clair de lune is a European influenced lingerie boutique offering quality merchandise and personalized service to Intimate Apparel Enthusiasts (IAEs). It is scheduled to open this September in a 1,300 square foot space in the Hawthorne Plaza shopping center in Overland Park, Kansas.
2.1 Hours of Operation
Exact hours of operation are to be determined. We plan to follow schedules similar to the other women's apparel retailers in the shopping center. Additionally we will be sensitive to holiday hours and special group opportunities to maximize our exposure and sales potential.
2.2 Company Ownership
clair de lune will be formed as a privately held S corporation in the state of Kansas. The company is owned by Terry Levine, who has over 20 years of marketing and advertising experience, with a specialty in the retail industry. Ms. Levine will work full time as an owner/operator, responsible for running the business, sales and buying. She will be assisted by a 3/4 time store manager and part-time salespeople.
Location is a critical element to any retail business. The right location is paramount to the success of a lingerie boutique since a large share of sales will likely be derived from impulse purchases and influenced by neighboring store traffic. While it should be possible, and is definitely desirable, to build clair de lune into a destination location for lingerie purchases, a location with high foot traffic will contribute to strong awareness and impulse purchases.
Many locations were considered for clair de lune with the following criteria in mind:
- Desirable demographic composition
- Strong foot traffic
- Complementary retailers
- Open-air mall or neighborhood center vs. strip mall or indoor mall
- Successful retail reputation
- Relatively easy access via primary streets
Fortunately, Kansas City offers many neighborhoods with upscale demographics. This bodes well for a store like clair de lune which is selling the type of lingerie that is a desired luxury rather than a necessity. We are very fortunate that within one of the best neighborhoods in the Kansas City metro area, we have found the perfect location for clair de lune at Hawthorne Plaza.
Located in the heart of Johnson County, Kansas, one of the wealthiest counties in the nation and the third highest county in the country for population growth, Hawthorne Plaza, a 14-year old shopping venue, offers the perfect mix of boutique retailers and customers for clair de lune.
According to demographic research provided by the Kansas City Star, the median household income of persons who have shopped at Hawthorne Plaza in the past 30 days is $83,820. This is higher than any other major shopping center in Kansas City, including Town Center Plaza, which is across the street from Hawthorne, and the prestigious Country Club Plaza, in Kansas City, MO.
Scarborough Research indicates that 65% of persons who have shopped at Hawthorne in the past 30 days are between the ages of 25 and 54, which encompasses the key age groups for the lingerie brands that clair de lune will offer.
Not only does Hawthorne offer ideal demographic composition, but it offers high traffic volume as well. More than 200,000 people live within five miles of Hawthorne. It is situated across the street from another highly trafficked mall, Town Center Plaza, and is within a few blocks of Sprint World Headquarters Campus, which employs approximately 10,000 people. Scarborough Research from '02/'03 estimates that over 56,000 adults shopped Hawthorne in an average 30-day period.
Hawthorne Plaza features a great mix of specialty stores, many of which are locally owned. Complementary businesses that have the potential of sharing customers with clair de lune include a number of women's apparel shops: Talbots, Saffees, Vinones, Keil & Co, Under the Palm Tree; a swimwear boutique; a bridal boutique; a perfume shop; a hair salon; and a couple of upscale jewelry stores. Hawthorne offers some popular restaurants that help to maintain high traffic counts.
The open-air mall has a sophisticated profile that offers an appealing backdrop for a European influenced lingerie boutique. Hawthorne Plaza is an established shopping destination in the Kansas City market and is considered a "go to center" for sophisticated shoppers.
2.4 Start-up Summary
Start-up expenses and proposed financing are outlined below.
- clair de lune will open with several months of inventory. The majority of the company's assets will reside in inventory.
- The major start-up expenses and acquired long-term assets include $100,000 in start-up inventory and $45,100 to build-out the store and prepare it for operations (design, fixtures, lease-hold improvements, signage, Point of Sale (POS) system, packaging, supplies, etc.).
- Start-up requirements include sufficient working capital to help meet the running costs for the first 2-3 months of operations.
- The total start-up requirements are estimated to be $171,750.
- The start-up costs will be financed through a combination of owner investment, line-of-credit (LOC) and long-term borrowing:
- Owner's investment $21,750 cash
- Ten year SBA loan $150,000
- Short-term $25,000 revolving line-of-credit for inventory replenishment and new purchases