Friday, January 22, 2010

Runway to Reality Press

As part of the PR campaign surrounding the Runway to Reality workshops between iSpyStyle and Fashion Exposed, the Australasian Textiles & Fashion e-newsletter titled "Apparell B2B Central" interviewed me for a feature about the workshops. Above, is a screengrab of the interview, however the full interview written by Dawn Adams is below.

"Strategies on conducting business in a more challenging economic environment and how to improve relationships with customers will be among the topics covered during a series of workshops to be staged at Fashion Exposed in Sydney in February. The 'Runway to Reality' program will be conducted by Kate Vandermeer, director of iSpyStyle in three business seminars designed to tackle grass roots issues.

In a back-to-basics approach, topics covered will include promotions, visual merchandising and buying strategies. Separate menswear and womenswear programs will review trends for spring/summer 2010 and relate them to exhibitor stands demonstrating how they capture the latest looks. "This approach increases the styling relationship with customers," Vandermeer said.

A third workshop will focus on business practices such as engaging the local community by, for example, enlisting a school to become involved in visual merchandising to increase store traffic. Social networking opportunities will also be reviewed but Vandermeer stressed they should only be used if they are appropriate to an individual business. "If their customer is not internet or text savvy, it wouldn't work for them," she said.

Stressed throughout the workshops will be to ensure that strategies are effective for each customer base. Vandermeer also highlighted how difficult it was to fully comprehend the demographic being reached in today's marketplace. "We tend to shop around, pick who to follow and graze a wider retail environment," she said. "It's harder to pinpoint a detailed demographic."
She said important was to test strategies with care to ensure a core customer base was not alienated.

And she stressed the value of knowledge held by retail staff pointing to the importance of asking the 'right' questions to find out more about a customer base. "Retail staff don't always realise how much they know about the customer base," she said. "They might know their habits, if they shop after school, if times are tough for them or if they're time poor." - Dawn Adams"


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