Retail Tips Selling Through Slumps

Posted June 26, 2013 – 1:32 pm in: Wholesale Closeout News

During the year, all retailers will experience a sales slump. This often happens during the summer when many of your customers are more focused on vacation plans, kids out of school, or general relaxing.

summer sales slump retail tips

How can you harness the sales slump for your benefit and even increase sales and customer base in the process?? Check out these retail tips and be creative:

 

1. Take advantage of the downtime

– Begin implementing your social media presence or start a blog to promote your store.

– Rearrange your store to give it a fresh look.

– Use traditional marketing techniques that you haven’t already started.

– Take a vacation for yourself and come back to your business rejuvenated and with new creative energy.

 

2. Bring in new merchandise

– Even if you are perfectly stocked for summer bring in new pieces and rotate out old ones.

– Customers love variety!! Having fresh new items can keep the foot traffic coming through your store.

– Take a look at our below wholesale sample collections to bring in some new merchandise and our Summer Dress Sale! Stock up on new inventory at rock bottom prices.

retail tips summer dress

 

3. Reconnect with customer and acquire new ones

– Throw a special summer party. At the party you can highlight your newly arranged store and any new merchandise you have.

– Invite your current customers and give them an incentive to invite their friends.

– Take photos and video to post on your social media sites and your blog. Encourage those who attend the event to do the same, and tag your store.

– Build your mailing list at the event by asking for email addresses from the attendees; then keep in contact with these customers throughout the summer.

summer retail party

Use your slower sale seasons as a way to try new marketing techniques and reach out to new customers. And keep in mind that even though you are in a slump things will get busy again, so take a deep breath and enjoy the downtime!

  No Comments  |  Tags:

Product Descriptions that Speak to Your Customers

Posted June 4, 2013 – 8:58 am in: Wholesale Closeout News

Have you ever wondered how to go about writing a product description?

As a retailer is is important to have a good feel for presenting your merchandise in words. You have the chance to convey so much with a good product description! An online store, print ads, or Facebook are just a few places you can use product descriptions.

product description, think

1. Quality will always go farther than quantity

You don’t need to write a book, just keep your descriptions tailored and to the point. Aim to get across the key information customers will want to know and try to think like a customer so you can put in the info they will like to read.

To become familiar with verbiage and style, take some time to check out product descriptions online, but don’t copy other descriptions…You know YOUR customers best!

 

product description print

An example of a print ad with a product description!

 

2. Know your merchandise and the features it has to offer.

Give your customers specifics that they will have questions about – size, color, material, price. Also, give some suggestions for how your customers could use the product, what sets it apart, and the benefits they will get from owning it.

 

3. Go a little bit outside of the box.

See product descriptions as a chance to use fun adjectives and descriptive phrases. If you can get excited about your product and put it into words – your customers will be excited as well.

 

product description

 

4. Use your friends.

Have someone else read your description for editing purposes. They will be able to offer suggestions, read from the customer’s point of view, and in that way maximize the power of your product description.

 

product description

An outsider can come with a fresh outlook on your product description.

 

Enjoy the process of marketing your merchandise through product descriptions!

  No Comments  |  Tags: , ,

Survey Results from your Overstock Source

Posted May 29, 2013 – 12:33 pm in: Wholesale Closeout News

We are so grateful to each of you who took part in our customer satisfaction survey. Your responses will be used to help our company grow and serve your needs better.

survey

Here are some key takeaways from your survey responses.

 

Some suggestions for new product categories

More plus size offerings including lingerie

Accessories like jewelry and handbags

Greater variety of children’s apparel

 

Overall satisfaction was indicated to be high

75% of responses indicated satisfied to highly satisfied

The majority indicated that you would continue doing business with Madison Avenue Closeouts and would recommend us to a friend or colleague.

 

In relation to overall experience with Madison Avenue Closeouts there were many positive comments especially in reference to our customer service and our over the phone customer service.

Some suggestions about quality control in particular with security tags left on garments was mentioned. We will definitely make sure to address this, and we value every comment you all gave us.

We are glad to hear that even those of you who haven’t purchased from us have had a positive experience with our company.

 

All of your responses are greatly appreciated!!

And of course our randomly selected winner of the $40 Visa Gift Card is…Lynn Jurgenson!

