Focus on the Fashionistas

Fashion conscious, trend-aware and disposable incomes are now wrapped up in one young, trendy and spending segment. It’s time to go beyond just banking on the bridal and start filling the tills with the discerning spend of the fashionably focused.

According to the recent American Express Business Insights Data Report, Gen Y consumers (18-29 year-olds) increased their spend on premium luxury fashion by 33% in 2011. This is impressive when compared to Gen X and Boomers, which increased 2% and 4%, respectively, and Seniors, whose spend on jewelry and watches actually declined by 3%. So what does this all this mean? It means that the next generation is coming into its own and that much of your opportunity lies in this youthful, fashion conscious and trend-aware consumer. It means that it’s time to start looking beyond diamond statement pieces by shifting focus and assortment towards fashion-forward fine jewelry.

So how do you go about increasing sales of fashion-focused jewelry?

Display. Display. Display Stylist, designer and fashion icon Rachel Zoe recently collaborated with Tiffany to create window displays highlighting the 1930s through the 1970s in honor of the Academy Awards. Each window more visually seductive than the previous.Each window displaying jewels in a manner that evokes glamour, desire, opulence and ‘sellability’.

Showcase Style: And once inside it is just as essential to keep up the fashion focus. Experiment with showcase layouts. Your showcase should tell a story. Delve into color, experiment with additional elements in the case and see what draws the eye rather than just displaying stand-alone pieces or assortments of jewelry.

Celebrity Tie-in: If you carry brands that have celebrity placement, use it to every advantage. The impact that celebrities are having on fashion can easily be seen in the pages of fashion magazines like InStyle to the gossip pages of US Weekly. From counter-cards to ‘as seen in’ promotions, celebrities define fashion for younger consumers.

The store is ready, what about the staff: You may have the counters laid out – but don’t forget the people on the frontline – your sales force. Talk to them, educate them, encourage them to learn more about the products and lines they are selling. Instill in them the passion for fashion, it’s the only way they’ll be able to pass it on. After all, if they don’t care, why should your customer?

Advertise The Dream: Contrary to popular belief, if you build it they won’t just come. It isn’t just a matter of getting the right brands and the right looks. You need to get the word out. You need to promote both the products and the lifestyle. It’s an ascertainable piece of luxury that defines the style of the wearer.

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