Q&A with Sara Prudhomme, buyer
Ted: Please describe your store for our readers?
Sara Prudhomme: I am located in an outdoor shopping plaza in a high end community. Our shopping center has anchors such as a bank, that draw in lots of customers. I am also on an intersection of two main streets, which are very easy in giving directions. Location is very important. My key products are bras, shapewear, sleep and loungewear. Bridal intimates and accessories are very important. Robes and slippers are also important. I try to stay focused on these main items, that way I will never disappoint a customer when they are shopping for these items.
Ted: What makes your store special?
Sara: We only use experienced friendly professional fitters and sell brand names that offer quality to keep our customers coming back.
Ted: What do you look for in a brand?
Sara: A reputable product name means a lot in purchasing a bra. Quality, workmanship, design, fabric and fit are some important factors. These brands are very important in my store and in alphabetical order are: Affinitas, Anita, Chantelle, Elomni, Empriente, Fantasie, Fit Fully Yours, Grenier, Lejaby, Marie Jo, Montelle, Passionata, Piege, Spanx, Vanelle and Wacoal. For outstanding reviews, I choose Fit Fully Yours. I sell lots of Fit Fully Yours Bras. Almost every client has one. The company itself is great to work with, delivery only takes a day, stock always seem to be available, nice not to have to wait for a back order,
They always have new colors available, they do not discontinue the basic bras that customer need to repeat on. They give free shipping on some shipments, free personalized paper gift bags for customers. During the holidays a free gift for the customer. They always send us pens and writing pads with re-orders. It is always a nice surprise to open up the packages. Very nice staff. Paul and Anna, are a pleasure to work with. We both help each other. I cannot think of a brand that has disappointed me as a retailer. My latest product I brought into my store is Affinitas, seems to be selling good, a very good price point, pretty fashion bras. I also do a large amount of shapewear. Spanx, Bodywrap, Squeem - waist sinchers, are the best for loosing inches off waist line, Shapeez are also very good. No back-fat, control cami with built in bra.
Ted: Describe the popular styles or trends in your store.
Sara: The T-shirt bra in neutral is still the biggest seller, than black and a colored one. Strapless bras- Spring southern vacations, weddings, and special occasions. Sport bras. After this winter getting back to the gym and getting fit, seems to be on everyone’s list. Minimizing sizes are selling more than padded bras. Then requests for a pretty black lacy bra, full or demi cup, and perhaps a colored one.
Ted: Describe your price points and size ranges.
Sara: Bras start at $55.00 – $190.00 and fitting sizes for 30C to 44G, including some H cups.
Ted: What is your typical or average customer size?
Sara: Typical average customer sizes vary. I seem to sell lots of D cups and up to G and sometimes H’s.
They usually have a smaller band size and larger cup size. Lots of 32, 34, 36, and 38’s.
Ted: What does your average customer spend per visit to your store?
Sara: Average sale is 100.00 per customer.
Ted: Describe your customer.
Sara: My customers range from 18 to 85 yrs of age, mostly females. Average customer probably is 40 – 65. So I have to carry a large range of sizes and fits.
Ted: What has impacted your business the most over the past year?
Sara: My location, being a border city, has many cross border shoppers. On line shopping, and the unstable economy plays a large role in my sales.