Congratulations to Lynn!!

  No Comments  |  Tags: , ,

Traditional Marketing Reimagined

Posted May 22, 2013 – 2:44 pm in: Wholesale Closeout News

We wanted to give some attention to the traditional ways retailers can market their business to future customers. There are many ways to do this, but we will talk about 4 practical tips everyone can use.

1. Personalized Stationery

Use your store’s logo, color scheme, and slogan to be a recurring theme across all stationery items. These could include business cards, flyers, official letterhead, return address labels, or invitations to special events.

Business cards are inexpensive enough to get through a source like Vistaprint. Even their “free” pre-made templates are pretty cute!

Make sure to create a unique letterhead with your logo and contact info. We just recently created our own professional letterhead using Microsoft word by followed this easy instructional blog.

perfect business card

 

2. Networking

Take a chance to network with other business owners. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce, small business center, or incubator to find these connections. These relationships can facilitate the exchange of information, knowledge, and skills. You may also meet a business owner to partner with for a special event. This will give you double the exposure and may lead to potentially new customers.

 

3. Generous Exposure

Think about donating your product or service to a charity event, church auction, or school fundraiser.

Not sure how to find these? Do a quick Google search for fundraising auctions in your area from schools, churches, or charities.

If you missed the event this year, put it on your schedule and reach out to the coordinator before the event next year. Also through Tip 2 – networking – you can make these connections.

marketing auction

 

4. New Take on Print Advertising

As less and less people are subscribing to delivered magazines and newspapers, you might think print advertising is useless. But here is a decent alternative. Find a local or college newspaper that gets distributed for free in your city. Customers can pick these up for free at restaurants, grocery stores, and retail shops.

Having your ad in these free papers may reach new customers. Use Tip 1 – personalized stationery – to design your advertisement.

You could also include a coupon to track your return on investment. In this way you can determine if you received enough new business from this print ad.

If it is not working for your business as with any marketing technique feel free to move on to something more appropriate!

marketing city paper

 

  No Comments  |  Tags: , , ,

Retailers – Get Practically SOCIAL

Posted May 14, 2013 – 1:32 pm in: Wholesale Closeout News

We have talked about social media before and how to get started with it, but in this post we will give some practical tips and examples for how you can get social with your customers and followers. Shout out to Tucker Berta who hosted a seminar at Atlanta Apparel Mart about social media! Taking some of her tips and our own experience, check out these suggestions:

Social Media Retailer

1. Claim your name. On any social media platform keep your business’s name consistent. You can easily go into the settings of FB and Pinterest to rename your page. And pick a Twitter handle that matches your business name.

Example: Blu Bow Boutique – a women’s trendy upscale boutique carrying apparel and accessories

Facebook: facebook.com/blubowboutique

Twitter: @blubowboutique

Pinterest: pinterest.com/blubowboutique

This way your customers and followers will know how to find you easily.

2. Follow Back. A great way to gain more followers is to reciprocate the gesture to another business. Everyone likes more followers!

Scenario: Blu Bow Boutique Owner meets Paper Plus Stationary Owner

Blu Bow Owner, “Hey! I’d love to follow you on Twitter/like your page on Facebook, would you follow back?”

Now those people connected to Paper Plus are becoming familiar with Blu Bow Boutique and vice-versa. It’s a WIN WIN!

SPECIAL NOTE: Take the time to reach out and collaborate with any retail neighbors.

Example: Blu Bow Boutique asks the Gourmet Food Shop next door if they could host a special “Shop and Taste” event. With both businesses promoting the event on their social media sites Blu Bow Boutique gets twice the exposure for the store and potentially new followers/customers!

In store Social Event

3. Frequency & Timing. Making a plan for managing your social media sites can keep you from going crazy when it comes to posting and updating and Tweeting. Do what feels natural for you, your business, and your customers. But some general rules:

FB postings 1 – 4 times per week have a 71% higher engagement

Wednesdays are the best day to post

Best times to post are after business hours 8PM – 7AM

Sit down and make a quick list of your social media plan for the week (try to post one item at least 3 – 4 times a week)

4. Content Creative. Once you determine the frequency of your social media postings here are ideas of how to create content that attracts customers.

