That’s life…..I’ve written many times about how concerned I am by the idea of buying top quality, expensive clothes on-line, but that’s the way things are going.
Recently, I read about a shop whose owner, seeing that buying clothes through the internet had become the most important factor for their business had brought in an outside person to run their business. This man had a background in data and systems management and would take them into a new era. A good commercial decision for their future?
But reading between the lines, in my opinion, this wasn’t their preferred path to go forward to selling more beautiful clothes. Their decision was one they had to take to protect their business and their bottom line, which of course makes good sense.
So why am I against this way of shopping for beautiful clothes? Because, personally, the fit of a garment makes all the difference and that comes with the experience of a well-trained salesperson who can advise on all aspects of her product and understands about proportions and accessorizing. This is crucial to achieving substantial purchases (and building personal relationships) by getting the garment to complement its wearer.
I fully understand how time is in such short supply for busy women but making time to take care of yourself by looking good and wearing clothes that fit properly is not a luxury – you’re investing in your career and future.
So..how do we cope with this situation that is clearly here to stay? With most fashion businesses now having on-line selling driving their turnover and profits, well-trained stylish shop assistants will become even fewer as they become replaced by cheaper versions. Why not? The final client will be choosing for herself after all. The stylist’s close personal contact and understanding of lifestyles and true body shapes will become obsolete.
So, the next best option will be a big department store in a major city with concessions and staff provided by the individual fashion houses. They will train their staff to know their products, how to accessorisethem and offer the necessary alterations to get a perfect fit. Most purchases need some form of adjustment. Being labelled a certain size means nothing. (My friend and I are exactly the same clothes size but our shapes and height are completely different)
The other option is a mono-brand store that sells just one label. Not much space here for your own creativity and individuality unless the brand has enough variety of styling for you to develop your own look. I believe, in the future, there will be more brands who will take notice of this thought.
So while on-line selling will drive the bottom line and accountants and internet marketers will increasingly have more say than designers, I can only hope that there will be two bottom lines that we dedicate lovers of fashion can care about. The other one, of course, will be applied to our clients and their new outfits.