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Online trading does not make it easy for stationary trading. In order to survive in the market, traders have to stand out from the crowd from small shops. Jessica Simon, Head of Purchasing & Marketing at Rebus Fashion GmbH, spoke to Luna Journal about the advantages that stationary retailing has over online retailing.
You manage the Emil & Greta concept store. What was your intention behind the Concept Store?
Jessica Simon, Head of Purchasing & Marketing at Rebus Fashion GmbH: The idea for Emil & Greta was born 7 years ago. An owner-managed children’s shop in our city has not found a successor after 30 years. At that time I was already outfitted here as a child and years later I was also a customer with my children, Emil and Greta. It was actually a gut decision, the death of shops has already begun here in the village. At that time I was self-employed in marketing and spontaneously decided to run a small but nice shop.
With a colourful concept, freshly renovated, an unusual range of lifestyle, accessories and children’s fashions, we started in March 2013.
What do I have to consider at the beginning of a concept store?
For us, concept means that the mix must be right. The assortment should be round and enthusiastic. Whether rubber ball, bracelet, scooter or kindergarten jacket. There must be something for everyone. We are always happy when our youngest customers come with their pocket money and choose something cool from our Krims Krams corner or create milestones for expectant parents, like choosing the first baby outfit.
Which labels are represented in your shop and what do you pay attention to when selecting brands?
Here, too, we have a colourful mix. We offer fashionable commercial, small labels, but also sustainable brands in our assortment. BoboChoses, Levis, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Billie Blush, RICE, Minirodini, Banwood, Liewood, Cam Cam Copenhagen, but also many small labels such as Hutch & Putch or small gift bags made in workshops for the handicapped and much more.
Which products are best received by your target group?
Since we now have 6 branches, this is of course also very location-dependent. We buy for each shop specifically and also differently. In general, it must be special, but above all the quality and value for money must be right.
Where can you find new labels?
Trade fairs abroad play an important role, but also on Instagram and Pinterest, because you can find labels here worldwide. In general, however, I keep my ears and eyes open always and everywhere.
How important is sustainable production to you?
Very important! I think we have a social responsibility and you have to be able to offer the customer a selection again and again. For many customers, however, price is often the inhibition threshold to buy sustainably. We hear that again and again. This is why we are always on the lookout for affordable sustainable labels. One does not always have the informed hipster customer. This is how we try to reach the masses with good alternatives.
How important are customers for products that are “Made in Germany”?
We stock some products, but customer demand is rather low. And often a “Made in Germany” sets the buying impulse.
The stationary trade has it in the times of digitization and the booming on-line trade, not so easily. How do you attract your target group to your store? What advantages does stationary retailing offer compared to online retailing?
The experience must be at the forefront here. We try to create moments of well-being in our shops. Beautifully colourful and always something to discover for young and old. We can only stand out through service and advice. The customer gets comparable products and brands with just a few clicks. Beautiful special packaging, bonus systems, campaigns and events are also very important.
What challenges do you have to overcome in times of rising online trade? How do you manage to survive in stationary retailing?
We try to be in direct contact with our customers via events and social media. In order to better absorb and understand the needs. This is the chance we have compared to online. You have to be experienceable, authentic and individual.
Otherwise, why should the customer buy from us when he gets the product with just a few clicks? It is always the exchange, the advice and also the everyday tips. In the end, it is important to offer a well-rounded assortment, the customer must trust, feel welcome and understood.
Are you planning to develop your website further for online orders?
We are already in the development phase and look forward to finally getting started.
According to which criteria have you set up your Concept Store? What advantages do you offer your customers?
It was important for us to be contemporary yet timeless. It should be colourful and loud, so that the children like it and arouse their curiosity. By the way, you can also buy the colourful wallpaper from us. In Bielefeld we also have a Riceteria with Coffee & Sweets Concept, coffee, cold drinks and selected sweets. We will also implement this in other locations.
What plans are you pursuing for your Concept Stores in the future?
It has to be always and everything in flow. We want to grow healthily and steadily. But what is certain is that we still have a lot to do!
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Link: The Concept Store Emil & Greta.
Image: Rebus Fashion GmbH