Pictures: Blu Bow Boutique posts a pic of their customer trying on a scarf and tells their followers, “Come by today to pick up one of these lovely scarves for only $17”

New Products: Blu Bow Boutique receives an order of cocktail dresses and posts, “Brand new cocktail dresses from designers Michael Kors, Tahari, Savannah Rae – 10% off through the weekend!”

Questions/Directives: Blu Bow Boutique uses this to get the conversation started with their followers and get new followers by having people share with others.

Example: “Tell us – do you wear flats or heels with a maxidress?”

Example: “Like and share for a chance to win this new cropped blazer”

Link to Something Good: This facilitates co-branding. Blu Bow Boutique likes to Re-Tweet and Share articles about fashion from magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire. This is super fast and easy!

Social Networking Retailers

 

  No Comments  |  Tags: , ,

Apparel Market in the ATL

Posted April 24, 2013 – 11:49 am in: Wholesale Closeout News

Have you ever wondered what it is like to attend an apparel market?

We wondered too…and found out, it’s pretty crazy! If you love clothes, shoes, accessories, outerwear, menswear, childrens wear, formal wear or any of the sort the Apparel Mart in Atlanta, GA is a building full of goodness. Floors and floors of apparel and accessories from nationally recognized brands, leading designers, and up and coming lines of beautiful apparel.

 

13 floors of clothes and accessories

13 floors of clothes and accessories

Madison Avenue Closeouts attended two days of ATL’s apparel market in April. We wanted to absorb as much information as possible and make new connections with designers and brands. Our goal was to establish NEW relationships that can benefit YOU, our customer, in the future. As always we are keeping our eyes open to the changes and trends in the apparel world and going to market was a way to do this.

Click Here for Savannah Rae Info!

Click Here for Savannah Rae Info!

Some Highlights:

 

  • Meeting Savannah Rae designer Amanda Finley face to face
    • Some of you may remember a designer line we carried recently by Savannah Rae. CHECK out the blog here. It was fantastic to meet Amanda Finley in person and we are excited to continue working with this young entrepreneur/designer!

     

  • Fashion, Fashion, Fashion
    • We saw two great fashion shows. One featured all GAMEDAY style apparel, sporting popular college colors! They even brought out tailgate food and buckets of beer at the show.

     

  • Networking
    • One of the greatest things was meeting with new brands like NikiBiki, Dylan & Rose, Blu Pepper, and many others. These designer brands have fantastic, on trend apparel. Our hope is to create great relationships with new brands to always bring you the best!
      ATL Mart2

 

 

  No Comments  |  Tags:

Designer Spotlight now Below Wholesale

Posted March 14, 2013 – 11:21 pm in: Wholesale Closeout News

We are incredibly excited to introduce FOR THE FIRST TIME a brand new designer line for our customers in this designer spotlight. Savannah Rae is now available in sample and traditional collections at 83% off the retail value. These dresses and tops represent a level of on trend fashion perfect for spring and summer inventory.

SR4

 

Savannah Rae was founded by entrepreneur and designer Amanda Fenley. Fenley, three years after the launch of her company, still handles most all of the business operations herself. Her tenacity is clear in the fact that this young company is now found in 350 high-end boutiques nationwide. As Savannah Rae has grown, the opportunity emerged for Madison Avenue Closeouts to offer a wide selection of overstock styles to our customers.

SR5

 

Savannah Rae’s style is marked by on trend designs in fun, flirty fabrics. These pieces are perfectly transitional from a day at the office to a night on the town or a fun weekend picnic. Savannah Rae dresses and tops are easily worn by 20-somethings but styled appropriately can be worn by ladies at any age. All pieces are manufactured in the USA and could retail for an average of $62 per piece.

SR2

You now have the opportunity to add Savannah Rae’s designer pieces to your inventory for under $11 per piece. To get a good idea of the boutiques which carry Savannah Rae have a look HERE. These on trend, designer styles may be just the right addition for your store, that are sure to become a hit with your customers! If you have any specific questions about these new designer pieces please call (704-733-9570) or email us (sales@madisonavenuecloseouts.com)!!

