Polly Parkin who recently sold her award-winning shop, The Bride, shares the rules she lived by to guarantee success
I was always very strict with my spending budget. You can easily top up on samples if you’ve missed out on a key trend or bestseller. If a new sample isn’t repeating then move it on quickly and turn it back into cash so that you can switch it for a better dress without incurring further cost or increasing the stock count.
Staff up generously
Service in a high-end sales environment is key, and this for me largely involved having enough staff in the shop on any given day. At The Bride, each customer was allocated a sales consultant to complete the appointment without interruption right up to saying goodbye. Additionally, a junior would tidy, fetch and carry dresses, serve refreshments and generally be there to assist the sales consultants. A manager would always be on the shop floor to be front of house, deal with queries and offer support to the sales team. Customers often commented on how lovely and calm the shop felt even when we were packed to capacity on a fully-booked Saturday.
Remember your customers’ names!
Record the guests’ names – mother, grandmothers, sisters, maids etc – in the customers’ notes for future reference and make yourself learn them, it’s that simple. This is really important when operating a professional and personal service... customers want to feel known.
Want to read even more of her tips? The full feature can be seen in the next issue of Bridal Buyer – out next week!