation's best on image consulting.

5.3 Marketing Strategy

Positioning Statement
De Kliek provides professional women with upscale designer clothing and exclusive personal services. Our main competitive advantage is the unique Style Assessment and education emphasis in helping women develop their personal style.

Brand Positioning
'De Kliek' is Dutch for a grouping or circle of friends, a "clique." Building on the meaning of "kliek," circles are part of the logo, which defines the boutique, and its essence of inclusion. Style Studio is added to the overall name to suggest that women can come to the boutique to learn about themselves and experiment with their personal style. By combining these two meanings, De Kliek Style Studio looks to be the leader in providing exceptional service and assistance for women's fashion needs. The elegance of the name suggests the types of clothing and accessories that will be featured.

BRAND PERSONALITY

Innovative | Stylish | Contemporary | Modern | Fresh | Approachable | Elegant

The overall brand personality of De Kliek aspires to be fashionable, customer-oriented, innovative, refreshing, stylish and educational. The boutique is a place where women can go to transform themselves with beautiful clothes and take advantage of the Style Assessment and other services that help them determine the right clothes for their unique selves. We are a shop that educates. We help women learn about the designers, gather with their friends, and have fun during the process. We not only carry items that help them look good, but we also help our customers maintain these items. Owner Vrootje Magen will work with her top design advisors to create the atmosphere, colors and wording that encapsulates these thoughts.

Promotion
The following promotional tactics for generating buzz and awareness about De Kliek will be implemented:

  • Personal selling and word of mouth via networks of friends, stylists and customers
  • Unique visual displays in storefront on a weekly basis
  • PR (local and national)
  • Boutique email newsletters
  • Direct mail such as postcard notices that are targeted specifically to the customer
  • Sales Promotion such as store events and bi-annual sales
  • De Kliek Web Site
  • Advertising will be at a minimum with regular ad placements in the Valley Voice

Other important marketing strategies, such as developing strong customer relationships (retention), will utilize a different mix of marketing programs.

5.4 Milestones

Fall season Marketing calendar:

Date and Tactic

  • June-July -- PR Media Kits and Local/National PR outreach to Paper City, LA Chronicle, LA neighborhood paper, W, Vogue, Lucky and Marie Claire 
  • July 15 -- Launch Party and Event
  • July 17 -- Grand Opening
  • August -- Fall Fashion Show at AICI Meeting (300-500 people)
  • September -- Style Assessment Workshop
  • October -- Mother-Daughter Night;  Style Assessment Workshop
  • November -- Holiday Hair Workshop;  Style Assessment Workshop