There can be no doubt that the face of retail clothing franchises is changing. Headlines every other week are proclaiming “the death of retail,” but is this really the case? Even as online shopping continues to be incredibly popular, there are still numerous benefits of brick and mortar retail locations, benefits that online stores can’t compete with.
Check out these three reasons why brick and mortar is the way to go.
#1 The Value of the Store Experience
There is just something about going to a store with family or friends and enjoying each other’s company. Simply put, there is no substitute for the outing, the two-way communication, or the dressing room. The relationships between shopper and store is dynamic, and brick and mortar stores can learn a lot from the success of online retailers.
Stores that listen to their customers and give them what they want are the ones that thrive. Today’s stylish shopper is buying new things every other week, as opposed to waiting until seasons change and buying the new lines that come out four times a year. The fast pace of social media and Instagram trendsetters means that stores have to bring in new products frequently in order to give the customers what they want. Some retailers have not been able to adapt to that, but Apricot Lane gets new styles in weekly so customers can always see something new.
#2 The Importance of Location for Retail Clothing Franchises
With any business, the location you choose is important. But nowhere is this truer than with retail clothing franchises. The key is to choose a location that will work for your business. For example, high-end malls, open-air centers, or small clusters of shops are smart locations for an Apricot Lane franchise.
When you are looking for the right location, opt for mixed-use attractions; think a combination of retail, restaurant, entertainment, and office spaces in a city center or close to residential areas. These are destinations for families and groups going out for a bite to eat, some shopping, and other errands. Apricot Lane fits in with specialty stores and mid- to upscale restaurants, as opposed to generic department stores. Even better, places like these see steady streams of customers walking past your store.
The fit is the most important thing to us at Apricot Lane, so we ensure that each of our franchises fits well in its location. We do that by sending a member of our team—often our CEO Ken Petersen comes along—to your market to get to know you and look at potential locations. Together, you and a real estate expert will scout locations to find the perfect one.
#3 The Power of Technology
When it comes down to it, technology is what has changed the shopping experience so drastically in the past decade. People can shop from their computer or smartphone wherever they are, and they have immediate access to virtually every product available. But smart retailers are working with technology to aid in their success.
Take Apricot Lane, for example. Each of our boutiques is owned by a franchisee, who uses our proven technology to make running the business smoother. For one thing, our company-wide intranet helps you manage human resources, operations, and strategic planning for your store. In addition, the company that handles our bookkeeping uses technology to help franchisees manage their finances. With a secure login, you can keep your finger on the pulse of your store’s finances, which helps you cater to customers better.
An even more significant way that owners of retail clothing franchises can use technology to their benefit is by taking advantage of e-commerce. Once your store is up and running and you have a thorough handle on owning your business, you have the option to start an e-commerce section of your business through our approved partner.
Don’t let the negative headlines scare you. Smart, enterprising owners of brick and mortar retail stores are in a good position as long as they are prepared to keep evolving to meet their customers’ needs.