At the age of 23, I decided to pursue opening my own store and am proud of what I accomplished in the end. When I first started — I had no one to guide me and no one that I could ask questions to see if I was doing something correctly or not. All in all it was a lot of trial and error.
Competition I have broken down the competition, product line by product line, following each line's inventory description. The overall competition for the bridal line can be broken down into two: I feel the threat created by Mary Ann's can be easily overcome through good service, great selection, and affordable pricing.
The competition created by the out-of-town shops will be harder to address. Details of how I will deal with each follow the competition descriptions. Mary Ann's Bridal Salon is a very poorly run retail outlet featuring old and outdated stock off the rack.
Most merchandise is sold "as is. Mary Ann's has been in business for 40 years although there have been three different owners. Overcoming Local Competition Service: Megan's Bridal Boutique will be a cleaner, more attractively designed store offering a variety of guaranteed services at reasonable prices, or in some cases, free services.
A dye job takes about five minutes. Although Mary Ann's provides skilled seamstresses for the alterations, pricing is set by the owner on a per dress basis. Worse yet, many clients are never told there is a charge at all.
Megan's Bridal Boutique will have a published list of charges provided at the time a purchase decision is being made. There will be no surprises, and the client will know exactly how much to budget for her total expenses.
Mary Ann's also has a problem getting special orders in the store in a timely manner. All special orders are delivered COD and often the cash is not available, resulting in returns and re-orders. Many suppliers will not deliver until prior problems are reconciled, again resulting in delays.
I have found most suppliers have liberal terms and are very willing to work with new accounts. It is only after payment problems occur, and are not resolved, that these shipping problems take place.
Megan's Bridal Boutique will be able to get special orders in the store and to the client in a more timely manner by establishing and maintaining good terms with all suppliers.
Mary Ann's's pricing has always been high. The idea on management's part has been to price everything high, then offer a "special deal.
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I will accomplish this by working with the lower-priced suppliers while maintaining healthy profit margins. The question of course is, why doesn't Mary Ann's do this already? The following scenario will provide an explanation: After numerous payment problems, Supplier A refused to deal further with Mary Ann's.
This time the cost was passed onto the customer.
Of course sales have dropped off significantly. This is just one specific example. The same type of thing has happened with dozens of other suppliers covering all lines offered by Mary Ann's.
I have already established contact with the "Supplier A" types and will be offering these lower priced, good quality lines.
Mary Ann's's stock is old and outdated. In fact, I am asked several times per week if Mary Ann's is a used clothing store these inquiries were made to me while I was an employee there.
Megan's Bridal Boutique's stock will be fresh and new. As stock ages, it will be discounted. If still not sold, it will be taken off the rack and stored, until sidewalk sales, and then the price will be drastically slashed.
Anything left after that will be donated to charity or destroyed. Poor management makes shopping at Appleton Bridals a difficult experience. Customers are treated as a bother instead of as an opportunity. Because of the location, most area people assume the prices are considerably higher in general.It may seem like a daunting task to open your own clothing boutique.
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