clair de lune (moonlight in French), is a new, European influenced lingerie boutique that will provide high quality lingerie in a wide array of sizes and styles with exceptional customer service. The 1,300 square foot store will be located in a proven retail center called Hawthorne Plaza in Southern Johnson County, Kansas where the demographics are suitably upscale, traffic counts are high, and compatible retailers offer qualified traffic and potential referral business.
The outlets for intimate apparel purchases in Kansas City are much more limited than markets of similar size. There are mass merchandisers and discount stores that offer mass produced and lesser quality brands; department stores that offer better brands, but in limited sizes and with varying degrees of customer service; and 10 Victoria's Secret stores which cater to the 18-34 age group with product of inconsistent quality and untrained store personnel. There are no lingerie boutiques serving the upper income, south Johnson County, Kansas and south Kansas City, Missouri area.
Three key target groups are identified in Sections 4.1 and 4.2 of this business plan, based on lingerie spending patterns. The three target groups are:
- Women 25-59 with a household income of $75K+
- Women 18-24
A common psychographic component that clair de lune is targeting amongst all three groups is the Intimate Apparel Enthusiast (IAE). An IAE is a woman who cares enough about her lingerie to want to shop at a specialty store, and is not purchasing her lingerie at Wal-Mart.
There are large numbers of potential customers who fit these target descriptions within a five mile radius of our store location, which captures Hawthorne Plaza shoppers for impulse purchases, and within a fifteen mile radius for destination traffic. (See section 4.1).
Unique Selling Proposition:
A recent "Dear Abby" column quoted a desperate bra shopper complaining, "Why is it that if a woman wears a 32-A and really doesn't need to wear a bra at all, she has her choice of white, black, beige, navy, shocking pink and turquoise, as well as plaids, polka dots and leopard prints? But if a woman is a 42-D (or more) and requires a bra every waking moment, she has a choice of - white."
clair de lune will solve this woman's dilemma by offering a wide range of styles and sizes that she will not find elsewhere in Kansas City. The moderate to more expensive lines of lingerie offered by clair de lune are known for quality silks, hand finished laces and superior craftsmanship. We will be able to up-sell the Victoria's Secret shopper to a higher quality product that they may have seen in a fashion magazine, by educating her on the better durability, construction and fit, at a slightly higher price. A full description of clair de lune's product offerings can be found in Sections 3.1 and 5.1.
clair de lune's highly trained personnel will get to know each customer's individual needs, and will offer personal bra fitting and other special services, as described in more detail in Section 5.1.
Leadership and Vision:
The sole owner, Terry Levine, brings over 20 years of marketing and advertising experience which will be a tremendous asset in analyzing the customer and market potential, as well as in implementing a strong marketing plan, as outlined in Section 5.2. As a seasoned media strategist, she has a great grasp of numbers, and will utilize her negotiating and relationship building skills with vendors and clients. She has extensive experience controlling costs for other businesses, with a natural penchant for watching the bottom line.
Terry will be guided in her inventory management decisions by one of the most successful independent intimate apparel retailers in the U.S. Susan Nethero, owner of Intimacy in Atlanta, an award winning lingerie store with over $5 million in sales, will serve as a consultant for start-up inventory, inventory management and other operational issues. She is widely recognized by vendors and customers alike as an icon in her field.
clair de lune expects to produce $439,500 in the first year of operation, with aggressive growth projections of 15% in year two and 17% in year three, fueled by expanded product lines and aggressive marketing. The store is projected to become profitable during the second year of operation.
- To create a shopping environment where women (and men) feel comfortable, pampered and stimulated by the wide array of choices that are available to fill their needs.
- To utilize superior customer service to create positive word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat sales
- To give every customer one-to-one attention.
- To have 50% of all customers return within six (6) months of their first purchase.
clair de lune is a specialty lingerie boutique offering labels, styles and sizes that are currently unavailable in Kansas City, thereby filling a void that exists between Victoria's Secret and department store selections.
Our mission is to give the discriminating lingerie shopper what she is looking for, whether it be fit, comfort or style, in an atmosphere that is comfortable, exciting and satisfying.
We want to create a connection with the Intimate Apparel Enthusiast (IAE) that evokes the feeling that clair de lune is "my lingerie store."
1.3 Keys to Success
- Offer superior quality products with cutting edge designs that are not available in other outlets in the Kansas City market.
- Secure a great store location that offers high customer traffic for impulse purchases, caters to desirable demographics, includes compatible stores (e.g. bridal, women's apparel), and is in an easily accessible, known destination.
- Understand clair de lune's target customer to ensure that the correct product mix is available to meet their needs.
- Offer an assortment of sizes (especially in the larger sizes to meet the needs of the growing plus size market).
- Offer superior, personalized customer service to create favorable word-of-mouth recommendations and influence a high rate of repeat business.
- Continuously monitor inventory levels, and make adjustments as needed.
- Educate and advise customers on proper fitting and the quality/value relationship of some of the higher priced (likely European) brands.
- Offer a variety of price points so that customers do not feel intimidated by the higher priced offerings.
- Change in-store and window displays frequently to increase impulse purchases, creating the belief that there is always something new at clair de lune.