Luxe It or Leave It, P.4

INVENTORY AND FLOOR

Blackwell, whose past projects include work for both large and small prestige brands, suggests a number of strategies that should be adopted by luxury retailers. Practical considerations include an open floor plan, strategic merchandising, strong lighting elements and an inventory with fewer brands than what would be found at a mass retailer. He also suggests coordinating inventory to fit the “theme and demographic of your location.” As prestige buyers look for quality, it is important that retailers catering to the luxury crowd also invest in quality decor. Finally, the space should appeal to all of the senses, and Blackwell suggests adding music that “speaks to the overall theme of the store.”

Sometimes the little things mean big things to those who shop in a luxury establishment. “It’s all in the details,” says Poelmans, who sees tremendous value in finishing a bag off with a bow, adding a welcome mat to the floor, or dressing up the door with balloons to signify a holiday. “Make sure you go the extra mile. Cater to what your client’s needs are and make sure you are creating an environment that’s not overwhelming, and is comfortable. Energize the space. That’s what [luxury] customers look for.”