Shopping centre Marketing Directors that market a relevant and credible fashion focus maximize their chances to increase traffic, sales per square foot and market share. The challenge in identifying the optimal fashion focus is two-fold: one, you need to determine your primary target or the target that you will communicate with first and foremost, and two, you need to ensure the fashion focus that you present is important and desirable to the target and believable coming from your centre.
To determine your centre’s fashion focus, we recommend that you first follow the money. Which fashion retailers do well in terms of sales and why? Which ones are struggling and why? What fashion stores are missing in the current mix that would most likely do well and why? You may want to explore this both with and without anchors in the mix. These questions will help you understand where your target is shopping first—a strong indicator of your current fashion focus.
The task then becomes how to define that fashion focus—i.e. by demographic, brand stature, product class or price point? We have found a price point approach to be one of the easier and more valuable approaches. Sort your retailers as best you can by price point groups, estimate the value of the each group and you will have another level of information to help you understand your fashion focus.
The Fashion Incubator provides a good working list of price point groups, and here is a list that we have developed and used successfully over the years.
The creation of exclusive, custom-fitting clothing that is often sewn by hand and made from high quality, expensive, unique fabrics with extraordinary attention to detail. Designed as art for the runway—priceless. Dior, Givenchy, Chanel.
In theory, often thought of as fashion that has better quality materials, construction, performance and style, but which unlike couture, is made to be sold and worn publicly. Some fashion editors note that luxury goods may not actually be “superior” but are perceived as being “superior” based on branding and command a much higher price point than segments which fall below it. Luxury fashion is a status statement, and includes brands such as Hermes, Prada and Armani.
A notch below Luxury, this group includes coveted brands that also make a status statement, but are attainable to a broader group. Michael Kors, Coach, Tori Burch.
This includes retailers and brands that are considered mid-range in price and somewhat aspirational in terms of style. Banana Republic, J Crew, Club Monaco, Artizia.
This includes retailers and brands that are considered mid-range in price and skew more everyday in terms of comfort and style. Gap, Jacob, Fairweather, RW, Tristan, Cleo.
This includes brands that are accessible to many and that provide affordable everyday casual and office wear. Suzy Shier, Reitmans, Smart Set, Ricki’s.
This includes brands that skew younger, that are accessible to many in terms of price point, and that are often considered “disposable.” H&M, Forever 21, Costa Blanca, Dynamite, Ardene.
This list is by no means scientific or written in stone, but provides a starting point when looking for a fashion focus. Keep in mind that a redevelopment and/or the addition of coveted stores in the near future may suggest the need to reflect your current fashion focus in your communications, but in a way that allows you to elevate the focus as changes at your centre are implemented.