SR3

  No Comments  |  Tags:

The Secret to Buying Both Quality & Quantity

Posted January 15, 2013 – 7:15 pm in: Wholesale Closeout News

Our Wholesale Pallet Program offers the option to purchase a large quantity of overstock inventory direct from department store distribution. This means you receive larger quantities of merchandise but at a lower cost per individual unit.

quantity, quality

While wholesale pallets offer a lower cost per unit they do require a larger upfront investment then our traditional collections. We require a $2,500 minimum purchase (multiple lots can be combined to reach this minimum); this often means that per unit costs can be as low as $0.50 depending on the particular lot. This option has been very beneficial for brokers, wholesalers, distributors, and large retailers because it does offer the lowest cost per unit and will be shipped directly from the distribution center to you.

Madison Avenue Closeouts frequently updates spreadsheets available under our Wholesale Pallets section. Our customers can browse by distribution center, merchandise category, and price to find the inventory which matches their needs. Categories such as children’s, women’s, and men’s apparel, suits, dresses, footwear, housewares, intimates, outerwear, and more are often available but are subject to change based on the department stores current inventory.

Depending on your company size, budget, and level of tolerance for the factors mentioned HERE, this method of purchasing may be a great fit!

  No Comments  |  Tags:

Because of YOU we can give back

Posted November 14, 2012 – 10:50 pm in: Wholesale Closeout News

Hurricane Sandy, which hit the Northeast United States on October 29th, caused significant devastation and damage to an area not familiar nor prepared for such a storm. Because of this dozens of people died, thousands were left homeless and millions were without power. The total damage caused by Sandy is estimated to reach $50 billion, which would make it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.

give back

give back

 

There was an immediate need in the Northeast for food, supplies, and relief assistance. Because of our great and loyal customers, Madison Avenue Closeouts was in a position to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and we wanted to give back.

We partnered with Samaritan’s Purse in their Hurricane Crisis Relief Effort. We were able to send 300 items of brand new, first quality apparel including ladies winter career wear and casual wear and a large amount of baby and children’s winter apparel.

 give back

For those individuals who may have lost everything in this storm, we hope that these new apparel items may play a small part in helping these people rebuild!

To our customers….we are so grateful for your continued business which allows us the chance to give back in the wake of a disaster like Hurricane Sandy.

If you are in need of some new inventory for the upcoming holiday season, have a look at our new collections including designer skirts, tops & bottoms, dresses and a collection of fall and winter tops.

 

Once again THANK YOU!!!

  No Comments  |  Tags:

Having a Great Boutique

Posted October 31, 2012 – 8:10 pm in: Wholesale Closeout News

Whether you are thinking of opening a clothing boutique or have been operating your own for some time, there are some keys things to consider. This blog may help guide those who are considering opening a boutique and may also give some good ideas to anyone who has been running a retail store.

To have a great boutique it is important to have beautiful clothes with a stylish edge but you also have to understand your target market and some basic business concepts. All of these things working together will help to make a successful clothing boutique.

boutique

 

Location, Location, Location. It is very important that you choose wisely when deciding where to position your boutique. You will do much better if your boutique is in an area that may already have a high traffic flow. That in itself is great marketing for your store. Choose a spot that may have other retail shops, restaurants, or attractions near your boutique. Be sure to differentiate your product mix so you are not in direct competition with the retailers around you!

If you’re in a spot where you are not getting much foot traffic then invest in marketing your boutique. Smart marketing moves will bring the customers to your store. This is also an important strategy if your boutique is in a great location. Anything that can highlight and feature your store will be positive in the long run.

If you don’t have a store website use Facebook to create a boutique page and Twitter to communicate with your customers. Participate in events within your community, like fashion shows or festivals. This is a great way to network and create word-of-mouth about your boutique. It may even be beneficial to coordinate with other retail stores that sell comparable merchandise to your clothing which will foster even more traffic. Be creative and proactive.

 

Target Market! This is crucial. Do not try to make your boutique fit everything for everyone. This will confuse your customers and you will probably feel over extended. Focus on a specific product mix and target customer. Master this and do it well, then consider expanding.

For example if you sell upscale women’s clothing and have an established customer base who – you have noticed – all have small children, maybe you could test out some children’s clothing and accessories that your customers might enjoy shopping for at your store. You could also begin to incorporate women’s shoes or handbags, and accessories.Keep your target customer in mind. This will help guide your with marketing efforts, purchasing inventory, and considering positive changes for the future.

 

  No Comments  |  Tags: